Quick Links

Redskins rookie camp practice report: News, notes, and observations

Redskins rookie camp practice report: News, notes, and observations

The Redskins held the first day of their 2018 rookie minicamp on Friday, under sunny skies in Ashburn, Va.

Here are my observations from the session, which ran about 90 minutes. 

—It was a bit jarring to see a yellow quarterback jersey with No. 8 on it. It wasn’t the departed Kirk Cousins, of course. It was tryout QB Mack Lowrie out of Bentley. You never know but my gut tells me he will never signed a contract worth $28 million per year unless it’s for something he learned at Bentley not related to football. To be fair, none of the other tryout quarterbacks looked like they would last past this weekend either. 

Derrius Guice got his first carry in a Redskins uniform on a handoff up the middle. He looked smooth moving through the hole; it’s hard to say much more since there was no blocking or tackling. Or, for that matter, defenders, just other offensive players lined up. 

—LB Shaun Dion Hamilton said that he is 90 percent healthy. He participated in some individual drills, but he went inside before they got into seven on seven and team work. Gruden said that this was scheduled. Daron Payne and Guice also went inside before any competitive drill started, also scheduled. 

—You could easily tell the draft picks and signed college free agents from the tryout players. The former group had their names on their jerseys, the latter group did not. 

—The offensive line spent some time working on leg drive with long stretch bands. One end was wrapped about a player’s waist, the other held by another lineman as it he was in a tug of war. One player who had some trouble moving was third-round pick Geron Christian. His leg drive was not as impressive as that of some other players. It was well known that he will have to work on his upper-body strength, but his lower body needs some work as well. 

—Another offensive tackle, Cameron Jefferson, moved well in the resistance drill. He has spent time on the Redskins’ practice squad and he looks the part of an NFL lineman. 

—Guice was the first one in line for every running back drill. Gruden noted that he also was the first one in the meeting room with is playbook open. If he is at all productive he will quickly become a fan favorite. 

—Payne was going through a drill on the sled, moving from pad to pad and making contact. His lateral movement was very quick, he looked very light on his feet for such a big man, and his hand technique was nearly perfect. 

Trey Quinn can run routes. Twice he put the defensive back guarding him on the ground with quick moved. On one he started upfield and just as he was accelerating to top speed he stopped on a dime. The cornerback fell trying to stop backpedaling. Later on, Quinn did have a good pass go through his hands but all in all it was a good first session. 

—As expected, Quinn and Greg Stroman were back fielding punts during special teams drills. They wore a belt with flags, like you’d see in an intramural game, to make the non-contact drill a little livelier. Undrafted free agent Danny Johnson of Southern mishandled one kick and did about a dozen pushups. 

—During one-on-one pass blocking drills, DL Chris Lee of Norfolk State went down clutching his leg. As he was being tended to by trainers the drill was moved up 10 yards and it continued. It seemed a bit cold but the work needs to get done. 

—Troy Apke had some issues in coverage, but it often didn’t matter because he has great makeup speed. You can get away with that in rookie camp but even in the preseason games it will be a different story. 

—The rookie camp continues through Sunday; Friday is the only day that the media has access. 


- 53-man roster: Three up, three down
- 2018 NFL Draft: Grading the Redskins' draft
- The Future: 4 additional picks in 2019 draft?
- Front Office : Long-time executive on the way out

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

Quick Links

Five observations from Redskins preseason victory over the Jets

USA Today Sports Images

Five observations from Redskins preseason victory over the Jets

Here are my five key observations from the Redskins’ 15-13 preseason win over the Jets.

— It was good that the offense clicked well in the series that Alex Smith was in the game. He was a crisp four of six for 48 yards. It wasn’t good that they couldn’t get the ball into the end zone and that Smith exited after that one series. I know there were concerns about Geron Christian being at left tackle instead of Trent Williams and Smith did get hit pretty hard on the first snap of the game. But after the starting offense sat out the preseason opener I think they needed to go for another series or two.

— The starting defense was in for two series with mixed results. The first Jets possession ended with a three and out with Daron Payne getting a third-down sack to close out the series. The second time, however, Sam Darnold like a drive that covered 42 yards and resulted in a field goal. The rookie completed passes for 13, six, 11, nine and six yards in the drive and looking every bit like the phenom that Josh Norman talked about in Richmond this week. The starting defense was good against the run, allowing 13 yards on six carries in the two drives.

— It looked like WR Cam Sims’ roster bubble was about to burst in the second quarter when he had a Colt McCoy pass in his arms in the red zone with no defender within a couple of yards of him. But the ball popped up in the air and the Jets’ Doug Middleton accepted the gift interception. But later on, he caught a key third down pass between two defenders. In that same drive he made another catch surrounded by defenders and he held onto it when he hit the ground hard. But the touchdown was called back by an illegal formation penalty. Then on the next to the last play of the game, his 20-yard reception set up the game-winning field goal.

