The heat, humidity and pounding from eight days of training camp exacted its toll on the Redskins focus midway through Fridays practice.After another mental lapse this one an offside Coach Mike Shanahan had seen enough. He motioned all of the offensive players into an impromptu huddle and delivered a stern message.You just kind of remind guys that they have to keep their concentration level going, Shanahan said afterward. We have to practice two good hours every day. We cant have lapses and expect to be a championship team.Fridays session was the most complex so far. The offense was asked to execute a good portion of the playbook, from short yardage and goal line plays to first-and-10 and four-minute schemes.And, for the first time this week, the coaching staff called plays as if it were a game.There were a few offsides, Shanahan said. That normally happens when you put young guys in there and they dont have the script. We try to do that to our team after about a few weeks of practice.Some other notes from Shanahans post-game news conference:Shanahan confirmed that X-rays revealed Anthony Armstrong indeed suffered a strained AC joint in his right shoulder. The wide receiver was hurt during Thursdays practice while going up for a pass. Hopefully its just a few days, Shanahan said. Fullback Darrel Young is at least a week away from returning from a hamstring injury he suffered Monday. Defensive end Kentwan Balmer has not contacted the Redskins to explain his absence, Shanahan said. It normally happens when people get tired of football, the coach added. Right tackle Jammal Brown has returned from New York, where he had both of his hips examined by his personal doctor, and has begun his treatment at Redskins Park. Defensive end Adam Carriker, who often battles blisters on his feet, was given the day off to rest. Fan appreciation day is tomorrow in Ashburn, where the only practice of the day is at noon. Two words of advice if youre coming out: arrive early.
RICHMOND - DeSean Jackson streaked down the right sideline, Josh Norman running with him in close step. Then, suddenly, Jackson planted his feet, cut in toward the hashmarks and veered away from the Redskins new $75 million cornerback. Within seconds, Kirk Cousins fired a pass to a location that the speed receiver grabbed out of the air. It was offensive precision.
Sure, that was only a training camp drill in July, but it also served as a reminder to how dangerous Jackson can be. With arguably the NFL's best corner from 2015 covering him, D-Jax showed his unique blend of vertical speed and lateral quickness. And though he wouldn't say it, Jackson has a track record of strong performances against the NFL's best secondaries, which could mean many more spirited practice matchups against Norman.
"We're here to get better and make each other better," Jackson said Thursday of the drills against Norman. "It's always a great addition to have a guy like him."
During the 1-on-1 drills, Jackson and Norman talked back and forth, and the wideout explained that was "a little bit of fun, talking, kind of communicating, going back and forth."
Bringing in Norman could help a Redskins defense that struggled at times last season. Depending on the metric, Washington's defense ranked as mediocre (17th in points allowed) or bad (28th in yards allowed). An improved defense, to go along with an offense that looked explosive late in the 2015 season, could mean a much improved Washington squad.
"Pushing for another year to hopefully redeem the  NFC East championship. We have a lot of work to do," Jackson said. "We got a lot of good stuff started, we just got to continue to build."
Building for Jackson could mean better health, after a 2015 season where he started just nine games. Remember Jackson injured himself in training camp last year in a bizarre incident where he hit a blocking sled before a more severe hamstring injury Week 1. It's also worth noting that Jackson enters 2016 in the final year of his Redskins contract.
"You’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity you get," he said. "That's regardless of your last year or your first year."
Asked what the team can accomplish this season, Jackson explained that while last year was a good start, it was far from any ultimate goals.
"We got to the playoffs and lost the first game. No one is really happy about that," Jackson said. "We feel like we have a lot to prove still. Nobody believes in us, we don’t really care. We believe in ourselves, we're the ones putting in the work."
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Ryan Kerrigan's 47.5 career sacks and 17 career forced fumbles are evidence that becoming an NFL player was the right career path for him to take. But football wasn't the only sport he played back as a high schooler in Muncie, Indiana.
"Baseball, I was a baseball player," Kerrigan said when Redskins Insider J.P. Finlay asked him what his secondary endeavors were as a teenager. "I was on the basketball team, [but] I wouldn't really call myself a 'player' 'cause that would've required me getting off the bench," he added.
While it sounds like the Bearcats' bench was plenty warm thanks to the now 27-year-old, Kerrigan did get the chance to be a part of a marquee matchup against some other soon-to-be-famous guys.
"My high school team was really good," he said. "State runner-up twice, and would've been state champs, I'd imagine, if we didn't run into Greg Oden and Mike Conley."
Oden and Conley, of course, both turned into stars on a 2007 Ohio State outfit that lost to Florida in the NCAA title game that year (which must've felt like justice being served to Kerrigan). They then went on to be lottery picks in the 2007 NBA Draft, and Conley just recently became the league's highest-paid man. So you could imagine how much of a handful they were in high school.
Some quick research reveals that Lawrence North (the squad that featured the two Buckeyes) topped Muncie Central (Kerrigan's side) in 2005 and 2006. No. 91 didn't specify which one of those championship bouts he was referring to, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that his legs didn't get too sore from sitting on the pine, and he eventually ended up with the Redskins.
RICHMOND - After starting training camp on the PUP list, Redskins rookie WR Josh Doctson does not know when he will return to the field, but knows he won't rush back from his Achilles injury. Doctson spoke following the Redskins afternoon practice, and voiced an odd mix of reasons to be optimistic and worried for Washington fans.
First the positive:
"Today was my first day rehabbing it," Doctson said. "Definitely further along than I what thought I was going to be. That's definitely a good sign to get back faster."
Then the worrisome:
"I got to wait till morning and see how it feels," Doctson said. "You never know in the morning."
The TCU wideout could not provide a timeline for his return, and balked at the chance to provide a percentage to describe his health. What Doctson was clear on, however, was he will not rush back from the injury despite his desire to be practicing.
"Everybody wants to play football," he said. "You can’t rush it. I rushed it in OTAs and did what I did. I'm just going to be patient this time and make sure I’m 100 percent before I touch the field again."
Redskins coach Jay Gruden echoed Doctson's comments, saying that the team doesn't want the rookie on the field until he is 100 percent. And, while training camp is certainly important, if Doctson is to miss time, better in July than in September.
Scot McCloughan drafted the 6-foot-3, 195 lbs. Doctson for his explosive atheltic ability, so it makes sense that the organization in no way wants to risk serious injury. Gruden talked about the siginifcance an Achilles injury could bring, especially for an athlete like Doctson, as reason for extreme caution.
For his part, the rookie is keeping a level head despite his frustrations at not practicing.
"I'm blessed to be here, regardless of the situation. I made it."