But later, after receiving several words of wisdom and encouragement from veterans DeAngelo Hall, Trent Williams and Vernon Davis, Breeland settled down. He sat in the ice tub, listening to music and browsing social media, and an hour later, he was the first player on the field, working on his skills 30 minutes before the start of practice. Breeland made some nice plays during one-on-one drills, especially as he defended a slant route taken by Ryan Grant. (Grant later hauled in a crazy one-handed touchdown catch against Breeland.) In team drills, Breeland again played well, turning in some of his most consistent work of camp. That included an interception on a third-down pass across the middle from Kirk Cousins. Breeland jumped the route and raced toward the end zone.
This is Breeland in a nutshell. He’s a passionate kid who loves football, wants to be great and wants to be appreciated. But at times, he probably cares too much, and he lets his emotions get the best of him because he doesn’t yet know how to consistently channel those frustrations into motivation. Coach Jay Gruden said the Redskins don’t have a problem on their hands, even though Breeland has had similar eruptions in the past. Everyone gets a little overly emotional at times, the coach said. Today, it was Breeland. (Note: Guard Shawn Lauvao had to be separated from a scrum with defensive players after one 11-on-11 play. Lauvao’s helmet was ripped off, and it took a while for him to settle down. Breeland had a laugh, almost seeming relieved that he wasn’t the only one to have gotten worked up on the day).
2. Murphy thriving: Preston Smith’s ankle injury and a rest day for Ryan Kerrigan meant more first-team work for Trent Murphy, and the fourth-year linebacker made the most of it, turning in strong performances against the pass and the run. It wasn’t the first quality day for Murphy, but he seems to be executing at a high level on a more consistent basis.
Murphy will miss the first four regular season games while serving a suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. Murphy said the failed test stemmed from a tainted supplement. He is really motivated to prove himself and duplicate last year’s eight-sack performance. Murphy can play in the preseason, and then if he keeps on like this, he’ll unload with a head full of steam in Week 6, once the Redskins return from their Week 5 bye.
3. Third-down packages: Players describe Greg Manusky’s defense as more aggressive than Joe Barry’s. The system itself has similarities, but the approach features more aggression, particularly on third downs.
On Monday, while working on third-down situations, Manusky moved linebackers all around: Inside linebackers stunted to the outside, outside linebackers flipped inside. Linemen stunted, overloaded to one side and then to another. Cornerbacks came on blitzes, as did safeties.
It’ll be interesting to see whether this aggressive approach in practice carries over into games. The defense has to trust its corners to be able to send safety pressure, and it has to have confidence in its safeties’ coverage skills to send the corners on blitzes. Don’t look for much of this to be on display in the preseason, but they’ll probably dial it all up in Week 1.
Gruden downplays Breeland’s walk-through incident
Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said before practice that the issue with cornerback Bashaud Breeland during Monday morning’s walk-through with wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. “has been resolved, hopefully. They just had a little argument. It happens, so we just cooled it down, stopped the drill for ’em and let somebody else take the reps.”
Gruden believes that the entire team, not just Breeland, is emotional at this point in training camp and downplayed the significance of Breeland’s outburst. The Redskins were entering their 10th practice Monday, and they have yet to play another opponent. Their first preseason game isn’t until Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens.
“It”ll be our fourth year together, so we’ve got a good sense of who Bashaud is,” Gruden said. “I really do. I think he’s a really competitive individual and wants to be great. I have no problem with that. Sometimes it does get a little heated from time to time, as do a lot of other guys — as do I. We’ve just got to channel our emotions and take it out on the other team, not on our own players.”
Bashaud Breeland kicked off field by Jay Gruden during walk-through
Cornerback Bashaud Breeland was sidelined during the middle of the Washington Redskins’ walk-through Monday morning for his behavior during an on-field rep. Breeland tried to be physical with wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. during a red-zone play, which led to a brief argument on the field before Redskins Coach Jay Gruden yelled, “Get me another corner.”
Breeland, 25, walked around the sideline as Redskins director of player development Malcolm Blacken, left tackle Trent Williams, safety DeAngelo Hall, tight ends Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis, and nose tackle Phil Taylor Sr. attempted to help calm him down.
“I’ve been through it,” said Davis, who early in his career was tossed out of a game by then-coach Mike Singletary with the San Francisco 49ers. “I used to be the one fighting and all those things. If I can help calm it down and just talk to guys and say, ‘Hey, look, make sure you’re focused on what you need to focus on. Take care of your responsibilities, and everything else will work out for itself.’ Just love, nothing but love out here. Just love one another and compete. Whatever happens, yeah, just calm down and get back to where you started.”
Breeland didn’t talk to the media after the walk-through. While the reason for his frustration is unclear, he posted a screenshot of a CSN blog post about him on Instagram before the walk-through and indirectly mentioned it on Twitter.
“You’ve got to talk to that man about that,” cornerback Josh Norman said. “I’m sure people will put their hands around him. But who knows, man. You never know what’s going on in a person’s insides. But, like I said, you might have to talk to him about that. Like I said, I don’t think there’s an issue with Bashaud. It’s just what you saw happen and who knows. You don’t know what a person is going through at that time. You’ll just have to ask him.”
Josh Doctson update
Wide receiver Josh Doctson missed the end of Sunday’s practice and was being evaluated for a hamstring injury. He’s day-to-day because of a hamstring strain, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
What you missed over the weekend
Redskins Coach Jay Gruden will speak to the media from the podium at 2:45 p.m., followed by the team’s practice at 3 p.m. There’s a chance for inclement weather during practice. If the threat is too severe, the Redskins will have a closed walk-through session at an off-site location.