Redskins

Quick Links

Redskins practice report, Day 5: RG3 sharp in 2-minute work

rg3-pads-practice.png

Redskins practice report, Day 5: RG3 sharp in 2-minute work

RICHMOND—It was hot again today as the Redskins end a stretch of five straight practice days. Here are my observations from the afternoon practice:

—The Redskins practiced in true full pads for the first time today, including pants with the mandated pads in them. They picked probably the hottest afternoon so far to so that.

Bill Callahan got into Arie Kouandjio during position drills, not happy with the rookie’s technique. He’s a rookie, it happens.

Matt Jones, who has a sore knee, was observing practice today, standing on the field. Although you never know, that indicates to me that his injury isn’t too serious.

Alfred Morris caught a short pass from Robert Griffin III just past the line and quickly turned it upfield for a nice gain. If he can develop into at least an average back in terms of catching passes he could earn himself a nice free agent contract next spring. But he often looks like a good receiver in the summer and we don’t see it in the fall.

—Working with the second team offense, Silas Redd found nothing on a run to the left side as Preston Smith led a group of defenders in knocking him down for a loss. On the next snap, he found the going easier on the right side as he quickly popped through the hole on the next play.

—A few plays later in the same full team session, Kirk Cousins stepped up in the pocket and fired to Pierre Garçon. The receiver got it between the “8” and the “8” on his jersey for about 20 yards

—Smith had a good day after some tough ones in the one-on-one pass blocking drill. On one play he pushed back Takoby Cofield, who looked like he was on roller skates, back to the quarterback. A few plays later the same two matched up and Smith dismissed the tackle with a quick inside move. Smith displaying both power and quickness.

Stephen Paea also has tremendous power and good moves. He easily shook off Tom Compton in the pass block drill with a quick move and burst to the quarterback.

—Overall, the blockers held their own and then some. That drill strongly favors the defense since there is no deception on the play and no double teams are allowed.

Chris Thompson made a nice red zone run. He took a handoff and went up the middle, zigzagging his way through defenders for about 10 yards.

—Thompson does have some work to do in pass protection. Keenan Robinson blew past him and chased Griffin to the right. The quarterback was able to get rid of the ball, throwing an incompletion downfield.

—Griffin and DeSean Jackson had one chance to connect deep but David Amerson was with the receiver step for step. The pass traveled about 55 yards downfield but it was a bit too long. Amerson, though, tumbled to the ground and appeared to injure his shoulder. He left practice and did not return.

—In a two-minute drill in the last session of practice, Griffin went eight for eight, although it should be noted that it looked like he was past the line of scrimmage on a shovel pass and Ryan Kerrigan could easily have sacked him on another. But he was sharp, hitting Niles Paul for a long gain inside the 10. Griffin finished off the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Grant.

—Cousins was not sharp initially when the second-team offense went into the two-minute drill. He went to throw a deep out but his eyes gave the pass away and he wound up for it too much. That enabled Chris Baker to get a hand up and bat it away.

—But a few plays later he fired a pass to Jamison Crowder on the sideline. It was just beyond the reach of a defender and Crowder snatched it out of the air for a long gain.

Quick Links

The Cardinals could be the cure to the Redskins' pass rushing issues

kerrigan-manning-sack-redskins-giants-usat.png
USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals could be the cure to the Redskins' pass rushing issues

The Redskins have not had a very good year when it comes to sacking the opposing quarterback. They have 31 sacks for the season, 17th in the NFL.

They had a then-NFL best 32-game streak with at least one sack came to an end in Week 10 against the Vikings.

Ryan Kerrigan is doing well with 9.0 sacks to his credit. Preston Smith has five but only a half since Week 6. Matt Ioannidis and Jonathan Allen were forming a solid interior pass rush tandem early in the year but Allen went on injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury and Ioannidis suffered a broken hand that limited his playing time and effectiveness.

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

But the cure to the Redskins’ pass-rushing ills just may be coming to town on Sunday in the form of the Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

The Cardinals have given up 44 sacks on the season; that’s 31st in the NFL.

Things have gotten worse in the last couple of weeks, with Gabbert going down a combined 15 times against the Rams and Titans.

If you think that the Cardinals may have hit rock bottom, consider that two starters, left tackle Jared Veldheer and right guard Earl Watford, won’t be playing due to injuries.

Will Holden, a rookie fifth-round pick, will start at left tackle and Evan Boehm, who lost his job to Watford earlier this season, will be the right guard.

Of course, the Redskins have to go out and make it happen. The entire Cowboys offense was slumping until they met the Redskins a couple of weeks ago. They can’t be a haven for a struggling unit once again.

In any case, it is an opportunity that is in front of the Redskins. It’s up to them to take advantage of it.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Quick Links

Need to Know: State of the Redskins, Week 15—Looking for motivation

cousins_sacked_vs_lac_usat.png
USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: State of the Redskins, Week 15—Looking for motivation

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 14, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Cardinals at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky news conferences and open locker room after practice, approx. 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 10
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 17
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 133

State of the Redskins

Top storylines

Jobs on the line? It’s been the conventional wisdom that the jobs of Jay Gruden and his staff are safe, barring a complete collapse at the end of the year. Well, after two ugly losses we are 40 percent of the way to a complete collapse. The Redskins don’t even have to look good down the stretch, they just need to win two of the final three and be competitive in the other. Gruden might be able to survive a couple more games like the Cowboys and Chargers debacles but if that happens I wouldn’t want to be him on January 1, the day after the season ends.

Shutdowns started—Jordan Reed going on injured reserve could be the first of a few moves to end the seasons of players who won’t be healthy in time to play in more than one or two games. It lets the player dive into rehab and it lets the team sign and get a look at a player who can stay on the roster through the offseason and compete for a roster spot in 2018. There could be more coming up until Week 17.

Playing out the string—Last week, when the Redskins were technically alive for the playoffs they apparently couldn’t muster enough motivation to prepare properly. It will be interesting to see how they react this week with their playoff odds reduced to zero.

Last three games

Sunday vs. Cardinals (6-7)—The Cardinals have fallen even further than the Redskins. Two years ago, they were on their way to a first-round bye and an appearance in the NFC title game. This season they are 6-7 after suffering from a raft of injuries, including losing their starting QB and All-Pro running back David Johnson. Can two teams with nothing to play for put on an entertaining show?

Christmas Eve vs. Broncos (4-9)—And in comes another team that has fallen even further and harder. The Broncos were lifting the Super Bowl Trophy two years ago. Now, the defense that spearheaded that run is still solid but without a reliable quarterback, they are having issues. At this point, your guess at if it will be Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian, or Brock Osweiler starting at quarterback is as good as mine.

New Year’s Eve @ Giants (2-11)—Will this game be bye-bye to Eli? Changes are coming to New York and Manning, sometimes a Redskins nemesis and sometimes a player who gift-wrapped wins for Washington, could be on the way out. The Redskins could be playing to avoid the kind of upheaval that has already begun in the Big Apple.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it