RICHMOND—Rain was a constant threat as the Texans returned for the second of three practice sessions against the Redskins. Here are some quick observations, look for the full practice report this afternoon.
—The teams started off with a long session of special teams work. Although it’s boring to watch since they only go about 70 percent to practice the kicking game, the Redskins certainly need the work.
—Wide receiver Quinton Dunbar changed from a white jersey to a burgundy jersey, indicating a switch from offense to defense. He lined up at cornerback all day and did a credible job. At 6-2, he has the length they like at the position but at 201 pounds he look a bit fragile out there. But with a rash of injuries at corner they needed the help and Dunbar stepped up and provided it. He’s still a long shot to make the team but the more he can do, the better his chances will be of eventually hanging on.
—Working off to the side at the beginning of practice were Logan Paulsen (toe), Preston Smith (groin), Trevardo Williams (hamstring) and David Amerson (shoulder). During the course of practice, Stephen Paea (groin) and Frank Kearse (knee) joined them on the sideline.
—The play of the day from the Redskins standpoint came when rookie running back Matt Jones took a handoff and headed down the left sideline. Texans rookie cornerback Kevin Johnson tried to get in his way. But Jones is about three inches taller and 45 pounds heavier than Johnson. Jones easily won the collision and mowed over the cornerback. That drew hoots and hollers from the players on the sideline, both offensive and defensive.
—The odd man out in the Redskins’ offensive line shuffle is Spencer Long. He goes from working out as a starter from the second week of OTAs until a few days ago to being on the bench. Here is what Jay Gruden’s said about his situation: “Just come out and compete, like everybody else. Nothing is etched in stone. All these guys are out here playing. You might be on the first team or what have you, but really, you’re going to have to earn your playing time, continue to work and get better.”
—Gruden was asked if he preferred joint practices to preseason games to get ready for the season: “I think both have merit. I like both of them, really. This setting right here you can control the situations that you want. Game day, you might not get as many third downs that you want or third-and-long or red zone situations. Here, we can control the situations – third-and-1, red zone, backed up, whatever it is, two-minute. On game day you can’t control those. So I think there’s merit to having both.”
—Robert Griffin III reiterated that he will not be freelancing on the field, that he will run what the coach calls: "Whatever they ask me to do, that's what I'm trying to do, so if they call drop-back plays I'm a drop-back QB. If they call on-the-move plays, then I'm an on-the-move QB. When things break down, I'll just be myself. I'm not really focused on that. I’ve just been focused on fundamentals and being consistent with everything every single day, coming out here trying to make sure that every day is a new day and playing everything honest."