RICHMOND, Va. -- Some highlights from Sunday morning's practice (will have an RG III report later that talks about his day):
One big point of emphasis during training camp for outside linebackers coach Brian Baker: Having his defensive players “flip” their hips to generate more power and lead to more acceleration. He was stressing this again Sunday; actually, it’s been a focal point all of camp. For what it's worth, the defensive backs worked with Baker on Sunday on how to react when blitzing and the other team runs a draw. They worked on coming up from behind the runner and trying to force a fumble and worked on their path around the blockers.
Fullback Stephen Campbell did a nice job against Keenan Robinson in a one-on-one pass protection drill. In the drill, there are two linebackers, and the running backs don’t know which one is coming. Campbell earned praise for pushing him wide and around the “quarterback” (which was a dummy bag).
Akeem Jordan beat Alfred Morris when the latter lowered his head too much, losing vision and balance. Jeremy Kimbrough went through Lache Seastrunk, and powered off him and around for the win. Will Compton went right into Evan Royster, shed him and went to the quarterback.
The Redskins’ defense did a good job with its backside pursuit in the early part of the 11-on-11 work, first with end Jarvis Jenkins (against Morris) and another time with corner David Amerson. It was actually their disciplined containment that made the difference. For what it’s worth, the coaches were thrilled with how the defensive starters played against New England’s starting offensive line.
Keenan Robinson gives the Redskins another potentially good rusher. They’ll line him up next to rookie Trent Murphy and can blitz him inside. It’s worked a few times in camp and it did so again Sunday. It would have resulted in a sack of Robert Griffin III.
Bashaud Breeland did a nice job in coverage, racing over to intercept a Griffin deep ball for Aldrick Robinson. The receiver had run a stop-and-go against corner Bryan Shepherd, but Breeland covered up for his teammate and made the pick. I like Breeland; kid picks up on lessons rather quick it seems and whatever he ran at the combine was not a true indication of his speed. He plays to his speed, which is what coaches want.
People sometimes misconstrue things when Cousins is praised. But he does make some excellent throws in practice. It desn’t mean he should start; it doesn’t mean he’s looked great. But to ignore his good throws just because of how it will be interpreted is silly. He makes good ones and bad ones. Sunday, he delivered a bullet to Lawrence over the middle against corner Tracy Porter. In the two-minute drill, Cousins had one throw in which he patted the ball three times and delivered a strike to Nick Williams.
Cousins also had the above pass nearly intercepted and then Porter later dropped one against him, causing him to do pushups for the miss (Porter later picked off Griffin). Cousins can be decisive, but he’s also shown a penchant for turnovers. But, like Griffin, he’s still a young quarterback learning a new passing game.
Colt McCoy is a veteran passer who should look good against backups at this point in his career. Still, he’ll make the occasional nice pass as he did on an out route to tight end Ted Bolser, who turned around just as the ball arrived. It gave him a chance to run a little. In the two-minute drill, McCoy was picked off by corner Chase Minnifield, who then punted the ball up in the air (celebration I guess?).
Chris Baker did a nice job at times collapsing the pocket against the No. 2 defense.
Left tackle Morgan Moses reacted well to a spin move by outside linebacker Everette Brown. But Adrian Robinson got Moses with a spin move a few plays later; Moses was too high to handle the inside spin. Next play: Robinson tried to get low and around Moses, but the rookie bent properly and pushed him wide. In the two-minute work, Moses allowed Gabe Miller to duck inside for a pressure. Up and down. Miller later sped around Maurice Hurt at right tackle in the two-minute portion.
A key part of the two-minute situation, of course, is that the offense wants to get out of bounds and the defense must keep them inside. So the corners often play wider. That enabled Richard Crawford to stop Nick Williams in bounds on a route, forcing the offense to take a time out (they get one in this drill).
Running back Seastrunk was chastised by coach Jay Gruden for running a poor route in the two-minute drill inside the red zone. Gruden wanted him to run a swing route -- so did McCoy based on the pass he threw that was about 10 yards wide of where Seastrunk had stopped. A couple of plays later Seastrunk, split wide, ran a good route to the inside and caught a pass inside the 5-yard line.