The Redskins hit the fields for the final minicamp practice on Wednesday and the defense clearly outplayed the offense. In a way, it's a bit more fun when the defense is outplaying the offense in practice. Defensive players tend to hoot and holler a bit more, especially as the team makes big plays and turnovers.
That happened plenty Wednesday, with Kirk Cousins clearly forcing some deep throws and throwing two interceptions on top of a few others that could have been picked off. The best line overheard as minicamp concluded though belonged to D.J. Swearinger.
As the offense worked near the goal line, Cousins called his own number on a zone read carry. Remember, there is no hitting in minicamp, but had their been, Swearinger would have been in position for a downhill collision.
#Redskins run Cousins zone read near goal line. Defense can't hit. "Yeah Kirk - gonna get your block knocked off" Swearinger in position— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) June 14, 2017
Other news and notes:
- Early in practice, Ryan Kerrigan quickly got around the corner on Morgan Moses. Remember, no pads, so don't take too much from it. That said, it does seem like the Redskins outside linebacker group could be a force. Last year the team put up Top 10 NFL sack totals and that could improve this fall.
- DeAngelo Hall might play safety now, but watch him on the sideline, and it's clear he still thinks like a cornerback. Throughout the minicamp session, Hall talks with the corners and offers advice. After the practice session, Hall explained that he likes talking with the corners, especially Quinton Dunbar and Bashaud Breeland. Hall explained Dunbar has all the tools but is still learning to switch after playing wideout in college. On Breeland, Hall said that the fourth-year CB out of Clemson can be one of the best when he's focused, but when he's not, "he is just a guy." Sounds like a future coach.
- Jordan Reed has been great. Vernon Davis has looked good. But damn if Niles Paul isn't impressing when he gets opportunities. Had another TD catch on Wednesday on a nice seam route where it looked like he got popped as he hit the end zone. Assuming the Redskins want to keep Jeremy Sprinkle, who hasn't impressed but is a raw rookie, Jay Gruden will have a very tough decision with his roster. Four tight ends seems like a possibility. Gruden on Paul: "He’s the hardest working guy here and he’s performed very well. He does some tight end, he does some fullback, he can split outside, very versatile. He’s also a key member of our special teams. He’s done excellent." And Cousins on Paul: "I thought he was very productive this spring. He probably did even more than I thought he would."
- Nico Marley running the huddle with the second-team defense? Nico Marley running the huddle with the second-team defense. The kid is charismatic and super quick sideline to sideline. Special teams is his only chance for a roster spot with the lack of size, but guys must like him.
- Josh Norman is confident the 2017 Redskins defense will be better than the 2016 Redskins defense. I agree. The cornerback continues to work on his off-man coverage, and on Tuesday had perhaps the most impressive defensive play of minicamp when he was able to highpoint a ball on Terrelle Pryor and break up a long pass on the sideline.
- When the Redskins signed 6-foot-5 Pryor, many thought he would instantly help the team in the red zone. That was on display Wednesday, when Cousins found Pryor on a simple slant from about the 5-yard-line that went for a TD. The play seemed effortless, and it was clearly the highlight of the day for the QB/WR duo. In fact, Cousins and Pryor seemed a bit out of sync much of the two-day minicamp, but remember, it's June. Don't be alarmed.
- Redskins WR coach Ike Hilliard talked about one big difference from 2016 to 2017 - and I'm paraphrasing - We had a bunch of little guys. Now we have big guys.
Always something on social:
Two picks from Kirk Cousins in 11v11 drills. Another could have been picked on a deep ball to Pryor into double coverage— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) June 14, 2017
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