Observations from Wednesday’s practice at Redskins training camp


Niles Paul, left, and DeJon Gomes vie for a pass during Wednesday’s practice. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post0

RICHMOND – The Redskins made their way through a rain-soaked practice without incident Wednesday afternoon, and that sixth session of camp represented Robert Griffin III’s most extensive work thus far. By an unofficial count, Griffin took 15 snaps in seven-on-seven action. Griffin had seven completions on 14 pass attempts. He also threw two interceptions, and receivers dropped another three passes. On one snap, while working in the red zone, Griffin took off for the end zone after failing to find an open receiver. With defenders converging on him, Griffin showed a burst of acceleration on the soggy field. No word on whether Mike Shanahan’s heart briefly stopped beating as he watched this play.

● Josh Wilson recorded one of Griffin’s two interceptions, cutting in front of Niles Paul near the goal line to snag the pass. Richard Crawford came up with the other after covering a sideline route run by Aldrick Robinson and wrestling the ball away from the receiver just as the two fell to the ground.

● Griffin didn’t appear to plant on his back leg as firmly as he has on previous days. It’s unclear whether it was because of the rain or some other reason. He seemed to use more of his upper body to make throws rather than getting a good base and driving through his throws.

● A training camp-high 10 players sat out practice today with various bumps and bruises and veteran’s days off. Running back Chris Thompson (knee), fullback Darrel Young (knee), receiver Pierre Garcon (rest), linebacker Brian Orakpo (rest), linebacker London Fletcher (rest), guard Adam Gettis (hamstring), tight end Jordan Reed (knee), receiver Donte Stallworth (hamstring), linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough (hamstring) and cornerback DeAngelo Hall (ankle) all were not in pads.

● Safety Brandon Meriweather (knee) did individual drills, but was held out of team and one-on-one or seven-on-seven action for a fourth straight day.

● Trent Williams (wrist) did individual drills and team portions of practice that weren’t against a defense but didn’t take part in 11-on-11 action. Williams said he didn’t have an MRI exam done on that left wrist. Williams, who wore a brace on that sprained left wrist, said concern for him is unnecessary. “I feel honored that you guys worry about me. But there’s really no cause for it,” he said. Second-year pro Tom Compton played at left tackle with the first team and did fairly well in run blocking. He didn’t appear to make any grave errors in pass protection as he went up against Rob Jackson, who played in place of Orakpo.

● Aldrick Robinson took on the role of “X” receiver – the primary target on a number of plays – with Garcon sidelined.

● Santana Moss continues to get the best of E.J. Biggers, who is eight years his junior, in their individual and team matchups. Biggers has done well for the most part, whether lined up at left corner or at nickelback – when not matched up with Moss. On Wednesday, the wily veteran made Biggers look silly on a number of plays – particularly when running double-moves. The soggy field didn’t help Biggers at all, but the defensive back still was rather demonstrative in his body language after giving up catches to Moss, who chose to ham it up a bit.

● Biggers did intercept a Kirk Cousins pass intended for Robinson.

● Biggers wasn’t the only defensive back to struggle defending double moves on the wet field. Josh Wilson and Chase Minnifield also got turned around and gave up open catches to Nick Williams and Skye Dawson, respectively.

● Wide receiver Lance Lewis made an impressive one-handed grab over Wilson on a throw from Cousins on one play.

● Wilson on Wednesday went back to his roots and took part in kickoff returns. Wilson returned kicks in the four seasons prior to his arrival in Washington (both in Seattle and Baltimore). As a rookie, he averaged a career-best 27.5 yards per kick return. The following year, as Seattle’s primary return man, Wilson recorded 1,753 yards on 69 returns for a 25.4 average. That rookie year, Wilson had an 89-yard return for a touchdown. Wilson said he asked for some return work because he is required to attend every special teams meeting anyway. “I’ve got to show these young guys how it’s done,” he joked. “I told them to look me up on YouTube.”

● Roy Helu seems to have the edge in the competition for No. 2 back. The Redskins have used him in a variety of ways – standard run plays, option pitches, and as a receiver out of the backfield – to take advantage of his speed and catching ability.

● The Redskins announced Wednesday’s attendance at 7,823 fans with 2,611 showing up for the morning walk-through, and 5,212 for the afternoon practice.

Related: Previous days’ observations

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @john_keim @Insider | @PostSports

What’s ahead:

● John Keim’s final post for The Insider, on Perry Riley, comes Thursday morning.

● Thursday’s practices are at 10 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. If you’re headed to Richmond, check our our guide to training camp for tips on getting autographs, where to park and things to do after the session is over.

More from The Post:

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Healthy and happy to be a Redskin, Fred Davis aims for a big season

Moss says Garcon’s confidence in Redskins’ offense overplayed but justified

Griffin’s snaps in passing drills increased

Eagles WR Cooper uses racial slur, apologizes on Twitter

250 high school coaches take part in Redskins’ clinic

Pro Bowl teams will be chosen via a draft

OLB Tapp adjusts to new role with his favorite team from childhood

Kai Forbath looks to avoid sophomore jinx that befalls Redskins kickers

D.C. Sports Bog: Redskins players on their signature dishes | More Bog & Redskins

Rookie S Phillip Thomas says he’s catching on to Redskins’ defense

LB Nick Barnett remains in Richmond, deal still possible

Cornerback Chase Minnifield plays feisty, is not worried about knee

Santana Moss brushes off talk of age, competition

How much will the defensive losses hurt the Redskins?

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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Washington Post · July 31, 2013

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