Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan expressed encouragement with the progress his players are making as the team wrapped up its second consecutive week of offseason practices Thursday.
“We’ve had some good work. Guys are working hard, and we’ve had some competition,” Shanahan said. “That’s what you look for in these OTA [organized team activities] days. We’ve had a hundred percent attendance, and if a guy does miss, it’s an excused absence. A lot of people working hard and going in the same direction.”
Thursday marked the first time Shanahan has spoken since OTAs kicked off on May 21. That day, the coach was run over by wide receiver Pierre Garçon and cornerback Brandyn Thompson during a play at midfield. Shanahan was left woozy after the collision and didn’t speak to reporters as previously scheduled.
On Thursday, Shanahan said he addressed his team 10 minutes after the collision, but chuckled and said he couldn’t remember any details of his speech. The coach said that he was fine 20 minutes later, however.
“They didn’t think I could take a hit at 59,” he joked.
Nose tackle Barry Cofield and safety Tanard Jackson were the only two players not in attendance Thursday, but Shanahan said both had excused absences.
Watching practice were linebacker Brian Orakpo (pectoral muscle), linebacker Jonathan Goff (rehabbing from ACL surgery), defensive end Adam Carriker (blisters on his heels) and running back Tim Hightower (ACL recovery).
Orakpo and Shanahan called the linebacker’s lack of activity a precautionary move. Orakpo had a partially torn left pectoral muscle surgically repaired during the offseason, but hadn’t previously experienced any limitations. The linebacker did recently notice some soreness in the muscle, and had an MRI conducted. Orakpo, who had the muscle wrapped in ice Thursday, said he isn’t concerned.
Shanahan said Goff, who was signed this offseason, likely will be back on the field fully by the start of training camp, and Carriker isn’t seriously injured. Shanahan said there is no new timetable for Hightower’s return.
Working on the side during practice was receiver Leonard Hankerson (hip). Shanahan said the second-year pro has completely recovered from offseason surgery, and will begin doing drills next week.
Guard Kory Lichtensteiger went through some positional drills, but didn’t take any team snaps as he continues to recover from surgery to repair a torn MCL and ACL. He said he expects to be fully cleared by the start of training camp.
Shanahan said that 2011 second-round pick Jarvis Jenkins is doing well as he works his way back from a torn ACL that forced him to miss his entire rookie season. Shanahan said Jenkins, who has been fully cleared for action, is still “working his way back into football shape … but he’s taking all the reps and is looking good.”
Shanahan said kicker Graham Gano continues to recover from the back injury he suffered in Week 17. The coach said Gano kicked recently and didn’t report any setbacks afterwards. Gano didn’t kick on Thursday, but said that he feels good.
Shanahan said rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III continues to make strides as he learns the team’s offense. The coach said that the second overall pick of the draft has experienced some “growing pains,” but added that they are to be expected.
“That’s always going to take some time,” Shanahan said. “It’s the National Football League. This is not college anymore, and you’re not defending the option all the time, so there’s going to be some growing experiences there that all quarterbacks have in the National Football League, regardless of who it’s been. But he can do some things that will put a lot of pressure on defenses.”
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