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.
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