RICHMOND, Va. -- Highlights from the Washington Redskins' practice Saturday afternoon:
The Redskins will work on protection drills every time they’re in full pads, which is wise, given the importance of that task. It can be sometimes difficult to get an accurate gauge of a running back’s progress during one-on-one drills against the linebackers, though you can see the technique used.
Linebacker Keenan Robinson fares well in this drill because of his size, though he split his battles against Darrel Young. Linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough did not use his hands well enough to beat rookie Lache Seastrunk in their first clash. But Kimbrough won the next one: Kimbrough barreled into Seastrunk and ran him over as they both fell onto the dummy bag serving as the quarterback. Impressive. Seastrunk also had a big pop into fullback Stephen Campbell.
Chris Baker did not have a strong day in the one-on-ones, getting chastised at one point by outside linebackers coach Brian Baker. Chris Baker was not getting much penetration during two-on-two work, whether on stunts or just on a straight rush. Defensive line coach Jacob Burney implored him to “finish it! Finish it!”
Meanwhile, Jarvis Jenkins was praised for getting in the backfield.
Rookie Trent Murphy completely stopped a reverse to Andre Roberts, shooting up in the backfield. Roberts then lost control of the ball. Murphy and Jenkins combined on a good rush against Josh LeRibeus and Tom Compton. Jenkins pushed the pocket against LeRibeus and created an opening for Murphy to win inside. Liked how Murphy, starting from inside, was able to occupy both Compton and Tevita Stevens on one rush, allowing Gabe Miller to duck inside.
Rookie Ryan Grant really understands how to use his body on routes. Coaches like the way he drops his hips, but it enables him to come out of his breaks faster. Saw it again Saturday against corner Richard Crawford.
The Redskins worked on attempting a free kick during practice, starting with the fair catch and then hustling everyone else out for the attempt (that Kai Forbath knocked off the left upright). Not a good day for Forbath, who hit each upright when attempting field goals later in the day, from 34 and 40 yards. Meanwhile, rookie Zach Hocker hit from 35, 41 and 54 yards – all down the middle. Forbath’s 53-yarder was a low liner; Hocker’s was a deep drive.
Robert Griffin III tossed a good fade to the left corner for receiver Pierre Garcon, who caught the ball against David Amerson on the play. Garcon beat Amerson earlier in the day, too, when he went inside-out on an intermediate route. Amerson couldn’t catch up to Garcon after he caught the ball.
The three plays before that one were not as good. Griffin was pressured by Baker, squeezing through Chris Chester, and he ended up having to flip the ball away – long after he would have been tackled. Next play: Orakpo sprinted toward Griffin as he scrambled to the right and the quarterback just ended up sitting down. Next play, Griffin connected with Aldrick Robinson over the middle, but safety Brandon Meriweather was right there, though it would have gained five yards.
Couple quick fists thrown between linebacker Darryl Sharpton and tight end Ted Bolser after one play, but it ended after maybe three seconds. Sharpton, um, likes physical play, so I’m not surprised he’d be involved.
It’s funny to hear reactions to certain plays sometimes. On one pass play, linebacker Perry Riley had a good rush and would have sacked Griffin. But he likes keeping the play alive, so teammates get used to handling this situation. Griffin ended up scrambling maybe 10 yards for a touchdown and the crowd cheered loudly. But in a game, it would have been a sack.
Did not like how right tackle Maurice Hurt allowed Clifton Geathers, a big man who does not move all that well, to beat him on an outside zone to the defense’s right. Hurt barely kept an arm on him as Geathers moved toward the ball and helped on the tackle.
The offense failed to take advantage of some mismatches in the red zone. Credit the defense for stopping them, of course. But on one, tight end Jordan Reed was one-on-one with corner Crawford. Reed has several inches on Crawford and a lot of size. The pass from Griffin was too high. Another time, Amerson was one-on-one with Reed and safety Meriweather was covering Roberts in the slot on third and goal inside the 5. Neither got open and Griffin’s pass to Garcon over the middle was incomplete. You need to take advantage when you have a favorable matchup.
Will Compton recognized a formation and shouted out, “Coming this way! Coming this way!” while pointing to his left. Sure enough, running back Evan Royster ran to that side and Jordan filled the hole.
The Redskins worked on red-zone plays and also did a move-the-ball drill (in which it’s just like a regular sequence of downs, starting at the 30-yard line). They also worked on short-yardage situations, such as third and 1. The first time they ran it (with a quick snap): linebacker Riley filled the hole, along with corner Amerson, to stop Young.