(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Mike Jones gives his top three takeaways from Day 2 at Redskins training camp

1. Sparkplug Swearinger: Jay Gruden called new safety D.J. Swearinger the player who has impressed him the most during offseason practices and training camp, and it’s clear to see why. The fifth-year veteran brings a couple of much-needed elements that the defense has lacked on the back end: Instincts, athleticism, passion and leadership. All of this comes naturally for Swearinger, but you see him growing into his role as each day passes.

Friday, he was as vocal as he has ever been. He frequently recognized the intentions of the offense, directing traffic to set his teammates up to make plays, making plays of his own and firing up teammates and riling up opponents alike. In the past, the Redskins may have had veterans at safety, but they were aging and had limited playmaking ability. Or maybe they had players who were converted cornerbacks still learning a new position, creating a challenge to lead as effectively. The confidence and passion that Swearinger brings goes a long way, teammates say. “D.J.’s our sparkplug,” said Su’a Cravens, who is absorbing as much knowledge as possible and also feeds off Swearinger’s energy.

2. An extra coach: Jay Gruden had noted that the Redskins want DeAngelo Hall on the field, but also said that even if it takes Hall longer to return from his ACL rehab, Washington still would benefit from his presence alone. Hall subsequently showed why the coach said that.

The cornerback-turned-safety has taken seventh-round pick Joshua Holsey under his wing. In Friday’s practice, Hall stood on the sideline closest to Holsey’s side and barked out instructions, alerting Holsey to changes he needed to make based on what Hall saw. In between plays, Hall offered explanations to Holsey on how to improve his anticipation and recognition so he can react more quickly.

“It’s all day, every day. That’s just D-Hall. It’s what he does best. He takes us under his wing, brings the knowledge as he sees those little things that I might not see while on the field, and he takes me to the side and corrects it right away,” Holsey said.

On one play, Holsey actually had good coverage on his own man, but the quarterback went to the other side. Hall yelled for the Auburn product to forget about his man since the quarterback had committed to where he was going and to take an angle further upfield so as to be in position to provide help in coverage. Hall helped him understand how to better read the play and identify where the ball was going, and Holsey is apparently absorbing the knowledge well. He had two interceptions on the day, one came later in practice as he read the quarterback and realized the receiver was running the wrong route. Holsey broke on the ball and made a diving catch.

3. Galette’s burst: Junior Galette on Friday looked as good as at any point this year. When the Redskins started spring practices, the pass-rusher exhibited some rust, understandable considering he hasn’t played a game in two years thanks to back-to-back Achilles’ tendon tears. But as the weeks have progressed, Galette has regained his speed.

On Friday, Galette fired off the ball from his trademark low-crouch four-point stance, causing problems as both a rusher and run-stopper. On one snap during 1-on-1 drills, Galette gave left tackle Trent Williams his first challenge of camp, getting outside, turning the corner and getting upfield. Williams had to scramble to recover. Galette wouldn’t have gotten a sack, but he definitely would have gotten a pressure. It’ll be interesting to see how things progress here.

Galette currently is slotted behind Preston Smith, but Williams has had his way with the third-year pro. Unlike Smith, who often gets off the line and tends to almost stand straight up then stutter-steps while trying to decide how to attack, Galette has no wasted movements. In another drill, against the massive Ty Nsekhe, Galette tried dipping to the inside and Nsekhe fended him off, but Galette recovered and got the tackle on his heels with a second effort.

Norman says he’s excited about new defense

Following the Redskins’ morning walk-through, cornerback Josh Norman fielded questions from the podium. He commented on his 2016 play and Odell Beckham Jr., among other topics — including how excited he is about the team’s new defensive scheme.

Norman will play more off-coverage in his second season with the team, a style of play that “goes right to the toolbox of what I like to do,” he said Friday.

The off technique, considered the most effective counter to deep completions, is best suited to defensive backs who have great anticipatory skill, quick reactions, exceptional change-of-direction ability and confidence. Norman, a 2015 Pro Bowl honoree, has plenty of all of those traits, but is particularly esteemed for his anticipatory skill — his near foreknowledge of where the quarterback is going with the ball.

Norman, who had three interceptions and defensed 19 passes last season, broke down the elements of his anticipatory skills following Friday morning’s walk-through at Redskins training camp.

Vision: That’s “God-gifted,” Norman said. But it’s on him, he says, to enhance his gifts by learning each game and each season where to lock his eyes and figure out immediately what his eyes are telling him.

