Gruden: Rookie class did ‘okay’ on Day 1 of Redskins training camp practices


Rookie Moses Morgan (right) had his hands full against veteran Trent Williams on Day 1 of training camp. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

RICHMOND – Coach Jay Gruden gave a lukewarm response when asked for his assessment of how his rookie class fared on their first practice of training camp.

When the Redskins broke for their summer break back on June 19, the team’s 15 rookies still remained very much in the learning process.

The five-week break gave the players some time away, but also hurt continuity, and led to some mistakes.

“Eh, I thought they did okay,” Gruden said. “We had a few mental [errors] here and there, but that’s to be expected Day 1. It wasn’t as crisp as I would’ve liked – the tempo and all that stuff. But overall, if you’re watching the tape – initially, I felt that while watching it out here, I was a little disappointed in the whole thing – but going back and watching it on tape, there were some good things that everybody did.”

Fifth-round pick Ryan Grant provided one of the rookie class highlights as the Tulane wide receiver – while matched up with rookie cornerback Bashaud Breeland (a fourth-round pick out of Clemson) – ran a crisp comeback route and shook Breeland (partially taking advantage of the slippery surface) to make a nice catch.

But second-round pick Trent Murphy had some struggles. The most glaring error came on a play where he lost contain on the edge and wound up allowing a 70-yard scramble pass. Meanwhile, third-round pick Morgan Moses struggled at left tackle for much of the day.

Gruden chalked some of the struggles up to Day 1 conditions, inexperience and rust. But he did say the 15-member rookie class must do better as a whole.

“There obviously were some things we needed to improve on, but I’ll say that after every practice,” Gruden said. “But the rookies did a fine job with the reps they had. We’ve just got to continue to harp that some of these guys aren’t going to get many reps, and when they do get reps they need to take advantage of it. That’s what they have to do in order to catch our eye and make this football team.”

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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Mike Jones · July 24, 2014