RICHMOND, Va. -- Here are some notes and observations from Washington Redskins practice Wednesday:
Coach Mike Shanahan said the team released veteran receiver Devery Henderson to give him a chance to sign with another team. He had no shot at making the final roster, which was apparent even before he had to miss a week to attend a funeral. Henderson did not look fast and Shanahan said he did not report to camp in shape. “Not in the type of football shape that I thought I could actually practice him full-speed without getting him hurt,” Shanahan said.
His departure has little impact on what will happen moving forward. The big decision at receiver is whether or not they’ll keep six. Henderson was never really an option considering his early performance.
Linebacker Nick Barnett did not practice, one day after working full for the first time. Shanahan said it was just to let Barnett's knee recuperate following arthroscopic surgery in the offseason. The Redskins are thin behind the starting inside linebackers and need Barnett to be healthy for depth. Corner Richard Crawford sat out after injuring his right calf in practice Tuesday.
Said this yesterday, but the Redskins continue to work running back Chris Thompson with the punt returners. Thompson still does not look comfortable catching the ball. If he becomes a punt returner in the NFL, it will take a while.
Kai Forbath made eight of nine field goals, but the one miss could be excused. It came from 65 yards and was wide right. He had the distance – there was a wind at his back. His other kicks, ranging from 32 to 58 yards, all were true.
Strong safety Brandon Meriweather worked with the scout-team defense as did his backup, Reed Doughty. That left DeJon Gomes working with the starters. But Meriweather was active on the scout team, intercepting a tipped pass off Aldrick Robinson’s hands (not the best day for his hands). On the next play, Meriweather ran to his left and was involved in a collision as he broke up a pass to receiver Lance Lewis.
A point of emphasis by the defense today: stripping the ball carrier of the ball. They worked on gang-tackling, but then one or two in each “tackle” would forcefully try to rip the ball (mostly just going through the motion).
Another day of Jordan Reed displaying his athleticism. He made a leaping, twisted catch of a Rex Grossman pass over the middle. And he hauled in a deep ball down the left side from Robert Griffin III, drifting toward the sideline as he looked over his right shoulder. I saw this in his college games, but he makes catches that most tight ends can’t make.
There’s usually little contact in scout team work, but that wasn’t the case when Josh LeRibeus pulled on one snap. Linebacker Darryl Tapp, running into the backfield, ran over LeRibeus, knocking him to the ground. Just ran him over. Yep.
Here’s a veteran move: As the first-team defenders ran to the ball, a couple bodies tumbled to the ground. As they did, linebacker London Fletcher anticipated more falling bodies and deftly stepped away.