RICHMOND – The Washington Redskins didn’t prepare for Monday’s 11-on-11 drills against the New England Patriots. No scouting reports were provided to coaches. Players were not briefed on the Patriots’ tendencies.
“It was basically just backyard football,” outside linebacker Ryan Kerrgian said.
That established, the Redskins have some heavy lifting to do. The Patriots exposed areas the Redskins must shore up before they kick off the regular season Sept. 7 against the Houston Texans. For the Redskins, the good news is that they have time to get things right. They should start on defense.
Facing the Redskins’ first-string defense, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady torched the secondary. The future Hall of Famer often targeted second-year cornerback David Amerson.
Typically accurate on the short routes that are a staple of the Patriots’ offense, Brady controlled Washington’s defense. From start to finish, Amerson appeared out of sync. It was as tough as it looked, Amerson acknowledged.
“He caught us off guard,” Amerson said. “We’ve got to do a better job communicating the calls. Guys didn’t really know what to expect.”
Throughout training camp, Amerson and No. 1 corner DeAngelo Hall have performed well against deep balls. Often, Coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay have tested Hall and Amerson, sending wideout DeSean Jackson on long routes. The Patriots took a different approach.
Brady played catch with receivers, who regularly completed their routes in front of defensive backs. On some plays, the Redskins also appeared to be confused about coverage responsibilities. For any defense, that’s a big problem against a Brady-led offense.
“Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Everybody knows that,” Amerson said. “You can really see it. He takes command of the offense. He knows what’s going on … and dissects the coverage.”
In fairness to the Redskins, Brady is beginning his 15th season in the Patriots’ offense. It would have been surprising if he hadn’t looked sharp.
“Quick tempo, precise passes, good routes,” Hall said of the Patriots’ offense. “We got some good work.”
They need a lot more.
The Redskins’ second joint practice with the New England Patriots on Monday is at 4:10 p.m. Here’s our camp guide, if you’re planning to attend.
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