Redskins DE Stephen Paea makes plays in backfield

Terrance Knighton showed some serious mobility during Sunday's practice, which is why the Redskins are hopeful that they can use him in special packages. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

RICHMOND, Va. -- Highlights and observations from the Washington Redskins practice Sunday:

  • Nickel corner Justin Rogers did a nice job off the line vs. receiver Andre Roberts during one play in one-on-ones, showing good hands and balance. But he might have been called for holding as he used his hands a little too long. Also: Roberts eventually was able to get inside him for a catch. But Rogers was praised by secondary coach Perry Fewell for the coverage. However, Rogers was later beaten by Jamison Crowder for a long catch from quarterback Robert Griffin III.

  • Two young guys beat two veterans in one-on-one work. First, rookie receiver Evan Spencer took corner Chris Culliver inside, then quickly cut back out as Culliver fell to the ground. But Spencer dropped the ball. Then, second-year receiver Ryan Grant set up corner DeAngelo Hall with a subtle shake to the outside before cutting inside for a wide open catch. Hall lost his balance on the fake.

  • Grant had a nice block coming down the line on the first run of full-team work, helping seal the inside on a zone run by Alfred Morris through a big hole.

  • Liked what I saw from end Stephen Paea in full-team work. His quickness and strength were evident a couple times. He arrived in the backfield for a big pop of running back Matt Jones. Saw Paea get in the backfield on another play. The coaches consider him the strongest player on the team.

  • Nobody takes more hits than Jones, who had to sit out the last portion of practice because of a tweaked knee. But he also delivers a blow as well.

  • Here’s a sighting: Safety Phillip Thomas delivered a big hit Sunday. Thomas has been playing with the third defense, but on this play he filled the hole and drilled running back Mack Brown. It prompted fellow safety Dashon Goldson to yell, "That's what I’m talking about!" Then he ran over and jumped on Thomas.

  • The underrated part of Terrance Knighton's game is his quickness along the line. He displayed it today when he was able to tackle Silas Redd at the line of scrimmage, but about five yards or so from his nose tackle position. It's why the Redskins feel he can help in the nickel and also why he can play vs. teams such as Philadelphia and the spread offense.

  • Quarterback Colt McCoy had a couple nice throws Sunday, including one off play-action to Crowder. Safety Kyshoen Jarrett was flying over and might have drilled Crowder, but Crowder also has a knack for avoiding such hits. Jarrett is a physical player.

  • Safety Akeem Davis was chastised for not only missing a tackle on tight end Jordan Reed along the sidelines, but in not playing to his help. Not a good play for him (another good McCoy pass on this play, by the way).