— Tim Settle continues to impress. For a couple of drives in the second quarter the Jets’ offensive starters were up against the Redskins’ second-team defense, including Settle. The rookie manhandled former Redskins center Spencer Long on a few snaps and beat some double teams as well. Settle didn’t just impress against the run. He got a couple of pressures on Darnold and nearly got a sack. They will have to find snaps for him in the rotation if he keeps this up.

— The final word here is on playing time. For the most part, the Jets’ starters played the first half. For the Redskins it was one series for the offense and two for the defense. I have to wonder how ready this team with a new quarterback under center will perform coming out of the gate. They will be playing with fire if they don’t sweep their first two games against the Cardinals and Colts. Gruden is 0-4 in season openers as the Redskins coach. I have to say that I’m skeptical that his method of preparing the team for Week 1 will work.

Redskins 2018 news

-More fireworks with Jets: Redskins turn the tables on Pryor

-Redskins-Jets brawl: A dangerous situation

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

Quick Links

Instant analysis: 5 field goals lift Redskins past Jets

Instant analysis: 5 field goals lift Redskins past Jets

LANDOVER, MD — Here is my instant analysis of the Redskins’ 15-13 preseason win over the New York Jets.

— Alex Smith started the game and so did most of the other players who are expected to start Week 1. Rob Kelley was at running back, Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson lined up at receiver, and the offensive line was intact — with the exception of Geron Christian playing left tackle. Vernon Davis was the tight end. 

— Smith moved the team efficiently on the first drive, completing four of six passes for 48 yards. He converted one third-and-9 by finding Doctson in a big soft spot in the Jets’ zone for 11 yards. On third-and-goal at the 4, he threw a pass a little behind Trey Quinn; it was catchable but not easy and Quinn couldn’t handle it. A field goal made it 3-0. After that 11-play, 71-yard drive, Smith and most of the rest of the offensive starters left the game. 

— Ten of the 11 regular defenders started the game, the exception being Matt Ioannidis. In his first series in a Redskins uniform, Daron Payne stopped the drive with a sack on third down. After that three-and-out, they weren’t as effective against Sam Darnold on their second possession. The rookie was sharp leading a 12-play, 42-yard field goal drive. 

— The first time Samaje Perine touched the ball, he ran for 30 yards off left tackle, following a nice block from J.P. Holtz, a tight end who was lined up at fullback. Since they released the only fullback on the roster last week, TE as FB is likely to be the plan. Perine then left the game with an ankle injury. He did not return. 

— There were some special teams gaffes in the first half. Dustin Hopkins hit the right upright on a 35-yard field goal try but it went through. On the ensuing kickoff, though, the kick went out of bounds. Later on, Byron Marshall put the ball on the ground on a kickoff return but replay showed it that he was down. So there was one costly miscue and two near-misses. 

— The Redskins backup defensive unit was back on its heels in a second-quarter drive with most of the Jets’ offensive starters in. They ended the drive when Danny Johnson make a good tackle to force a third and one. The Jets went for it and Darnold’s pass was tipped by Deshazor Everett and intercepted by Troy Apke. Tim Settle dominated in the middle, usually matched up against former Redskins center Spencer Long. 

— It was bad news, then good news for rookie WR Cam Sims in the second quarter. First he had a pass in his hands for a first down in the red zone but the ball popped out without him being touched and the pass was picked off. On the Redskins’ next possession he made a nice catch between two defenders for a 27-yard gain on third-and-10. Later in the drive he made a leaping catch in the end zone, but a penalty negated the TD. He has been inconsistent in practice in Richmond and is carrying over. 

— The Redskins had some red zone woes in the first half. The had three shots from there and settled for field goals every time. They also had the situation where Sims had the pass in his hands in the red zone before it popped out for an interception. 

— Long shot Martez Carter got his name on the board with a runs of nine and then 30 yards, showing blazing speed around the corner on both runs. He remains a long shot but speed like that will get you some attention. 

— Third QB Kevin Hogan was able to lead a scoring drive on his first possession but it was done mostly via Carter’s runs and the first application of the new helmet rule in a Redskins’ game this preseason, a flag that went against the Jets. The next two possessions he went two for three for seven yards and the Redskins went three and out both times. 

— The Jets kicked a late field goal to take a 13-12 lead. Hogan had a chance to bring them back and got them into Jets territory. Then Cam Sims made a 20-yard grab to set up a 40-yard field goal attempt. Hopkins hit it as time ran out to give the home team a 15-13 lead. 

— The win doesn’t mean anything but it’s always more fun to win than to lose. 

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