Redskins minicamp: Observations from Tuesday’s practice

The Washington Redskins returned to the practice field today for the first session of their mandatory minicamp, which is scheduled to run Tuesday through Thursday.

Rain-soaked fields forced the team into their practice bubble, so things were more cramped than usual, but players and coach Mike Shanahan believed that they had a good session.

The team will return to the field Wednesday in what will be their final week of practice before a six-week break leading up to the July 25th start of training camp.

Some observations from today’s practice:

  • Quarterback Robert Griffin III continues his rehab and appeared to work on more roll-out throws than he had in previous weeks. Griffin fired passes on the run after rolling out both to his left, and to his right. On one particular drill, he took the snap, rolled to his left, stopped and then spun and rolled back to his right before throwing the pass. Griffin concluded practice by running a series of sprints with tight end Jordan Reed and running back Chris Thompson (both also rehabbing knees). Griffin said they were supposed to be sprints, but wound up turning into races.
  • Offensive linemen Josh LeRibeus (left hamstring) and Jacolby Ashworth (wrist), wide receiver Pierre Garcon (shoulder, toe), tight end Fred Davis (Achilles’ tendon), cornerback Josh Wilson (shoulder), defensive lineman Ron Brace (hernia surgery), linebacker Keenan Robinson (pectoral muscle) and safeties Jordan Bernstine and Brandon Meriweather (both with knee injuries) continued to do their rehab work on the side. Shanahan said most of the rehabbing players will be back on the field by the start of training camp, but declined to identify which players would not.
  • Defensive end Adam Carriker (quad tendon) and guard Maurice Hurt (knee) both are not ready to join the rest of their rehabbing teammates for on-field work.
  • Safety Jordan Pugh is still recovering from the ear infection that has sidelined him the last two weeks. Pugh has returned to Ashburn after not being allowed to travel, but is still having balance issues and hasn’t received clearance to practice.
  • Running back Roy Helu Jr. (toe) and cornerback Chase Minnifield (knee), who returned to practice for the first time last week after rehabbing their injuries, both practiced fully Tuesday.
  • Shanahan said Minnifield, who missed all of his rookie season with a torn amterior cruciate ligament, is fully healthy and ready to compete for a job. Minnifield rotated in and out with Richard Crawford and E.J. Biggers on the second units. Minnifield recorded an interception when he undercut a deep route from Rex Grossman to Josh Morgan and picked off the pass. Biggers and safety DeJon Gomes also intercepted Grossman.
  • The Redskins hosted kicker/punter John Potter for a tryout to provide some competition for Kai Forbath and Sav Rocca. The Western Michigan product was a seventh-round pick of Buffalo’s in 2012.
  • After working primarily with the second unit during OTAs, rookie safeties Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo and cornerback David Amerson all joined the first-team defense on the field for the majority of the 11-on-11 drills.
  • Thomas showed both inexperience and potential on one particular play. As he lined up deep in a cover-2 look, he got caught looking into the backfield and wide receiver Aldrick Robinson got behind him. Grossman fired a pass to Robinson, but Thomas recovered, showed good closing speed and knocked the ball loose from behind along the sideline as Robinson tried to secure it.
  • Chris Baker served as nose tackle Barry Cofield‘s backup last season, but is getting some work at defensive end in addition to nose tackle this offseason. On Tuesday, Chris Neild got the bulk of the second-team nose tackle snaps, and Baker – re-signed over the offseason to a one-year deal worth $1.32 million – lined up at left end.
  • Grossman got Baker to jump offsides with a hard count at one point. Grossman had a little fun and celebrated by doing a dance in which he raised his hands and gyrated and ground up on Baker as the defensive lineman hung his head and walked back to the defensive huddle.
  • With DeAngelo Hall lined up at his usual left cornerback spot and Amerson at right corner, Biggers played primarily as the nickelback with the first team.
  • The team didn’t work on kick return duties in today’s practice, but did work on punt coverage and returns. Crawford and undrafted free agent wide receiver additions  Skye Dawson and Chip Reeves rotated as return men. Santana Moss and Hall fielded a couple punts as well.

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