In his first two seasons as the Redskins coach, Mike Shanahan held training camp practices in the morning and walkthroughs in the afternoon.This summer, however, Shanahan has flipped that familiar schedule.I havent worked it this way before, he said this week. But with the new rules in the collective bargaining agreement, we are getting a good lift in the morning from 7:30 to and 8 to 8:30 with the rookies and the vets. So I think that you feel very good about that.At least, the coach cracked, the guys who like to wake up early, obviously, they are enjoying it.Following the early weight lifting sessions, the coaches meet with the players to review the playbook. Then the team heads to the practice bubble for an uptempo walkthrough.Long snapper Nick Sundberg said he was told by team officials that studies show the learning process, information retention specifically, is better in the morning.Weve got a good meeting in the morning, then we get a walkthrough so different things we walk through are things we put in right before the walkthrough and before we hit the field, Shanahan added. I like it thus far.The only downside to the new schedule was realized only minutes into the opening practice of camp on Thursday: the temperature in Ashburn soared near 100 degrees with a heat index of 105-110.The sun punked me a little bit, Santana Moss said. But, hey, I made it through. It was a tough one, especially for some of us who havent been practicing here.Shanahan said if the heat gets too extreme, he could opt to move practices indoors.The nice thing about the bubble, we have the opportunity to go in there if it does get too hot, he said.Veteran Chris Cooley said hes undecided on the new routine at Redskins Park.I dont know if I like the new practice schedule yet, Cooley said. To be honest, Im not a huge fan of morning practice and waking up at 6 a.m. and starting my physical activity. Well see how it goes.It would be nice if its not 100 every day, Cooley added. But maybe it will make us tough, huh? Joe Gibbs weather.
Stevan Ridley hit the free agent market today after the Detroit Lions released him. The news should not come as a surprise as Ridley has struggled since his knee injury in 2014.
Fans thinking Ridley might be able to help the Redskins depleted running back corps need to think again. Last season, Ridley played in nine games for the Jets, getting one start. He rushed the ball 36 times for 90 yards, an average of 2.5 yards-per-carry.
The Redskins run game struggled last year, but their stats look impressive next to Ridley. As a team the Skins rushed for 3.7 YPC, and presumed starter Matt Jones averaged 3.4 YPC.
The Redskins may well look for help at running back, especially as Jones is dealing with a shoulder injury and will sit out the remainder of the preseason, but Ridley is highly unlikely to be the answer.
Elsewhere in the running back world, reports show that five teams are interested in former Bills running back Karlos Williams. Who those teams are, however, remains a mystery.
It looks like Brian Stork will play for the Redskins after all.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media Stork, who was acquired from the Patriots yesterday, will report to Redskins Park this weekend to get to work with the team.
New #Redskins center Bryan Stork is expected to be in town and ready to go this weekend, source said. Would shut down retirement talk.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 25, 2016
Shortly after the deal for Stork was reported on Wednesday word came out that the third-year center and guard would retire. It appears that he reconsidered overnight and will join the Redskins.
Stork, 6-4, 315, started 15 games as a rookie including the Patriots’ Super Bowl win over the Seahawks. Last year, however, he missed the first seven games of the season with a concussion but he did start eight games, including two in the playoffs.
Just what Stork’s role in Washington will be remains to be seen. Speaking to the media today after a practice at Joint Base Andrews outside of Washington, Jay Gruden spoke of Stork as a depth addition. That may be true but he also could get a shot at displacing incumbent center Kory Lichtensteiger, who is 31 and coming off of a season where he missed 11 games with a neck and shoulder injury.
For his part, Stork has not been a model of durability during his two NFL seasons, missing 10 games due to injures including the seven with the concussion noted above.
The situation will sort itself out over the coming days and weeks. The only thing we know now is that Stork is likely to report and that alone makes their line better and deeper.
The Redskins are heading in to their third preseason game and next Tuesday the bubble will burst for about a dozen players as they cut their roster down to 75. Then on September 3, just nine days from today, the roster will be cut to 53.
Many of the roster spots are set but there are enough jobs up for grabs to make the last two practice games interesting. One important thing to keep in mind is that Jay Gruden said last week that preseason games matter a lot when it comes to trimming the roster to 53. With two games in the books we have a lot of evidence to work with.
Redskins blogger Rich Tandler sorts out the bubble and gives you what he thinks the roster will look like when the make the final cut to 53.