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Redskins Practice Report: Lively OTA session capped by late two-minute drill

Redskins Practice Report: Lively OTA session capped by late two-minute drill

Kirk Cousins looked just a bit off early in the Redskins OTA session on Wednesday. Throws were a bit late, defenders were able to knock balls down. As the two-hour workout continued, Cousins started to improve.

At the end of practice, Cousins looked his best. Running a two-minute drill with Jay Gruden nearby, Cousins led the Redskins offense down the field. The drive culminated with a leaping touchdown grab from Niles Paul in the corner of the end zone. That throw, and the drive that accompanied it, are what fans want to see this fall. 

RELATED: Gruden says Matt Jones 'chose' not to be at voluntary OTAs.

Other news & notes:

  • Cornerback Quinton Dunbar left the session early after twisting an ankle on a sideline route defending WR Brian Quick. Considering it's May and Dunbar walked off the field, don't be alarmed. 
  • Rookie Ryan Anderson looked dominant in spots. Sure, he was facing mostly third string tackles unlikely to be in the NFL this fall, but the burst is real. The Redskins staff still wants Anderson to shed a few more pounds, but Wednesday's session was impressive.
  • D.J. Swearinger made a nice, one-handed grab during individual drills. He had to lean so far back for the ball it was reminiscent of Preston Smith's INT against Minnesota last season.
  • It might have just been coincidence, but it seemed like head coach Jay Gruden spent more downtime with the defensive players than he has in previous sessions. It could be that Gruden wants to spend as much time now with the D because he knows, taking back over play-calling duties, that time will be limited in the fall.
  • WR Mo Harris seemed to get increased reps with Josh Doctson sitting out team drills. Coaches love Harris.
  • LB Trent Murphy also seemed to roll an ankle. Nothing major, but appeared to feel it walking off the field.
  • The rotations at both the inside and outside linebacker spots appear anything but set. In the middle, Zach Brown, Will Compton and Mason Foster all seemed to rotate throughout the session. For the first team rep, Foster and Compton took the field. On the outside, Preston Smith, Trent Murphy, Junior Galette and Anderson seemed to be taking reps alongside Ryan Kerrigan.
  • In general, both sessions this fall have felt crisp. Done in a little under two hours, players are hustling from drill to drill and things run with a sense of purpose. 

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In addition to being an NFL player, Bryce Love can now call himself a Stanford graduate

In addition to being an NFL player, Bryce Love can now call himself a Stanford graduate

Bryce Love hopes he'll have the opportunity to carry many footballs in his NFL career. But this past weekend, the running back picked up something that'll be just as, if not more, valuable than the attempts he'll be getting on Sundays.

How's a college diploma from Stanford sound? Pretty solid, right?

Oh, how about a college diploma from Stanford in human biology? Yeah, probably something worth hanging up on the ol' fridge, huh?

Well, that very hard-earned and impressive degree is what Love is now in possession of:

Drafted by the Redskins in late-April and walking across the stage at Stanford in mid-June, Love is doing well for himself recently. He passed up the chance to enter the draft early to ensure he graduated, and now he has.

His college GPA isn't known, but once you find out his high school GPA was 4.5 (that's apparently possible) and add that to the fact that he was able to finish up school out west while also churning up yards for the Cardinal, you can imagine it was very, very good. And if his yards-per-carry average as a pro matches or exceeds it, then the Redskins will be thrilled.

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There's a competition brewing among the Redskins defensive linemen, per Daron Payne

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There's a competition brewing among the Redskins defensive linemen, per Daron Payne

If you find yourself looking for Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, and Matt Ioannidis, you really just need to find one of them. Odds are, if you locate one, the other two will be close by.

The second-year pro, third-year pro, and fourth-year pro have forged quite a bond on the Redskins' defensive line, which is easily the team's most promising unit going into 2019. The three guys share an appreciation for lifting really heavy weights and dropping opposing quarterbacks. 

As it turns out, that latter love is actually part of the inspiration behind a bet Payne, Allen and Ioannidis have queued up for the 2019 campaign. Payne revealed that while with Larry Michael on a recent episode of Redskins Nation.

"Me and Jon and Matt got a little competition right now on sacks and tackles," he said with a smile, but he ultimately didn't shed any light on what the competition's compensation will be.

Whatever the trio is playing for, it should be a close race.

Ryan Kerrigan led the 'Skins in sacks in 2018, but Allen (8), Ioannidis (7.5) and Payne (5) were second, third and fourth respectively. In terms of tackles, meanwhile, it went Allen (61), Payne (56) and then Ioannidis (31). 

Allen and Payne saw a ton of snaps last year while Ioannidis was used more in a rotational role, which limited his tackles. He's an insanely productive pass rusher, though, so he can make up some ground in the sacks/tackles bet by keeping that trend going. Any of them are a solid pick if you're trying to project who'll capture their title.

Payne, for one, expects to generate better numbers in his second go-round in the league.

"Of course," he responded when Michael asked if he left some sacks out there as a rookie. "Definitely did. I want to get a couple more."

In the team's offseason practices, he's already noticed that things are "coming easier," so perhaps he'll be able to record those extra takedowns he's looking for.

As mentioned earlier, you can make an easy case for Payne, Allen or Ioannidis to win their competition, but you won't know who that winner is until late December.

One thing you can already say, however? That the QBs and running backs they'll be chasing down are the losers in this thing. That much is already known.

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