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Training camp notes: Josh Doctson has his most impactful day and another brawl happens

Training camp notes: Josh Doctson has his most impactful day and another brawl happens

RICHMOND — Wednesday featured some of the storylines you've been used to reading about at Redskins training camp so far: The lack of Trent Williams, the abundance of heat and the continuation of a QB competition.

There were also plenty of new things: The emergence of a much-maligned wide receiver, the arrival of a couple of offensive linemen and yet another fight.

Let's get you caught up to speed wth a bunch of bullet points that have conveniently been translated from messy handwriting into nicely typed words:

  • Josh Doctson had himself a day here. Yes, if you want, you can call him Terrelle Pryor, or you can tweet about how you want to see it in September, and that's OK. He hasn't been productive enough in Washington. But the fact of the matter is he made two A-plus catches in 1-on-1s for touchdowns: A lefty, one-hander on a go-route with Jimmy Moreland totally holding him and the second on a fade where he plucked the ball right off of Quinton Dunbar's shoulder pad. He also made a couple of intermediate catches in team drills. He's had a fine camp up until this point after dropping a handful of balls earlier in the offseason, but on Wednesday, he was really effective.

 

  • Donald Penn's debut at practice occured Wednesday, and for a guy who was just signed, he saw a healthy amount of action including some first-team snaps in 11-on-11s. Hugh Thornton, a veteran guard and former third-rounder, was also on the field and active along the line. Morgan Moses, who's taken on quite a leadership role along the O-line with Williams gone, was seen talking to Penn right after the 36-year-old strolled onto the field. Dwayne Haskins, meanwhile, who worked out this summer and ran into Penn during those workouts, welcomed him with a hug. He's obviously no Williams, but he's a more legit option and one the offense could feel better about come Week 1 if need be. 

 

  • The receivers and DBs, aside from their usual (and lit) 1-on-1 matchups, went through some more 2-on-2 and 3-on-3s on Day 6. That's an important thing for the secondary to face, considering how much they struggled with those types of bunch formations and crossing patterns in 2018. They need to be better with communication and passing off their assignments, and that is a useful way to work on those things.

 

  • Tight ends not named Jordan Reed each created an enormous gain during the two-hour session. Vernon Davis ran by Josh Harvey-Clemons along the right sideline and hauled in a deep ball that hit him right in stride. Prepare to see a bullet point about this in a training camp report in 2032, because he'll apparently never stop being in shape. Then there was Jeremy Sprinkle, who was able to outduel Landon Collins on a jump ball about 30 yards downfield. Collins was right there, but Sprinkle outworked him for it. It was Sprinkle's second straight quality day as a pass catcher.

 

  • One thing you don't see often here is forced fumbles, seeing as there isn't much tackling going on. Josh Norman, however, will find a way to get the ball out, and on Wednesday, Byron Marshall was reminded of it. You can count on No. 24 doing that a few times in 2019. It's his specialty.

 

  • As usual, the offensive line vs. defensive line drills were testy. Jonathan Allen, who recently explained how he hates losing more than he loves winning, was stood up by Wes Martin. Allen responded by slapping both of Martin's hands down and bumping him. Later, Caleb Brantley started jawing out of nowhere at an unspecified member of the O-line just as the whistle was blown to end that portion of the proceedings. He then kept yelling, even as a water break took place. So, what happened next? You've gotta read the next bullet point for that!

 

  • Still here? Good. Because there was yet another fight. Colt McCoy got knocked down after an 11-on-11, and whenever a signal caller hits the ground in the offseason, hands will be thrown. In this mess, Brantley went after and dumped Geron Christian to the ground, Moses had to be held back, Allen stuck his nose in there and Brandon Scherff was policing things as well. It may not have had the rawness of Tuesday's melee, where actual punches happened, but it involved some major stars and still got nasty. On the Brawl Scale, it was a juicy 7.5/10. It also made Jay Gruden very unhappy, and he forced the entire O-line and D-line to leave the field and do sprints on the other one.  

 

  • There was a stretch near the end of Day 6 where Troy Apke, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Deshazor Everett each broke up passes on back-to-back-to-back throws. Those were smart reads and timely deflections for three backup DBs who've been a little quiet thus far.

 

That's all for Wednesday. Check back Thursday for another list of observations to see who's fighting who and whether there's another O-lineman in Richmond, because it feels like they're running out of XXL jerseys. Until then, stay up to date with the Redskins Talk podcast, and if you're around, come to the podcast party on Saturday at the Veil Brewing Co. The event starts at 7 and goes on until, well, who knows.

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Jalen Ramsey has requested a trade. And Landon Collins has made public appeals to him before

Jalen Ramsey has requested a trade. And Landon Collins has made public appeals to him before

The Jacksonville Jaguars 2019 regular season has not gone according to plan.

In Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs, starting quarterback Nick Foles broke his clavicle and was placed on IR, and following a Week 2 loss to the Houston Texans, the team's star defensive back Jalen Ramsey has reportedly requested a trade.

Ramsey and head coach Doug Marrone got into it verbally during the loss to Houston and according to multiple reports, the fractured relationship could expedite a potential trade.

The Jaguars are reportedly asking for at least one first-round pick in return for the two-time Pro Bowl cornerback.

It's worth noting that Ramsey's agent, David Mulugheta, also represents Redskins Dwayne Haskins and Landon Collins. Collins tweeted at Ramsey back in April, jokingly recruiting Ramsey to D.C. after Jaguars' VP of Football Operations Tom Coughlin called out Ramsey for missing voluntary offseason workouts and the latter responded

Ramsey, who was the fifth pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, is currently looking for a new contract. He is currently in the fourth year of his rookie deal and the Jaguars have picked up his fifth-year option in 2020.

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Jay Gruden address comments that he doesn't like AP's running style: 'You want north-south running backs'

Jay Gruden address comments that he doesn't like AP's running style: 'You want north-south running backs'

In the early stages of Sunday's Redskins-Cowboys clash, FOX Sports' Pam Oliver dropped a bombshell on the broadcast.

"Jay Gruden, to be perfectly clear, he is still not in favor of Peterson's strength, which is a north-south running style," Oliver said. "He feels like it limits the offense and gives the defense way too many opportunities."

If true, that helps explain the decision the Redskins head coach made prior to Week 1, making the 34-year-old and future Hall of Fame running back a healthy scratch for the first time in his career.

What it doesn't explain is the reasoning behind it. Peterson, who was signed just a couple of weeks prior to the 2018 season, ran for over 1,000 yards for the Burgundy and Gold a season ago, earning the team's Offensive Most Valuable Player award.

In an exclusive one-on-one interview with Gruden, NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay asked the head coach about Oliver's comments.

Gruden refuted the claim. 

"You want north-south running backs. I don’t think you want east-west backs, that’s for sure," Gruden said. "[Peterson] is a north-south runner....when he gets going north-south, what that does is creates a physical mentality for our offense. Our linemen love it, and it opens up our play-action passes. We do love north-south backs.”

What the fifth-year head coach did touch on, however, is the limited amount of plays that the offense can run with Peterson is in the game. That could explain the origin of where Oliver's comments came from. 

"[Peterson] is a north-south runner," Gruden said. "What that does, sometimes, ya know it’s hard when he’s in the game, like yesterday we were in 11 personnel and they but base on the field and said ‘heck you’re just not going to run it’ and you know we had to throw it." 

It's no secret that Gruden prefers a running back that can be involved in the passing game as well. While Peterson has improved in that facet, the Redskins other options -- Chris Thompson, Wendell Smallwood, and even the injured Derrius Guice -- are currently better pass-catching backs.

Of the Redskins 62 offensive snaps, Thompson, the best pass-catching running back of the bunch, was the one who played the most. Peterson played just 18 snaps, 29 percent of the team's offensive plays.

The flow of the game also could have affected this, as the Redskins found themselves trailing for the majority of the afternoon. 

Still, Gruden insists that there's a role for Peterson in the offense.

"You know, he played last year and had a thousand yards, so..." he said.

Regardless of who the running back has been for the Burgundy and Gold thus far in 2019, they largely have been ineffective.

Against Philadelphia, Guice mustered just 18 rushing yards on 10 carries. Peterson received the same amount of carries in Week 2 vs. Dallas and didn't perform much better. Sure, he found the end zone, but was not a factor otherwise, rushing for a total of just 25 yards.

Through the first two games, the Redskins have been outrushed 336-75. That is not a winning formula by any means.

When asked why the rushing attack has been so poor in 2019, Gruden couldn't point to one specific reason.

"Combination of things," Gruden said. "Philadelphia, we tried to run the ball in the second half and we had a negative play and a holding penalty. You know, there are things that take you out of the running game, and then you lose the lead and you have to try and play a little bit faster, play a little bit of catch up and you aren’t able to run the ball. So, we haven’t been able to stick with the run for four quarters and we haven’t had enough production out of the running game."

That must change immediately, starting next Monday against Chicago, if the Redskins want to turn their season around. Gruden is confident that it will.

"We had a couple of good hits, AP had a couple of good hits [Sunday] against Dallas, we can build off of that," he said. "But I also think that when you have a new left tackle and a new left guard coming in for the first time and you have the tight end issues we’ve had a little bit, I think we’ll get there."

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