Film study: Norman does plenty of that early in the week, studying quarterbacks’ tendencies, looking for any twitch or tic that telegraphs the throw and intended receiver.

Immediate memorization: It’s what sets Norman apart, the ability to turn his brain into a movie-camera once a game starts, mentally film each pass play and hit replay as the game goes along. “I see it. We come to it again, I’ve seen it before. Offenses repeat themselves so much, so you find the beat because you watched film study early on in the week. … A certain situation is telling me what is going to come and I trigger. I don’t even think about it. … You start remembering routes and combinations. That’s where you win.”

Gruden weighs in on several players during afternoon media session

Head coach Jay Gruden answered questions on several players Friday afternoon, praising the play of safety D.J. Swearinger, who signed in free agency. He also commented on the strength of rookie running back Samaje Perine and what he’s looking for out of third-year outside linebacker Preston Smith.

Liz Clarke has more on Swearinger here.

Position battle: Outside linebacker

There is a position battle going on to see which outside linebacker earns the starting job opposite Ryan Kerrigan, and third-year player Preston Smith is one of the contenders. But he has a tough task in going against left tackle Trent Williams in practice. Junior Galette, meanwhile, looks good after missing the last two seasons due to injury.

Will Compton on new defensive coordinator: “We all can’t wait to play for him”

One of the most competitive position battles in Redskins camp this season will take place at inside linebacker. Will Compton was a starter there last season and was the defensive captain, recording a career-high 106 tackles, five passes defended, a fumble and an interception in 15 games. He signed his low-round tender in April so he could come back to Washington, but his starting job is up for grabs, as he will compete against six-year player Zach Brown and seven-year player Mason Foster. Brown signed a one-year deal after making the Pro-Bowl in 2016 for the Buffalo Bills.

“Everybody’s rotating getting reps, so we’ll see how everything unfolds,” Compton said. “I feel like we’re really deep at this position and have to make it hard on the coach.”

Compton also commented on new defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, who will replace Joe Barry after the latter was fired in January. Manusky was the outside linebackers coach last season.

“Manusky brings a lot of energy to the table, a lot of enthusiasm, sharp guy, has a little bit more of an aggressive style, but I know we all can’t wait to play for him,” said Compton. “Both are really good systems, it’s just a matter of play styles and play calling and things like that.”

We’ll start things off by taking one fan question: Can wide receivers Terrelle Pryor Sr. and Josh Doctson match the production of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon from last year?

Master Tesfatsion: This is a good question, and probably the most significant issue on offense. Jackson and Garcon recorded more than 1,000 receiving yards last season. They combined for 135 receptions (on 214 targets) for 2,046 yards and seven touchdowns. Jackson is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Garcon is with the San Francisco 49ers.

Pryor, who was acquired during free agency, just came off his first 1,000-yard season in a Cleveland Browns offense that lacked weapons and solid quarterback play. I believe he’s capable of similar production this season. He has great size — 6-foot-4, 228 pounds — and the speed to stretch defenses down the field.

The wild card is Doctson, who played just two games as a rookie. His footwork and ability to change speeds and direction were exceptional during the first day of practice on Thursday, but who knows whether that will translate to the regular season.

I’ve seen this conversation play out throughout the offseason, with very few people accounting for Jamison Crowder’s increased role. He had 67 receptions (on 99 targets) for 847 yards and seven touchdowns as a slot receiver. Crowder is going to receive snaps at outside receiver this year, and I expect him to get more than 100 targets and 1,000 yards this year if he stays healthy.

That increase in production means he will take snaps away from someone else. Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said he will use Doctson exclusively at the outside “Z” position to start and go from there, so he doesn’t currently have the flexibility to move into the slot as Pryor can (and as the Redskins said he would when they signed him).

So, I think Pryor and Doctson can combine for seven touchdowns (and maybe even more), but I don’t think Pryor and Doctson can account for 135 receptions and 2,046 yards assuming everyone (especially tight end Jordan Reed) stays healthy. However, Crowder’s increased role should be enough to make up the difference.

What you missed

Su’a Cravens is playing safety, which is where he belongs with the Redskins

In Year 2 with Redskins, Josh Norman ready to show “that fire you just can’t coach”

Three things we learned from Day 1 of Redskins training camp

Day 1 recap of Redskins training camp, with all the news, analysis and takeaways

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is “in a good place” playing on a one-year deal as Redskins camp opens

Virginia Governor on Redskins: “You’re going to see this team move to Virginia”

Training camp Q&A: Coming off a Thailand trip, Kendall Fuller ready to get back to work

What to do in Richmond during Redskins training camp