That involves reading formations and pre-snap motions, recognizing how things begin to unfold post-snap and then properly — and quickly — deciding how to react. A play might look like a run, but a safety can’t get stuck looking at the running back if his assignment is to read the tight end and then the quarterback. Or, he can’t just lock in on the tight end if he’s not in man-to-man coverage and miss another pass catcher venturing into his area of assignment.
Doctson hung on to catch a pass in the corner of the end zone while Dunbar was tackling him, drawing one of the day’s biggest cheers. It got Kirk Cousins fired up too — the quarterback ran downfield giving a giant fist pump. It was part of a strong red-zone day for the offense, which had struggled in that phase of the game earlier in the week.
That, too, was happening during Reed’s workouts this summer, and he ended up with a sprained ankle. Reed said the toe injury bothered him all last season, but after minimal rest in the offseason he started training hard again. He said his toe started feeling good before minicamp. Indeed, at minicamp, Reed looked as quick as he has in a while in and out of breaks.
I have less confidence in this projection than I do in any other area. Mbu and Ioannidis could easily make the team and perhaps Hood and Lanier aren’t the locks that I think they are. In particular, Ioannidis has played well, perhaps to the point where he will force them to keep seven linemen. I will continue to try to read the tea leaves on Jim Tomsula’s “I don’t have a depth chart” depth chart. Perhaps the preseason games will bring some clarity but I’m not holding my breath.
Stock down—A lot of fans were looking forward to G Arie Kouandjio pushing Shawn Lauvao for a starting job. The prospect was a long shot from the beginning and the odds grow longer every day. Kouandjio hasn’t been any worse than he has been his first two years in the league but he hasn’t improved significantly, either. At this point, if the 2015 fourth-round pick doesn’t improve the Redskins will be looking elsewhere for a replacement if Lauvao leaves as a free agent in 2018.