RICHMOND — Another day of camp in the books for the Redskins, who today practiced before an announced crowd of 9,658 fans in the two sessions combined.
The team reported an attendance of 3,752 fans for the morning walk-through, and another 5,906 fans for the afternoon practice. Obviously, a good deal of those fans in the afternoon session probably were on hand for the morning session as well.
A number of kids in the crowds are getting a special treat this year. Instead of just walking along and autographing memorabilia, players are selecting random kids out of the crowd at the end of each practice, and then allow them to walk the length of the field with them as they head back to the locker room.
Mike Shanahan explained the thinking behind the idea:
“What I’m kind of used to – in an environment like this where we get four or five players, we’ll get a coach and kind of sign autographs. Over the years, we did it and a lot of people were happy, but I wasn’t really sure if that was the best way to do it. And then Bruce Allen suggested to me, ‘You know what Green Bay does I thought was kind of interesting because they have a little distance between their facility and the kids they would ride bikes and they have the chance to spend time with the player.’ But we start talking with Bruce’s suggestion and I thought it was a heck of an idea. I said, ‘Why don’t we instead of signing autographs right away’, because a lot of these players are going to sign autographs and normally the only person’s autograph they want is RG’s and London’s. Everyone is kind of pushed to the side. We thought it would be fun to just take a guy after practice, some young kid and spend some time and get to know him, talk to him, so he can walk from, maybe it’s a 200-yard walk where like Rex Grossman was throwing passes to a kid. You have one player giving him his wristbands or gloves, and you just get the chance to know them. And at least for the first day, I think it worked out really good so we’re going to continue to do that. I think it’s a chance for us to thank Richmond for all they have done for us, the fans and how much we appreciate having them here, and just getting a chance to know our players.”
Some observations from today’s practice:
● Robert Griffin III handled the same workload that he did on Day 1 of camp – taking the bulk of the first-team snaps in 7-on-7 drills. And a good amount of reps during positional drills. Shanahan said he was happy with what he’s seen out of Griffin, and the amount of work his quarterback is getting. Shanahan estimated that Griffin gets about 30 minutes of work during individual drills and 7-on-7 portions of practices. Griffin generally takes eight of 10 7-on-7 snaps, and that number can increase if there’s a mistake and the plays are run again to get it right. Then, during the two 10-minute special teams segments of practice, Griffin and his receivers go to a side field and go back over any plays they struggled with.
● DeAngelo Hall recorded three interceptions in Friday’s practice, with the first coming off Kirk Cousins and the last two coming against Rex Grossman. On the first, Hall blanketed Josh Morgan in coverage and then jumped the comeback route along the sideline and picked off the ball. He later intercepted a pass that was tipped by Reed Doughty. Later still, Hall read Grossman’s pass across the middle and plucked the ball out of the air.
● Newly-signed cornerback Ryan Mouton served as Tennessee’s nickel corner last season, but as he gets acclimated to the Redskins’ defense, coaches have him shadowing Hall at the left corner position. During the walk-through portion of Friday’s practice, Hall often explained his roles to the younger corner, and Mouton mirrored his movements a few yards further upfield at times as well.
● Rookies David Amerson and Bacarri Rambo continue to work with the first team defense.
● Cornerback Chase Minnifield had a nice play in coverage, but it upset Leonard Hankerson. Minnifield came over the top on a crossing route, reached over and swatted the ball away before Hankerson could grab it. Fellow backup corner Jerome Murphy intercepted the pass. Hankerson fell down upon contact, jumped up and shoved Minnifield, apparently believing the first-year corner had been guilty of too much contact.
● Minnifield, who missed last season with knee surgery, is practicing without a knee brace, as is rookie running back Chris Thompson. Both seem to be moving well and have displayed good speed.
● Maurice Hurt (arthroscopic knee surgery this summer) remains on the PUP list and spent a chunk of today riding the exercise bike at the edge of the field. He said that he expects to be back on the field within two or three weeks.
● Thursday’s special teams work featured punt return drills, and today’s focus was kick returns. Players competing for work at kick returner: Skye Dawson, Chip Reeves, Nick Williams, Richard Crawford, Chris Thompson, Aldrick Robinson and Niles Paul.
● Santana Moss just turned 34, but he still appears to the Redskins’ top option for a slot receiver. Devery Henderson has gotten a little work in the slot, as has Hankerson. Moss runs crisp routes, gets to the spots the quarterback needs him to be at, and seems to catch everything that comes his way. He seems quicker than Hankerson, and obviously more confident than Henderson, who still is learning the offense.
● Pierre Garcon displayed no limitations despite the fact that his toe remains less than 100 percent. He turned in an impressive practice, looking like a man determined that he would not be covered. He exploded off the line and didn’t appear to have any problem making cuts. He made catches in tight spots, shook defenders with double moves, even went up and wrestled the ball away from defensive backs, robbing them of interceptions. Garcon has continued the tradition he started last year of throwing balls into the crowd after impressive catches.
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.
Saturday’s practices are at 10 and 3:20. Here’s our guide to camp, if you’re going. There is no practice on Sunday.
John Keim examines the number of hits Robert Griffin III takes, and the DE options with Carriker and Jenkins out.
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