The Redskins had their first OTA session that was open to the media under sunny skies and very warm temperatures. Here are some of my observations.
—RB Chris Thompson was on the field but he was in a track suit. He likely will be out until training camp as he rehabs after shoulder surgery.
—Josh Doctson participated only on a very limited basis but he showed off his impressive catch radius. Most think of that in terms of going up for a ball and plucking it out of the air. But on one pass from Cousins Doctson reached back towards the quarterback and grabbed the ball. Had he caught it close to his body the defensive back would have knocked it away.
—Doctson’s participation was very limited as he has a sore Achilles.
—Su’a Cravens lined up with the second team at inside linebacker. It looks like he will be taught the defense from the outside in.
—Willie Jefferson, who has bounced around with the Texans, Bills, and CFL Eskimos, was with the second team at left linebacker. The team is looking for a fourth OLB for the season so keep an eye on Jefferson.
—The first team defensive line was, from left to right, Chris Baker, Kedric Golston, and Kendall Reyes.
—DeAngelo Hall and David Bruton were the safeties with the first team. Jay Gruden said that they are penciled in there with an emphasis on “penciled”. Although it seems like that Hall will stay at free safety it seems that we have a long way to go before we know who the strong will be.
—It was somewhat surprising to see Niles Paul participating in 11 on 11 drills; it was thought that he would wait until training camp for such activities to make sure that his ankle had healed properly. But he was in there and he made a nice catch falling to the ground.
—Back returning punts were Will Blackmon, WR Maurice Harris, Jamison Crowder, Rashad Ross and CB Dashaun Phillips.
—Ross muffed a punt and later in team drills he dropped a pass and had the ball knocked out of his hands after making a catch. It was not a good day for a player who is not a lock for a roster spot.
—Another surprising participant in team drills was Kendall Fuller, who had microfracture knee surgery last fall. He was all over the field, a very encouraging sign.
—Preston Smith can move out in pass coverage. He was covering Reed on a route down the sideline and was with him all the way, along with some deep help.
—Reed made an impressive effort to catch the ball with a dive but he couldn’t quite get there. It was an impressive effort for the second day of OTAs nevertheless.
—Quinton Dunbar was the takeaway champ of the day, picking off two passes. The first one was an impressive, diving grab as he cut in front of Maurice Harris.