Today marked another shaky outing for the Redskins’ offense. At one point, the mistakes persisted so much that Coach Mike Shanahan stopped practice, huddled all the offensive players and told them to shape up, in so many words.
●Robert Griffin III had his best stretch early in practice. During game simulation, Griffin completed nine of his first 10 passes. He was a lot more decisive than he was on Thursday. One element that forced him to get rid of the ball more quickly was the fact that officials would whistle plays dead as soon as defenders tagged Griffin. So, the quarterback had to deliver quickly to beat the whistles.
●The bulk of the Redskins’ struggles came with the offense backed up in the shadow of its own goal line. The defense pinned back its ears and brought the heat. The offensive line could do little to slow the pass rush. Around this time, Shanahan halted practice.
●Backup fullback Dorson Boyce had his best practice. He responded to Shanahan’s speech by catching a pass, turning upfield and steamrolling Lorenzo Alexander for the hit of camp so far. Boyce still is probably the team’s third fullback, as Chris Cooley lined up as first-team fullback the last two days. But Boyce was definitely more physical all-around today.
●Tanard Jackson got work both at free and strong safety while lining up with the second team. Jackson, who missed the first six practices of camp while working his way back from a calf injury, ran well. But he looked like you’d expect: a guy who’s trying to knock off the rust. For the second day, he had near misses on interception attempts, but couldn’t deliver. Today, Jackson made a diving attempt at an interception on a pass intended for Terrence Austin. He did knock the ball away. But he wasn’t so lucky the next time when he tried to jump Roy Helu’s pass route along the sideline. Jackson mistimed the Kirk Cousins throw, Helu made the grab and raced into the end zone for an 80-yard score. Despite the misses, Jackson could still contend with Madieu Williams for the starting free safety job as he becomes more comfortable. His versatility could also serve Washington well.
●The best player in camp today just might’ve been Leonard Hankerson. “Hanktime” continues to get open and make big catches. He looks nothing like he did last year. Hankerson appears well on his way to earning a key role in this offense as Kyle Shanahan moves him around and gets the same positive results regardless of where he lines up. Hankerson’s top competitor probably would be Josh Morgan, who is sidelined with injury.
●Graham Gano boomed a kickoff attempt. Gano reported that it was a career-best 87-yard blast in the air. There were no field goal attempts, so for now, he maintains a slight edge in accuracy over Neil Rackers, going 11 for 13 to Rackers’s 10 for 13.
●Maurice Hurt was back at first-team left guard, and although he and coaches say he is much improved, he still has his share of struggles. He was shoved several yards into the backfield numerous times.
●Evan Royster and Roy Helu continue to rotate starting running back duties. Royster had his day today. He just seems to make a little more happen. But it’s still hard to judge production in practice. We’ll know more once the games begin. Tim Hightower continues to practice on a limited basis.
●Heads-up: Tomorrow is fan appreciation day, and the Redskins are expecting large crowds. Parking lots open at 8 a.m., gates open at 9 a.m.