Observations from Tuesday’s practice at Redskins training camp

August 6, 2013

RICHMOND – The Redskins got in their last practice before Thursday’s preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans and on Wednesday will have a closed walk-through and then fly to Nashville.

After being forced into the Greater Richmond Convention Center for their morning walk-through, the team returned to the practice field for the afternoon practice.

With the team making preparations for Thursday’s game, Tuesday marked the least active day of training camp for Robert Griffin III, who only took snaps in individual drills. The team didn’t do any seven-on-seven, and no one-on-one drills. Griffin’s only work came during the special teams segments of practice, when he worked under the supervision of Kyle Shanahan, as he does every day, and threw passes to receiver Santana Moss and running back Chris Thompson.

● The Redskins practiced without Mike Shanahan in attendance because he had to attend the funeral of a close friend. The coach had the practice scripted out, and assistant head coach/running backs coach Bobby Thompson stood in his place. But Kyle Shanahan and Jim Haslett ran their units as they usually do.

● Backup fullback Eric Kettani (knee), guard Josh LeRibeus (knee) and tight end Jordan Reed (foot) didn’t practice. Receiver Devery Henderson missed a second straight day because of the death of a family member. Backup guard Tevita Stevens (ankle) returned to practice.

● Former tight end-turned sportstalk radio host Chris Cooley watched the practice from the sidelines.

● DeAngelo Hall (ankle) practiced for a second consecutive day, but Brandon Meriweather (knee) didn’t do any team drills. Neither are expected to play Thursday at Tennessee.

● Both Hall and Meriweather, as well as DeJon Gomes and Bacarri Rambo, got in work on the Jugs machine after practice. Hall had the most impressive hands of the bunch – catching a series of balls coming at him at 30 miles per hour with only his left hand. Hall did catch some with both hands, but winced in pain as he did so. He said he dislocated the ring finger on his right hand on Monday during that scuffle he had with tight end Logan Paulsen. Hall said he was trying to block a punch. He had the finger heavily wrapped, but said he would be okay. “Nothing personal, though,” he said of the scuffle. Of the three remaining defensive backs catching balls off the machine, Rambo looked second-best to Hall, with Meriweather ranking a close third. Gomes struggled.

● Rambo and fellow rookie Phillip Thomas are expected to start at free and strong safety, respectively, on Thursday, and on Tuesday, they received the bulk of the first-team snaps. Rambo broke up a deep pass from Kirk Cousins to Josh Morgan. Later he took a good angle on Fred Davis and would have separated him from the ball had it been a contact practice (most players wore only jerseys, some wore shells). On the next play, Rambo made a good break on the ball and should have intercepted it, but the ball slipped through his hands. One of the biggest things secondary coach Raheem Morris has seemed to stressing to Rambo and Thomas is the need for them to be vocal in the secondary as they communicate with their fellow defensive backs – calling out coverages and adjustments – and the linebackers. This remains a work in progress, but the kids are getting there.

● During a later portion in practice, the Redskins had a super young secondary on the field with Rambo, Thomas, David Amerson and Chase Minnifield (all first-year players) as the safeties and cornerbacks. E.J. Biggers (a fourth-year pro) served as nickelback.

● Amerson displayed his leaping ability, plucking a Rex Grossman pass out of the air before it could reach Santana Moss could even attempt to make a play on the ball. Morris chastised Amerson for not taking off for the end zone after he snagged the pass, however.

● Kirk Cousins said he isn’t sure exactly how much he will play Thursday, although Mike Shanahan had somewhere between 10 and 15 plays, but possibly a little more. Cousins hasn’t had the sharpest of camps, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does in the game. He hasn’t been the accurate on a consistent basis, and on Tuesday, he had two passes batted down at the line of scrimmage.

● Left tackle Trent Williams still has his left wrist wrapped in a club cast for practices, but said he doesn’t know what the plan is for him for Thursday. If he doesn’t play, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. With Tom Compton and Xavier Nixon as Williams’ only backups, it would benefit both first-year players (Compton spent the bulk of last season on the practice squad, and Nixon is a rookie) to get as many snaps at that position as possible. You have to wonder if the Redskins have enough to get by at that position. Could they pick up a veteran left tackle when one gets cut after training camp as an insurance policy? That might not be a bad idea. But we’ll see over the next four weeks how much potential Compton and Nixon have to offer.

● One of the things I’m most curious to see Thursday is how the running backs do. It’s hard to get a feel for how well guys like rookies Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison are doing, because there hasn’t been any live tackling in these camp practices. Defenders will lay a shoulder on them, or wrap up and then immediately let a back go. Whether they get wrapped up or not, the backs always run out a play. So, game action is where we’ll get a real feel for what they have to offer.

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 | @D3Keith @Insider | @PostSports

What’s ahead:
● Wednesday, the team has a walk-through, preparing for Thursday’s preseason opener in Tennessee.

● Camp in Richmond resumes Saturday. If you’re headed there, check our our guide to training camp for tips on getting autographs, where to park and things to do after the session is over.

● Posts Thursday morning on the rookies in the secondary and Tom Compton.

More on the Redskins and NFL:

DE Golston is always there for the Redskins

CB Hall won’t play against the Titans

Cousins unsure how much time he’ll log in Tennessee | All Insider posts

D.C. Sports Bog: Snyder says Richmond has been ‘spectacular’ | More Bog & Redskins

The Early Lead: Manning brothers “rap” for DirecTV | Around the NFL

Training camp photo galleries: Aug. 3 to present | Start of camp through Aug. 2

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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Mark Maske · August 6, 2013

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