RICHMOND, Va. -- The Washington Redskins and New England Patriots conclude their three-day practices with one session at 8:35 a.m. Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to be in the low 90s with a small chance of rain. Here are three areas I’ll monitor:
Injuries, but specifically how it’ll impact who plays Thursday. And that means receiver Pierre Garcon and safety Ryan Clark, both of whom had hamstring issues Tuesday (Garcon didn’t dress for practice; Clark tweaked his during practice). It’s tough to imagine them playing given that it’s the first preseason game. Garcon dealt with this last week, too. Phillip Thomas had a hamstring issue as well.
The teams will practice in shells so there’s only so much you’ll be able to get from these workouts. But you can still see if there’s any sort of steady improvement from Robert Griffin III and the rest of the offense. I’d like to see another one-on-one session with the defensive backs and receivers. The Pats did a good job Monday; the Redskins were better Tuesday (though New England was not working as hard on bump coverage).
I’d also like to hear more about Jay Gruden’s philosophy on how he’ll approach the preseason games. It does not seem like it’ll be dramatically different than other coaches. But we’ll talk more in-depth with him about it – how much work he thinks a quarterback needs to get in these games, etc. Or why he wants Jason Hatcher to play at least one game rather than sit out. (My take: They need to get Hatcher a little time with the guys he’ll be playing with; you need to build timing and rhythm on some of these pass rushes.)