In the NFL, OTAs are different from training camp in terms of access. Every training camp practice is open to the media and many of them are open to the fans. In the spring, teams are only required to open one OTA per week to the media, a total of three. The three-day minicamp is also open to the media by NFL rules.Since the media was last allowed into the teams first OTA a week ago Monday, they have had four additional practices. So that is where we pick up the story lines going into OTA No. 6, which the media will be able to see.Here is what to watch for:--Might as well start with Robert Griffin III. Each day more and more of the offense is being installed. He did not look entirely comfortable in the pocket last Monday and it will be interesting to see how he responds with even more plays in his head today. The key for Mike and Kyle Shanahan is to give Griffin enough to challenge him without overwhelming him. The balance is important and how well and how quickly he learns and adjusts will be critical to how well he can perform as a rookie.--Chris Cooley, who lost 15 pounds during the offseason, showed no effects from the knee injury that cost him most of the 2011 season. He wore no brace or wrap of any kind on the repaired knee and he ran and cut like the Cooley of old. But that was on the first day. How is the knee doing after five practices?--Whos returning kicks? It looks like the weather will permit todays practice to be held outside so there should be a good opportunity to see who is fielding punts and kickoffs. Brandon Banks is the incumbent returner but he will have to fight off strong challenges from the likes of Aldrick Robinson, Anthony Armstrong, rookie Jordan Bernstine, possibly veteran Santana Moss, and others. With the team likely to keep three quarterbacks this year and perhaps an additional offensive lineman, it will be difficult to keep a return specialist as Banks was last year. The returner may well end up being whoever can do the job competently and still contribute at another position.--Will DeAngelo Hall be there? It appears that much more was made of his absence from last weeks OTA than was warranted. London Fletcher said that Hall had been present for nearly all workouts prior to the one he missed and absence from one of many days of voluntary activity is not anything to get worked up over. We have not heard if he has been present for the four OTAs since last Monday since they were closed to the media and attendance isnt discussed. If hes not there today, however, then there could be a story. This time Mike Shanahan should be available for questions after practice to clear things up, assuming he can avoid being blindsided by one of his defensive backs.Days until: Minicamp 12; training camp 58; preseason opener @ Bills 70; Redskins @ Saints 101; home opener vs. Bengals 115
NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith made a visit to Redskins Park today, and the team elected their union representatives.
Kedric Golston will serve another year as the team's liason to the union. Three alternates were elected as well: Kirk Cousins (an alternate last season), Will Compton and, surprisingly, Josh Norman.
Norman was critical of Smith and the union in an ESPN piece in August. "[The NFL] is a dictatorship, and [NFLPA director] DeMaurice [Smith] is in cahoots with those guys," he claimed.
The cornerback's election today marks what would appear to be a turn of events.
"We always love to have veteran leadership as player representatives, and this team is no different with Kirk and Kedric returning," Smith told CSN Mid-Atlantic. "As for Josh, we love players who are both smart and passionate, and he, as well as the other players, fit that bill."
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Nearly a week after the Redskins win over the Giants, news broke that Washington CB Josh Norman has been fined for roughness in the New York victory.
UPDATE: Per ProFootballTalk, the fine was for a fourth quarter hit on Sterling Shepard and being a repeat offender.
For much of the Redskins-Giants game, Norman covered Odell Beckham almost exclusively. Not many moments stand out for being particularly physical save for a play early in the game when Beckham jumped in the end zone. The motion took him above Norman, but rather than letting Beckham come down to the ground, the corner grabbed and carried the receiver for a few yards.
Norman was flagged for roughness on a hit against Giants receiver Sterling Shepard. It's likely that hit triggered the fine. It's also worth pointing out that referees gave Norman a specific warning before the game about rough play, so it's possible being flagged for roughness despite the warning made an impact in the league offices as well.
There is one other physical moment that stands out from the Giants/Redskins matchup - when Beckham violently swung his helmet at the Giants' kicking net. Beckham got the worst of the altercation though as the net flew back at him and socked him in the face.
Expect many questions about the fine to come.