RICHMOND – At long last, the Redskins had their complete starting defense on the field for the first time in training camp thanks to the healthy – at least for now – returns of cornerback DeAngelo Hall and strong safety Brandon Meriweather. It only took 10 practices for the Redskins to get that full unit on the field. They opened camp with Josh Wilson on the PUP list, and then Wilson returned, but Meriweather suffered a setback to his surgically-repaired right knee. Then, the next practice, Hall sprained his ankle. Meriweather missed six straight practices, and Hall five, but Monday gave a glimpse of what we could possibly see this season.
● Meriweather looked aggressive and appeared to move better than he has in the last week. As always, he brought the energy, jawing with offensive teammates and barking out calls to his teammates. At one point Meriweather heckled Donte Stallworth at the end of a catch-and-run, warning him that he and Hall could have lit the receiver up had it been a game. Later, Meriweather held up in his pursuit of Robert Griffin III, who scrambled a few yards before sliding to protect himself. Meriweather laughed and patted Griffin on the head, telling him he had done the right thing.
● Hall was a little feisty himself. He popped Roy Helu good on a seven-on-seven play. The running back catch a pass in the flat from Griffin and then turn upfield only to draw a good hit from Hall. Later, on a separate play, Hall got into a brief scuffle with tight end Logan Paulsen after Paulsen hit Hall hit a little harder than the cornerback believed he deserved to.
● Josh Wilson had two interceptions on the day. The first came on a pass intended for Leonard Hankerson, who got his hands on the ball, but couldn’t hold on. Wilson was trailing Hankerson on the comeback route, and the ball dropped into his hands. Hankerson tried to make the tackle, but London Fletcher ran up and leveled the receiver. Later, while facing the Kirk Cousins-led first-team offense as the unit tried to get into field goal range with less than a minute left on the clock, Wilson came up with another interception on second-and-3 from the 43-yard line.
● Rookie running back Chris Thompson (knee) was back in pads after missing five practices, letting some soreness and tightness subside. The Florida State product has a great burst of speed that nobody on the team seems to have, and you can see how he can help the team on pitches or passes out of the backfield. He turns the corner and accelerates quickly, making defenders miss. He’s generously listed as 5-foot-8, and gets swallowed up by defenders on some run plays, but if the Redskins can get him into space, he could do some damage. He just has to prove he can stay healthy.
● Redskins great John Riggins paid the team a visit, watching practice both in the morning and the afternoon sessions.
● Some of the wide receivers put on a show during an unguarded goal-line reception drill early in practice. Josh Morgan caught a slant pass and then rose up and authoritatively dunked the ball over the crossbar. The 6-foot-1 Morgan came down, flexed and then jogged back in line. Next up, the 6-foot-2 Lance Lewis caught his pass and went with a windmill dunk. Not to be outdone, 5-foot-10 Nick Williams caught his pass and displayed his ups with a dunk as well. Leonard Hankerson ended the streak. The 6-foot-2 wideout caught his pass, then half-jogged, looking at the crossbar, but only half-heartedly tossed the ball up into the air in that direction.
● Phillip Thomas played with the second team for the first half of practice, but then took over for Meriweather in the second 11-on-11 stint of practice. On one stretch play, he took the perfect angle, met Thompson in the hole and delivered a big hit, drawing the praise of Raheem Morris. Next play, Thompson crept forward into the box, between the inside linebackers, but didn’t get sucked in further on the play-action fake-handoff, Thomas read the quarterback’s eyes and quickly moved over to his right where he would’ve met Santana Moss with a jarring hit had he not pulled up just as Moss dropped the pass.
● Robert Griffin III went 13-for-16 with an interception and one run during seven-on-seven drills. His interception came on a pass that zipped off Moss’ hands and straight into the air. Moss tried to snag the ball on the second effort, but ended up tipping it up again. This time backup inside linebacker Will Compton plucked it out of the air for the INT. Griffin looked as good as he has all of camp, planting and throwing with good velocity. He really seemed to drive the ball, stepping into his throws with explosion. One incompletion came when Griffin put the ball in a perfect spot for Hankerson to get on an out-route, and the receiver got both hands on the ball, but couldn’t make the catch. The other incompletion came when Griffin overthrew Aldrick Robinson. Griffin’s best throw was a 20-yard dart to Pierre Garcon on a seam route.
● Kai Forbath went 5-for-7 on field goal attempts, making kicks of 30, 36, 42, 44 and 47 yards. He had a miss from 58 yards out – the kick sailing wide right. Later, at the end of practice with his team working to get into field goal range with a minute left on the clock, Pat White got Washington in range for a 52-yard field goal with six seconds left and the clocking winding down. But only three seconds remained by the time the entire field goal unit made it onto the field, and the operation was rushed and Forbath came up short by about two yards. Afterwards, he was visibly frustrated as he discussed the snap, hold and placement with Nick Sundberg and Sav Rocca. His competitor, John Potter, went 3-for-4 with makes of 28, 42 and 47 yards, but missed wide left from 32 yards out.
● Guard Josh LeRibeus hyper-extended his right knee while caught in a scrum during a run play. He said afterwards that he expected to be fine. With LeRibeus out, second-year pro Tom Compton (usually second-team left tackle) slid in at left guard, and Xavier Nixon played left tackle.
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● Tuesday’s practices are at 10 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, the team is off, and Thursday they are in Tennessee for the preseason opener. Camp in Richmond resumes Saturday. 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.
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