I was able to get out to training camp for a second time this year and it was a scorcher yesterday (8-14). I was able to grab a bunch more videos (60+) yesterday, and while the quantity is higher than when I went earlier in camp, the quality I’m afraid is a little lower. The light at my back made filming much more difficult so I apologize if a couple of the videos are duds. Still, I was able to capture some good footage. All are uploaded to my YouTube channel for all to enjoy. Additionally, I took note of my observations and will share what I saw here. The link for the YouTube channel is as follows:
Here’s what stood out to me during the Redskins final practice open to the public in Richmond for 2016:
- I was excited to see Trent Williams fully dressed and in pads. My excitement came from assuming he was going to practice, but he did not (at least not in the team drills). Still, I’m pretty sure he’s fine.
- In his place, Ty Nsekhe got all the reps with the first team at LT and he looked great. We’re really set at OT. He dominated individual drills from what I saw (granted, I didn’t get to see a lot of that) and he also looked great in the team portion (saw all of that).
- Austin Reiter has officially surpassed Josh LeRibeus as the third C on the roster. Reiter had a good practice.
- Robert Kelley continued to impress. I especially liked how he finished off every run and showed very good speed.
- Keith Marshall also had a very good practice. His speed was on full display and he continues to cycle in and out with Kelley behind Jones and Thompson. It’s a good battle there. Everyone has kind of been down on Marshall after the Atlanta game, but he really impressed yesterday.
- I was reminded that Jordan Reed is unstoppable. There isn’t a soul on the Redskins roster that can cover him.
- Ditto for DeSean Jackson. He had an incredible day routinely beating Josh Norman (especially deep) and whoever else tried to cover him. He also looked very spry catching and returning punts. He seemed to really enjoy practice and had a lot of energy. I think the Josh Norman signing has really helped put a pep in his step and I think he’s due for a big year.
- Ryan Grant was impressive again today. I overheard a number of people after he’d made a great play say something along the lines of, “There’s Ryan Grant again! Great routes! Great hands! He’ll probably fall in the game again...” I’ve now seen it for myself repeatedly in camp, though. It’s easy to see why he keeps getting opportunities. He really is an incredible route-runner and basically doesn’t drop the ball in practice. I think he’s going to benefit from playing mostly in the slot. He seems like a better fit there and practiced almost exclusively there behind Crowder.
- Niles Paul looked way fast out there. Don’t know what I was expecting, but he was burning people.
- Kendal Thompson flashed a lot yesterday. There’s some definite potential there. No clue if he’ll make the team, PS, or get cut, but I think he could be a player. He was winning match-ups against DBs that are going to be on the team.
- Vernon Davis looked very good. I didn’t see him drop a single pass and his speed was also outstanding, surprising, and impressive. We have some damn good TEs. Hopefully the drop in Atlanta was just a fluke. Davis still has it and was one of the fastest people I noticed yesterday (and again, no drops).
- Colt McCoy had a good practice... running the ball. I saw him take off at least three times and all of them looked good. Once was an option play where he kept it and gained 10+ yards. He gained ~10 yards every time he ran. He’s pretty mobile.
- Chris Thompson is the third-down back. It’s not up for grabs. He’s great there. If the little dude can just stay healthy, he’s really ideal for that spot. He’s so damn shifty... running and after the catch. He gets like all the reps for the first-team on third downs in practice. When defenses are spread because we have 3+ receivers on the field, his shiftiness can really capitalize either with a run or after a catch. And he has no fear. I’ve seen him get popped real good a few times and it’s always jarring to see because he looks so little and you know he’s fragile, but he doesn’t seem to mind or shy away from it. He’s going to have a big year. Worth noting, they lined him up out wide as a receiver a number of times yesterday and he caught a pass or two there. He’s going to be a weapon.
- All the QBs were on point today. I don’t recall seeing any INTs and all three got numerous TDs. All looked sharp.
- A word about Mack Brown. He’s being underrated. He looked incredible in this practice. Really deceiving speed and finished every single run going the length of the field. I got the impression that the coaches like him and his effort. He’s in the mix and had some really nice runs yesterday.
- They split Logan Paulsen out wide (like you expect to see from Jordan Reed) and tried to throw a couple of fades and back-shoulder passes to him in the red-zone/endzone. It didn’t go well. Still, he got better separation than I expected (just didn’t really bring in the passes...). Jordan Reed is special.
- Preston Smith in coverage! The dude can do it all. The coaches were giving him mad praise because he got tested in coverage a couple of times yesterday and did great staying right with his man and even breaking up a pass. He’s an excellent player in just about every way. Could be a huge year for Smith!
- Kendall Fuller stood out, but not in the way you’d like. I saw him get beat a couple of times... and it seemed a little too easy. He’s behind Phillips right now for the slot CB job and after practice yesterday, it made sense. He’s a rookie.
- Ditto for Josh Norman. He didn’t look great and got beat a number of times. It’s quite evident now that he can’t guard DeSean Jackson one-on-one in these drills (but then again, probably no one alive can). I don’t know. I’m not taking too much from it, but I’ve just seen a lot of completions his way the two times I was at camp...
- Greg Toler had another outstanding practice. I mean, seriously, he’s been just about perfect. I saw him have another couple incredible pass breakups yesterday and guys simply can’t get open on him. He looks great.
- Ricky Jean-Francois and Chris Baker are clearly two leaders out there. They’re both very vocal and just have that confidence/swagger about them. Guys look up to them. Both are good Redskins.
- Will Blackmon had a really good day. He came within a hair of having the most impressive INT and the crowd loved it. He was in the right spots today and looked really good. He’s going to continue to improve at S and I think he’s pretty safe as a reserve there. He was also out there fielding punts.
- There was a lot of STs work today. It seemed to be a focus and they ran a large number of KOs. I’m thinking this was a result of the allowed KO TD-return against the Falcons and it was clear that they were really working at it yesterday.
- Dustin Hopkins is a stud and looked awesome yesterday. He hit every FG with plenty of leg to spare and was putting every KO right where he wanted it (corners and just over the goal-line). We’re really set at K with this guy.
- I just have to say, we have some entertaining coaches at practice. All those guys had a ton of energy yesterday and were especially loud. Jay Gruden stood out. He was in rare form. He was cussing at the guys and talking with everyone. I really saw him coaching a lot (as opposed to just observing and reviewing). He was putting in work and had a lot of energy. Not phased by the extreme heat and humidity. He seemed very focused.
- Sean McVay stood out, as well. He was louder than usual and doing a ton of coaching, too. A lot of one-on-one time with a number of the guys. Also very focused. I was a little surprised at how focused he and Gruden were. They were working hard.
- Kotwica and Barry were their normal energetic, loud selves. They’re fun to watch.
- Bradford Banta stood out to me. First of all, he’s a huge man, but secondly, he puts in a lot of work coaching the STs. I think he could be a ST Coordinator. He was all over coaching the guys up.
- Finally, Perry Fewell. This guy is a great coach. The guys love him and he does a great job being really vocal and really praising the guys when they do a good job. He was very positive out there (not what I expected from his reputation). When he talks, all those DBs listen very closely. You can sense they really respect him. He has a ton of energy and was running around everywhere.
Don’t forget to check out all the vids!