The Washington Post

Redskins training camp observations: Aug. 4 practice

It’s really interesting to see all the different situations Mike and Kyle Shanahan put Robert Griffin III in. Each day brings a new challenge and focus. Today the offense worked on a lot of second- and third-and-long situations. The results were mixed, but that’s to be expected with the rookie quarterback, who is a week into training camp and playing behind a battered line.

The Redskins’ defense continues to mix things up to test Griffin. The quarterback didn’t have any glaring errors today. He still is holding onto the ball a long time, but Mike Shanahan didn’t seen too concerned. The head coach said that timing and ability to recognize coverages generally takes three years to really master, and also can partially hinge on the supporting cast.

Griffin made three plays that stood out today. One was a deep pass to Pierre Garcon, another was a quick red-zone strike to Santana Moss on a slant for a touchdown. The third was a running play in which he faked a handoff, freezing the linebackers, then took off. Brian Orakpo got sucked inside and Griffin rounded the end of the line as tackle Trent Williams held his block. Griffin cut downfield before London Fletcher could get a good angle on him and the quarterback darted into the end zone.

●Orakpo and Williams should be well prepared for the season after duking it out all camp. Both are playing well. Orakpo got the best of Williams during their first one-on-one matchup of the day. Next time around it was Williams who came out on top.

●Tanard Jackson got his first interception of camp after several narrow misses in the two previous days. This pick came on a batted pass. He broke up two other passes as well as he works his way back into the free safety competiton after sitting out with an injury.

●A couple of young players battling for roster spots made plays today. Running back Tristan Davis scored on a 75-yard catch-and-run, outrunning two defensive backs to the end zone. He’s been nursing a knee injury but showed great speed on that play. And Aldrick Robinson scored on a slant route with Brandyn Thompson on his hip. Both Davis and Robinson are at crowded positions and need to shine whenever they get the chance.

●It will be interesting to see where new addition Tony Moll works his way into the offensive line equation. He has played guard and tackle but will be a guard for Washington. With Kory Lichtensteiger rehabbing and Maurice Hurt and Josh LeRibeus displaying inconsistent play, another guy is definitely worth considering. Moll took part in some drills today but won’t practice fully until Tuesday. Hard to envision him playing Thursday.

Meanwhile, Jordan Black and Willie Smith have both gotten work at right tackle on the second team. Black so far looks like you’d expect an underweight guy that has been out of football to look. Smith has had some good moments and some struggles. And interim starter Tyler Polumbus is inconsistent as well. The good news for the Redskins is the preseason is still young.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.



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