Redskins morning wake-up call

RICHMOND, Va., -- The Redskins conduct their final practice in Richmond at 10:30 Friday morning. It’s their last full practice before Monday’s preseason home opener against Pittsburgh. Here's what I'll be monitoring:

  1. Robert Griffin III’s progress. He did take five more snaps Thursday than he did on Wednesday, though the variety of plays was about the same. The coaches said that he looked sharper. One thing Griffin hasn’t done is run when the play breaks down, something he clearly will do at times during the season. For now it’s better for him to sit in the pocket and focus on his targets, make his reads and develop a rhythm and touch in the passing game. He needs to make a lot of throws, not only to build up his arm strength but to work out any rust in his game.

  2. General manager Bruce Allen’s press conference. Allen will address the media for the first time all camp, but the bulk of his talk likely will surround how camp went in Richmond. Yes, he’ll be asked some football questions, but Allen typically deflects those. Besides, the football questions are best answered by others. Allen’s strength is dealing with contracts and negotiating. Still, he’s the GM so we’ll hear what he has to say. From the Redskins' end, I know that they’ve loved having camp in Richmond and were pleased with the entire operation.

  3. Brandon Meriweather. The strong safety has worked with the scout team the past two days and not with the starters. Will that continue? The good news for Meriweather is that he’s been able to take a lot of snaps with the scout team. If he’s not going to play against Pittsburgh then there’s little reason to give him snaps at this point. But Meriweather’s health is a big issue for the secondary and until he consistently works with the starters, there will be questions. The Redskins’ defense can do things with him on the field that they can’t do with others, especially against a speed team like Philadelphia (whom they face in the opener). In fact, his one game last season came against the Eagles. Meriweather’s speed enabled the Redskins to run different blitzes with corners knowing he could cover a certain amount of ground behind them.