Some observations from the Redskins OTA practice on Wednesday:
—Jordan Reed and Trent Williams were still out although both are expected to be back for next week’s mandatory minicamp. Matt Jones also was absent.
—Reed’s absence let Niles Paul get some first-team reps that he might not otherwise have taken. Paul is looking good after missing all but eight games of the past two season with injuries. He will have to fight for a job after the team drafted Jeremy Sprinkle in April.
—With Williams training elsewhere, Ty Nsekhe got most of the first-team snaps at left tackle with Vinston Painter getting a few of them.
—While which units various players line up with gets discussed on a regular basis, be careful not to put too much into it at this time. Today, WR Ryan Grant got a lot of the first-team work while WR Josh Docston mostly lined up with the twos. It won’t be that way in September.
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—Doctson demonstrated what the coaches mean when they talk about his impressive catch radius. He ran a pattern over the middle and Colt McCoy threw the ball behind him. Doctson reached back and made a juggling catch.
—RB Keith Marshall faces an uphill climb up the depth chart to make the roster but he did flash his speed a couple of times, making his way through some heavy traffic for a nice gain. If he stays healthy (a big if, given his extensive injury history) it could be tough for the coaches to cut him.
—Kirk Cousins and Vernon Davis are definitely on the same page. Cousins hit the tight end with a beautiful, long spiral for a TD in the first session of team drills.
—Jim Tomsula doesn’t need practice film to see what his players need to do. After the first team session he brought the D-line together on the sideline and went through some of the mistakes that were made, such as problems shedding blocks and dealing with double teams, and showed them the proper technique right then and there.
—We saw the good and the bad McCoy in the space of a couple of plays. He woefully under threw Brian Quick on a deep pass and then a few plays later he hit Quick in stride with a 20-yard laser down the numbers on the left.
—Nobody is immune from mistakes at this time of year. Jamison Crowder, who was targeted 92 times last year and dropped just three passes, dropped an easy one over the middle during team drills. I don’t think it will cost him his roster spot.
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—At least at this stage, the Redskins are using Su’a Cravens at both safety positions. On the first snap of the final stages of team drills he was lined up as the single high safety. He lined up at strong and blitzed on the next play. A few snaps later he and D. J. Swearinger were both lined up deep.
—The are unlikely to start to seriously sort out kickoff returners until training camp but here goes with the players back to field kickoffs: Bashaud Breeland, Will Blackmon, Maurice Harris, Chris Thompson, and Zach Pascal.
— Reserve offensive lineman Kevin Bowen, who was on the practice squad last year, suffered an ankle injury late in practice and had to be carted off of the field. About 15 player gathered around him as an air cast was put on the ankle.
—Right before that they had an uneven two-minute drill (actually they put 55 seconds on the clock). Cousins’ first pass was batted down at the line and then he got chased to the sideline and had to throw it away. But it ended well for the offense with Cousins throwing a nice strike to Vernon Davis in the end zone from about 35 yards out.