The Redskins officially christened their new practice bubble with an event on Thursday and general manager Bruce Allen said that it could be put to good use even when the weather outside is dry.If you look up, there are speakers up there that were not using, Allen said, pointing to rows of speakers suspended from the ceiling over the sidelines of the full-size field turf football field.We open in New Orleans in that dome, said Allen, referring to the Superdome. That is a loud place and in our practices that week were going to be able to simulate what a dome really is versus those speakers youve seen on the field the last few years.The Redskins have had some large speakers that they have used to try to simulate crowd noise on their outdoor practice fields.The Redskins are 1-4 in domed stadiums since Mike Shanahan and Allen came to Washington in 2010. That counts a game in Dallas when the retractable roof was closed. Their first two games of the 2012 are in domes as the second one will be played at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
Last practice before the Browns come to town, and while the Redskins are still locking down their O-line plans, another subplot has emerged on defense. Jay Gruden's crew will most likely hit the bubble for practice at noon, and here's what we're watching:
- No fluke - In Last Sunday's win over the Giants, it became obvious that the Redskins were rotating outside linebackers Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy and Preston Smith. That idea would have seemed crazy during the summer, but with Murphy's improved play, it's working. "I think the nice thing is we got three guys that are playing well. So, if we can get a nice rotation and keep them and set a plan, 60 or 70 plays, if we can all keep them around 40 plays, it’s going to benefit them obviously during the game, but also as we get going all through the season," defensive coordinator Joe Barry said of the three-man OLB group.
- More help at safety? - With D-Hall done for the year with a torn ACL the easy move for Washington is Will Blackmon starting in Hall's spot. That's obvious: Blackmon has played well in his time with the 'Skins and knows the defense well. Down the road, however, it will be interesting to see what happens with rookie Su'a Cravens. He's a player that could move alongside Blackmon and potentially replace or supplement David Bruton at the strong safety spot. Here's Barry on that possibility, "I think that is potentially something that could happen down the road with the more comfortable he gets but we got quite a bit on his plate right now and he’s handling it well."
- Crowder's emergence - Through three games this season it isn't DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garçon that leads the Redskins recievers in catches, it's slot man Jamison Crowder. He also leads all Redskins pass catchers in touchdowns with two. Last week in New York, Crowder had an impressive TD taken the distance off a wideout screen, not to mention a remarkable punt return that flipped field position. Gruden on Crowder, "He’s all about business. He’s got great football intelligence, great instincts for the position. He can play inside/outside. Shown he’s a great returner. Just tough as nails. You know, he’s got every quality you want as far as checking the box, as far as intangibles. He’s got them all."
For live updates from practice check out @JPFinlayCSN. Aslo newest episode of #RedskinsTalk podcast below.
Redskins linebacker Martrell Spaight went to Arkansas and loves his school. Redskins safety Deshazor Everett went to Texas A&M and loves his school. Their schools played each other, and the players bet on the outcome.
For the loser it meant wearing the gear of the other squad. For Spaight, it meant wearing a Texas A&M sweatshirt all week.
It's funny to notice different captions from the same picture. Spaight clearly didn't like wearing the Aggie gear. Everett thought it was fantastic.
For Spaight's sake, he might want to skip the bet next season. A&M won this year's game 45-24 and has won five straight over Arkansas.