The Redskins' first open session of OTAs last Monday was dominated by the Reuben Foster news. Their second session, on the other hand, was injury-free and featured a much better atmosphere and flow. It was also approximately 145 degrees.
Here's a handful of observations about the action that unfolded Wednesday at the team's Ashburn facility...
- Dwayne Haskins looked like the much better QB when the media was able to watch the Redskins back on May 20. On May 29, however, Case Keenum stepped up. That's not to say he was necessarily better than Haskins — both had their moments — but the veteran seemed more sure of himself and had a few really impressive throws, including a softly-lofted ball deep to the left sideline that Josh Doctson snagged for a long completion.
- Haskins did have three hiccups trying to get the offense going in team drills, though. In all three instances, he got the unit to the line but then had to step back and get everyone reorganized in the huddle again. On a couple of occasions, Bill Callahan shouted, "Check the line!" Jay Gruden explained afterward how they're putting a ton on Haskins' plate, and when those little mishaps occur, it's usually because he got a key word wrong in the call. He wasn't worried, nor should he be, but it was interesting to see how those little details can wreck a play before it even starts. He'll need to keep improving in that area. Keenum, by comparison, didn't have any similar struggles (on Wednesday, at least).
- Now, a bright spot for Haskins: He loaded up and chucked a gorgeous go-ball down the left sideline to Jehu Chesson, a ball so high it almost resembled a Tress Way punt. It hit Chesson right in the hands, too — then hit the ground, because the wideout dropped it. It was by far the best toss of the day and, sadly, it wasn't even a completion.
- Josh Norman was again absent from the proceedings. Also absent were Adrian Peterson and Trent Williams. Landon Collins, Montae Nicholson, Vernon Davis and Daron Payne were all in uniform after not participating last Monday.
- One of the better qualities both Payne and Jonathan Allen have shown as a pro is their relentless effort and willingness to chase down run plays from the backside. That's something Montez Sweat did on Wednesday on one particular handoff, which Gruden loved. Sweat is fitting in quite well in the front-seven.
- Speaking of Gruden, he might've had four Red Bulls before the 11:30 morning session. He sometimes participates as a linebacker or defensive back in passing drills just to give the receivers a look, yet will usually go back to standing in the middle of the field after getting dusted a few times. But on Wednesday, the head coach was roaming sideline to sideline like a much slower, much less effective but still high-energy London Fletcher. Everyone is praising his quotes on Hard Knocks, but what he was doing as a defender was just as entertaining.
I think Jay Gruden is running more than every single player out here. Has been doing this for 10 minutes straight. On fire with his one-liners too pic.twitter.com/LgAmuEVN0h— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) May 29, 2019
- Gruden wasn't the only one asked about Hard Knocks. Allen was as well, and his answer was very Jonathan Allen-y: "I don't care. They'd just talk to Haskins anyway."
- For the second straight open practice, Cam Sims found himself hauling in passes all over the secondary. The second-year wideout is thrilled to be playing again after getting hurt super early in 2018 and is doing what he can to be a friendly target for his passers, he said after practice. How does he go about doing that, by the way? "Just don't let the DB catch a pick, and everything will be smooth then." Well said, Cam. Well said.
- Going off of DBs and picks, Jimmy Moreland had himself a day, racking up three interceptions. The best of the bunch was the third. It was late in practice, and Jay Gruden was screaming at Moreland, who was lined up against Brian Quick around the five-yard line, "There's a mouse in the house!" Haskins, wanting to take advantage of the said mouse in said house, tried to connect with Quick, but Moreland was able to easily cut in front of him, pluck Haskins' pass out of the air and head the other way for what likely would've been a 99-yard score. One Redskins staffer said Moreland had a rougher day in closed practice on Tuesday, but on Wednesday, he was probably the star. Get your tickets for the Moreland Hype Train now, because they're going fast.
- Lastly, if there was a position group that won the day, it was definitely the defensive line. Was it a fair fight? No, considering Jim Tomsula's crew was at full strength while Bill Callahan's offensive line was missing guys all over. Still, the most common sight on Wednesday, besides people chugging water because (again) it was approximately 145 degrees, was a defensive lineman hanging out in the offensive backfield, either wrapping up a running back or pestering a quarterback. How this offense is able to function all offseason as Williams, Brandon Scherff, Chase Roullier and Morgan Moses all try to work back into shape will be very intriguing to watch.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS
- Defensive battles: Aside from Sweat, will any rookies start?
- Norman the traveler: Checking in where he's been this offseason