And the position battle among the wide receivers continues. Today’s starting wideouts on the first play were Pierre Garcon and Leonard Hankerson. Yesterday it was Josh Morgan with Garcon. The first tight end was Chris Cooley, with Fred Davis rotating in and out, a day after the latter started.
Griffin’s early highlight came on the second play of 11-on-11 drills when he squirted out of a collapsed pocket, and fired a sideline pass to Hankerson, who tip-toed the line as he made the grab. Griffin put the ball in a tight spot where only Hankerson could get to it. In drills just before the play, Griffin made the same pass, but farther from the sideline.
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan stopped him and explained that the ball needed to be farther outside, or else it would be a pick-six. Griffin apparently remembered.
Hankerson struggled with drops last year. After his impressive first grab, he had another opportunity on the outside, but dropped the ball right to him. On the next first-team series, Hankerson made a catch identical to his first one. He later made a diving catch, coming back to the ball.
A day after dropping a perfectly-thrown pass over the middle, Garcon redeemed himself, stretching up and snagging a bullet from Griffin, then tucking it away and turning upfield. Garcon made two more impressive grabs.
Kirk Cousins and Rex Grossman alternated second-team snaps at quarterback. The rookie displayed a strong and accurate arm on throws to Cooley, Niles Paul, Santana Moss and Brandon Banks. Cousins did have a near INT to Kevin Barnes, but Barnes dropped the ball.
Barnes later deflected a Cousins pass up into the air and safety DeJon Gomes picked it off for his first INT of camp.
The first-team interior linemen appeared to struggle against the starting defense. On three of the first four plays, Griffin’s blockers were shoved back into his path, forcing him to move outside the pocket.
Lorenzo Alexander appears to be gaining comfort at the inside linebacker spot. Alexander, who has lost about 30 pounds, knocked a pass out of Davis’s hands on a route over the middle.
Graham Gano and Neil Rackers kicked head-to-head from distances of 30, 37, 42 and 49 yards. Unofficially, Gano went 5-for-6 with a miss wide right from 49 yards out on the right hash with a group of players crowded around yelling at him. Rackers went 4-for-6 with misses from 39 and 49 yards. His 49-yarder also came with created distractions, sailing wide left. Both kickers made their 49-yard attempts from the left hash.
Wide receiver Anthony Armstrong and Garcon both earned love from the fans, celebrating touchdown catch-and-runs by throwing the ball into the fan areas.
Wide receiver Aldrick Robinson struggled, dropping three open passes, and slipping on an in-route. Robinson ended practice by catching a 60-yard bomb over his shoulder from Grossman, and threw the ball into the crowd. Grossman turned around to Griffin and did the Gator chop to celebrate.