Open locker room: News and notes from Monday at Redskins Park


Silas Redd. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Redskins got back to work Monday after receiving the day off on Sunday. They began laying the groundwork for this coming Sunday’s regular season opener at Houston.

Here are some nuggets from Jay Gruden’s press conference and from today’s open locker room session.

● Gruden sees strong safety Duke Ihenacho (claimed Sunday off of waivers) as “an immediate help.” The Redskins need help at strong safety with Brandon Meriweather suspended for the first two games. Gruden isn’t sure how much Ihenacho will contribute on defense this week, but does believe he will at least be used on special teams.

● Speaking for the first time on the team’s roster cuts, Gruden said team brass was committed to taking the best players available, and that they didn’t care where players were drafted. Washington cut three draft picks in tight end Ted Bolser, Lache Seastrunk and Zach Hocker.

● Gruden said Seastrunk has great speed and ability, but has a long way to go, and “we just felt to go in a different direction at this time.”

● Linebacker Darryl Sharpton’s high-ankle sprain is still slowly healing, and so general manager Bruce Allen, head trainer Larry Hess and Sharpton’s agent Drew Rosenhaus felt like putting him on IR was the best move.

● Cornerback Tracy Porter re-injured his hamstring on Saturday and didn’t practice on Monday. Safety Phillip Thomas (practice squad) remains sidelined by his foot injury.

● Gruden said Hocker did well this preseason, but “in order to beat the champion, you’ve got to out-kick him. Quite frankly, Kai did a nice job.”

● Gruden says Robert Griffin III is “in a good place,” and that the coach’s goal is to make the comfortable by formulating a good game plan tailored to what he does best, and set him up for as much success as possible in the opener.

● Ihenacho said he was “blessed” to get snatched up by the Redskins, and that he’ll work hard and try to take advantage of the hole left by Meriweather’s suspension. He just got here this morning, so he had only received a very small introduction to the system, and he doesn’t know how long it’ll take for him to get caught up to speed. He said it’ll be simple for him to figure out what spot to stand in and then go after a guy and hit him, which is what he’ll do until he fully learns the defense.

● Silas Redd said he didn’t know if he had made the team when he got here on Saturday, but that he made it into the locker room without being stopped and then he went to Gruden’s office to be sure and then thanked him, then went and talked to running back coach Randy Jordan.

● Cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson this week will split the field in half. Hall will not chase Andre Johnson and other No. 1 receivers around as he did last year. Coaches have that much confidence in Amerson, who is excited and said he welcomes the challenge.

● Kai Forbath remained confident in himself and abilities, but came to Redskins Park unsure if he would make the team. He said “when they let me down the stairs,” he knew he was on the roster.

● Punter Tress Way went to Union High School in Oklahoma. The mascot was the Redskins. Part of fight song was, “All my life I want to be a Redskin.” Way has a younger brother, Cole, who is a 6-foot-10 pitcher in the Kansas City Royals organization. Cole used to be a punter before choosing baseball instead.

● Gruden said the Redskins still plan on signing safety Akeem Davis to the practice squad after waiving him to make room for Ihenacho.

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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