Redskins

Veteran minicamp notes, Day 2: Case Keenum is steadily improving but Dwayne Haskins finishes strong

Redskins

The Trent Williams situation took another interesting turn on Wednesday morning, but as Jay Gruden said at his afternoon press conference, there are a lot of important things happening on the field at Redskins minicamp, too. 

This post will be all about the on-field action Gruden referenced. The Redskins were at it again for another two-hour session in Ashburn and a lot went down. Here are your bullet-point observations...

  • Once stretching wraps up, the Redskins usually do a few half-speed 11-on-11 plays. The first one of the day was meant to be a screen to a running back, but undrafted lineman Austin Maloata batted it down. Gruden didn't enjoy that at all. "Let it f—ing go, please," he reminded the defender.
     
  • The three quarterbacks went through an interesting drill early on, where they'd take seven or eight rapid shotgun snaps, set and throw the ball, then take the next snap immediately after for another throw. They didn't even have time to find the laces or really square their shoulders, but they made it look relatively easy. It definitely wasn't relatively easy. 
     
  • For the third straight session open to the media, Case Keenum put together the more complete performance of the passers. He's very vocal with his snap counts and in getting guys organized, perhaps growing more confident each day he's in this offense. In fact, at one point in a 7-on-7, he called out to Vernon Davis, had him shift to the other side of the ball, then rifled a pass to him. He wasn't perfect, and Dwayne Haskins had his usual few WHOA moments, but Keenum has been more consistent and, as of now, looks like the better option at starter. Yet here's a necessary reminder: It's still just June.
     
  • Cam Sims has been sticking out among the pass catchers so far this offseason, but Wednesday was Davis' day. The tight end had no problem finding open spaces when he was on the field.
     
  • As stated, Keenum had the more even effort, but as he tends to do, Haskins delivered the top highlight. No. 7 is working to adjust to the pressure he's facing and overthrew more than a few targets on Wednesday, but he was money in the two-minute drill that wrapped up the proceedings. First, he picked out Kelvin Harmon near the sideline and barely fit a 20-ish yard pass in to the rookie. Then, he finished the drive off with a wild touchdown to Terry McLaurin that looked like a Madden glitch. McLaurin was totally covered by a defensive back, but he reached around the cornerback and somehow got two hands on the ball for the score. It's almost like Haskins and McLaurin have some sort of special level of understanding with one another...........
     
  • Paul Richardson was a part of 11-on-11s Wednesday after only doing individual work on Tuesday. On his first snap, he got just a bit upset when the ball didn't come his way. Receivers gonna receiver. 
     
  • Run plays in June aren't always the most engaging thing to watch, seeing as no one is tackling, which makes it tough to tell whether the sequence truly would've been successful or not. But Adrian Peterson took one handoff and exploded through the left side, high-stepping the way he does when he's in 'I Dare You To Try And Tackle Me' Mode. Players on both sides of the ball were very hyped to see No. 26 do that. 
     
  • That wasn't the most vocal the Redskins got after a particular play, however. In a 7-on-7, tight end Matt Flanagan hauled in a pass over the middle and turned upfield. Fortunately for Flanagan, and Flanagan's body, and Flanagan's livelihood, there was no hitting. If there was, Landon Collins might've split him in half. A lot of guys, particularly on the defensive side, made noise after realizing how bad that collision would've been. 
     
  • Rob Ryan gave a solid fist pump after one play in which Cole Holcomb stepped up to help blow up a screen on the edge. Holcomb was able to shift out wide late to follow his man, the entire defense communicated that shift well and the gain was minimal. 
     
  • There have been refs in Ashburn this week, and they threw a handful of flags on the secondary for various infractions. At one point, a chunk of that unit started sounding off on one ref after a penalty call, but coach Ray Horton quieted them down and reminded them the NFL's rules favor the offense big-time. "They're not here to see you," Horton told his guys, with the "they're" meaning the fans who show up on Sundays.
     
  • Josh Doctson had another unsightly drop, while undrafted wideout Steven Sims had a pair. 
     
  • Per the Redskins Talk podcast's Big Man Expert Mitch Tischler, Tyler Catalina took the most snaps at left tackle as the offense rotates options with Williams out of town. According to Tischler, Catalina fared better against Montez Sweat and Ryan Anderson compared to past left tackles.
     
  • Lastly, defensive assistants were made available to the media as they walked off the field, and Jim Tomsula gushed plenty about his defensive line. Check back Thursday morning for the full story about what he said, but here's one free nugget: He was very complimentary of Caleb Brantley's professionalism. Per Tomsula, Brantley is doing everything that's been asked of him since he joined the Burgundy and Gold, and not everything that's been asked of him has been easy. Maybe Brantley will work more into the rotation in 2019.
     

Two minicamp days down, one to go. Gruden confirmed that the Redskins would have their Thursday get-together, when in the past they've canceled the third minicamp session. Gruden explained that with the new passers and well-stocked rookie class, he thinks every chance for work is vital.

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