—Yep, it was hot as the Redskins took the field for the first of two minicamp practices this week, with temperatures in the mid-90’s and typical DC area humidity. But the players were energized as they got in about an hour and a half of good work.
Here are my observations:
—RB Matt Jones, OT Trent Williams, and TE Jordan Reed, all absent from OTAs, were present. After Reed made a catch in position drills he got a “Jordan Reed, back in the house” shout from Jay Gruden. All three had been working out elsewhere and appeared to be in good condition.
—If Reed looks this good all year, they might have him skip OTAs next year, too. He was very sharp and he caught everything thrown in his direction.
—It doesn’t appear that new DL coach Jim Tomsula is very worried about a depth chart at the moment. On the first snap of 11-on-11 work, with starters on the field at other positions, the Redskins defensive line was, from left to right, Ziggy Hood, Joey Mbu, and Matt Ioannidis. I think it’s safe to say that group will not be the Week 1 starting front.
—CB Bashaud Breeland wants a big contract next year and he will make himself some money if he plays the run well. He did a good job on one play when two tight ends lined up on his side. Breeland recognized the running play quickly and would have stopped RB Chris Thompson after a short gain if they were tackling live.
—A little while later, the defensive front was Stacy McGee, A.J. Francis, and Brandon Banks. Then it was Mbu and Jonathan Allen on the outside and Phil Taylor in the middle. Obviously, Tomsula sees this is a time to mix, match, and experiment.
—Second-round draft pick OLB Ryan Anderson has some work to do. He was a little bit late in recognizing a few plays, certainly nothing out of the norm for a rookie. He plays with such intensity that there a may be a problem in the early going with him going a million miles an hour to the wrong place. He will learn.
—A reluctance to participate in special teams is why Jones would up being inactive for the last nine games of the season. I’m not sure how seriously he wants to make the team after seeing this:
—In seven on seven drills, Will Blackmon almost intercepted a Colt McCoy pass that was thrown low and short over the middle, but it bounced off the safety’s thighs and was incomplete.
—Nate Sudfeld showed his good and bad sides when he got a few seven-on-seven snaps. On his first play, he hesitated in making his decision and may have taken a sack if it was live football. A couple of plays later he threw a nice out pattern to WR Zach Pascal.
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—Josh Norman has been working on his off-coverage technique all offseason. Today, he seemed to be seeing how far back he could play. A couple of times he lined up eight or nine yards off of the receiver. It probably will not be that long in most game situations but he wants to see how far back he can go and still be effective in coverage.
—There isn’t supposed to be any contact during minicamp but Norman and WR Terrelle Pryor bumped into each other hard fighting for a pass near the sideline. Norman won the battle, knocking the ball away.
—Safety Deshazor Everett made a few plays on the ball, knocking a few passes down and nearly picking off a Colt McCoy pass during a two-minute drill. On the near interception he jumped in front of the receiver on the sideline and got two hands on the ball but he lost control when he hit the ground.