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Redskins rookie camp practice observations

Redskins rookie camp practice observations

The Redskins held their rookie camp today in the practice bubble in Ashburn. Here are some observations from the short session that, according to Jay Gruden, was ended early because they didn’t have enough healthy defensive linemen to proceed.

—The only draft picks not participating today were injured DB’s Fabian Moreau (torn pectoral muscle) and Montae Nicholson (torn labrum). They did some stretching and observed practice from the side.

—Samaje Perine did some good things that you will read about in a minute here but in the early going he had a swing pass go through his hands. He mentioned after practice that receiving is something he has to work on.

—First impression of fifth-round TE Jeremy Sprinkle is that he is tall and solid. His body fat is approximately 0.3% (that’s an estimate but it’s not far off). He looks the part out on the field.

—I didn’t have much of a chance to look at any of the undrafted players. But I did see Levern Jacobs, a wide receiver out of Maryland, make a very good lunging catch in the corner of the end zone. He got two feet down and held on to the ball as he slid across the artificial turf and onto the warning track that surrounds it. It was a catch that would have withstood a replay challenge. Jacobs is under contract and I’m sure he opened a few eyes.

—The quarterback play was not sharp. This is not surprising given the short time they have had to learn the plays and to work with the other players. Just as some of us were discussing this on the sideline there was a missed connection on a snap under center. Not sure whose fault it was but for the record the center was sixth-round pick Chase Roullier.

—After the dropped pass, Perine looked sharp. On one run he got through the line, made a quick move, and then exploded down the field. Keep in mind that there are no pads and no contact but that move still turned some heads.

—Jonathan Allen struggled a bit in his first two reps during a one-on-one blocking drill. He got some instruction from D-line coach Jim Tomsula after each rep. The third time he made some progress, using his hands well to push the blocker back as though he was on roller skates.

—I only got to look at Robert Davis, the sixth-round wide receiver, for a few plays. He looked confident and, as you can see in the picture here, he has good form, looking the ball into his hands.

After stretching, the practice only lasted about an hour. There will be more time to look at the drafted players when they take the field next. That will be when OTAs start week after next. They start on the 24th of May with the media attending the following day.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins SVP of Player Development Doug Williams has a 'great relationship' with Dwayne Haskins, he's a fan

Redskins SVP of Player Development Doug Williams has a 'great relationship' with Dwayne Haskins, he's a fan

While some may be hesitant to crown Dwayne Haskins the future of the Redskins organization, Doug Williams has made his stance on the former 2019 first-round draft pick clear: He's a fan.

“I’m a fan of him. We have a good relationship," Williams told Sirius XM NFL Radio on Tuesday. "Like I tell him all the time, I don’t coach him, but I can coach him on a lot of other things other than on the football field and how to handle certain things. Him and I have a good relationship. "

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As the Washington Redskins SVP of Player Development, Williams has a significant role in the front office. Haskins is one of the biggest prospects taken while he's been an executive of the team.

"I hear all the media pundits and stuff talk about what we should do regarding Haskins," Williams said. "But from what I’ve seen this young man do last year, I can’t see too many people as or more talented than him.”

In Haskins' nine appearances last season, he threw for 7 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and 1,365 yards. 

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Kyle Allen can handle anything, and that includes being the backup

Kyle Allen can handle anything, and that includes being the backup

Since Ron Rivera took over as the Redskins head coach in early January, he has insisted on finding competition for rising second-year passer Dwayne Haskins. Rivera found that competition when the Redskins acquired Kyle Allen from the Carolina Panthers a few weeks ago, and the two are expected to compete for the starting job come training camp.

Rivera spoke to the local media on Tuesday for the first time since the trade and explained he envisions "a good competition" between the two. But as Rivera went on to rave about Allen's character, it's clear the Redskins new head coach brought in Allen for multiple other reasons besides just competing with the Redskins first-round pick from a year ago.

Allen -- an undrafted free agent in 2018 who started 12 games a season ago -- has played every role a quarterback can possibly have at some point during his first two seasons in the league. His mindset, and the ability to handle different roles and responsibilities, is something that stood out to the new Redskins head coach.

"What he's really concerned about is doing the best job he can," Rivera said. "If he ends up starting and being the guy, great. He'll be fired up about it. And if he's not, if he's in a backup role, he'll be fired up about that as well."

Although there will be some sort of QB competition, the Redskins don't necessarily expect Allen to win the job. Rivera even said as much during a radio interview last week, as the team plans to enter training camp with Haskins as QB1. Others, such as former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley, simply think Haskins is the better player.

But should Allen have to step in as the team's starter for one reason or another, Rivera has full confidence in the 24-year-old. Allen is familiar with new offensive coordinator Scott Turner's system, one he called difficult to grasp but a system that has plenty of potential once learned. 

When in Carolina, Allen spent two seasons in the same room as Cam Newton, someone Rivera referred to is having a "strong personality." Rivera was impressed with how Allen handled himself there, especially with there being constant change at the position due to multiple injuries to Newton and former Panthers QB Taylor Heinicke. 

"Having been around Kyle for two seasons, I've kind of watched him interact with the quarterbacks that were in the room," Rivera said. "He was in the room with a very strong personality in Cam Newton, and Kyle handled himself tremendously. I just know what kind of person he is and feel like he's the kind of guy going into this, he's not threatened by anything."

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Outside of Haskins and Allen, the Redskins still have Alex Smith under contract as the veteran QB continues to recover from his gruesome leg injury. While Rivera has said not to rule out Smith in the past, the move to acquire Allen was something the head coach called "insurance," as Smith is still rehabbing and a ways away from returning to the field.

When taking the Redskins head coaching job, Rivera knew he would be tasked with turning around the culture in Redskins Park, a culture that has not seen playoff success in over a decade. Turning around a culture means finding people that will buy into the team mindset and the overarching goal within the organization, and that's something Rivera thinks Allen will do tremendously.

"He's the right kind of person for that room, and that's what I felt very strongly about," Allen said. "That's why we were able to make the deal with Carolina and bring him in. I just think he's got that real good sense about him, you know, being part of something is better than being an individual."

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