On Day 2 Redskins and Patriots stress red zone, third down, two-minute drill


Washington and New England worked on special teams yesterday. Today they’ll work on red zone, third downs and two-minute drills in joint practice. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

RICHMOND — Having drilled basic plays on the first of their three-day joint practice with the Washington Redskins, New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said that the teams will focus on special situations in Tuesday’s lone practice, working on red zone, third-down and two-minute drills.

Given Belichick’s monotone delivery in speaking to reporters, his enthusiasm didn’t necessarily jump out. But Belichick made clear that the repetitions his first-team players will get working against the Redskins’ first team here in Richmond, in many ways, is more valuable than the upcoming preseason games.

In preseason games, it’s rare that first-team players face special situations numerous times.

But in the joint practice, they’ll get as many as coaches order up.

“That’s where a lot of the value comes on this,” Belichick said. “We might get a handful of red-area plays in the preseason, but we know we’re going to get 25 here. Same thing with third down. By the end of the week we’ll probably have 30 third-down situations here. You just can’t get the reps in a preseason game like you do out here in practice.

Belichick offered no update on the health of tight end Rob Gronkowski, other than to confirm he wouldn’t take part in practice for a second straight day.

On Day 2 of the joint workouts, the Redskins’ defense hopes to do a better job countering the Patriots’ quick strike offense, which left Washington’s linemen looking winded and caught the secondary flat-footed in spots.

Asked what he thought of Redskins strong safety Brandon Meriweather, who played for the Patriots from 2007 to ’10, Belichick said that evaluating Redskins players “is not really what I’m here for.” He went on to note that Meriweather went to two Pro Bowls in his time with the Patriots and called him a tough, physical and very smart player with good football instincts.

Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.

What’s ahead:

The Redskins’ lone joint practice with the New England Patriots on Tuesday began at 1:35 p.m.; Wednesday, it’s at 8:35 a.m. Here’s our camp guide.

Also from The Post:

Meriweather optimistic about move to strong safety

Mailbag: On Patriots practice and Ryan Clark

Bog: Patriots, Redskins Web sites have different takes on practices

Redskins get an up-close look at the Patriots | Photo gallery

More NFL: Home page | D.C. Sports Bog | The Early Lead | Fancy Stats | Fantasy

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @lizclarketweet | @JReidPost | @Insider

Photo gallery:

Liz Clarke currently covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. She has also covered seven Olympic Games, two World Cups and written extensively about college sports, tennis and auto racing.

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Mike Jones · August 5, 2014

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