Redskins in exile: Where's LaRon?


Redskins in exile: Where's LaRon?

They were once Ashburn mainstays, now they are elsewhere. We check in on former RedskinsLaRon Landry - Perhaps it was never meant to be for the physically potent safety with the local team, but at least Landry had arun in Washington. His recent actions in New York put at least some doubt as to whether his Jets career will even take off. May 18: Newark Star-Ledger Jets beat writer Jenny Ventras tweets, "Landry has been to facility since he signed, but he has not been regularly participating in training or meetings. Not sure the reason. nyj"May 21: Start of OTA's. Guess who is not there. Not a mandatory session, but considering he's recovering from a heelAchilles injury and doing so for a new team, you might think Landry would be around. Hmmm.May 24: More practices, still no Landry, but no apparent worries from Jets players and coaches, the Star-Ledger reports:
Another OTA workout has gone by without the presence of newly-acquired safety LaRon Landry and while he hasn't had a significant presence at the team's facility his teammates and coaches don't seem to be overly concerned. "I don't think so, the report we got is that he has family issues and that was that," Darrelle Revis said. "I didn't get any other insight on it and I haven't talked to him. But I heard it was family issues and once he gets back then he'll be on board for us." When asked, Rex Ryan talked about Landry's season-ending injury last year and alluded to his absence being a medical issue: "The thing about LaRon is obviously he had a significant injury but we're excited to get him up to speed hopefully by training camp he's ready to go," he said. "I'm not sure medically when he'll be cleared but certainly he has the physical attributes you look for."Rocky McIntosh - Best as an outside linebacker for the Redskins, the 29-year-old is still on the outside looking in when it comes to landing an NFL job, though he's had some looks. The latest came recently from the Jets, though not sure McIntosh is best suited in a 3-4 scheme. The other teams he has reportedly worked out with - Bears, Dolphins and Vikings - all run some version of a 4-3. Like most veteran free agents at this point on the NFL calendar, it's a waiting game for McIntosh until teams are ready to fill out their depth chart for training camp or need a to replace an injured player.Jabar Gaffney - One projected look at the Patriots crowded wide receiver depth chart bodes well for the Redskins leading receiver last season, but less so for a sporadic burgundy and gold target, Donte' Stallworth.Stephon Heyer - Speaking of New England, the AFC champs kicked the tires of the former starting offensive tackle this week. The Patriots are gauging free options in light of Matt Light's retirement.

No brawl, just competition between Josh Norman and Kirk Cousins


No brawl, just competition between Josh Norman and Kirk Cousins

Before the public knew him as the NFL's best cornerback of the 2015 season, Josh Norman was best known for getting in a scuffle with quarterback Cam Newton at the Carolina Panthers training camp last August.

While it's crystal clear that Norman brought his gift of the gab from Charlotte to Washington, D.C., a potential dustup between the brash cornerback and star quarterback Kirk Cousins is probably not on the horizon.

"Well, you know, " Norman said with great laughter following Wednesday's OTA. "What can I say? Kirk and I are just a little bit different."

The dust up between Newton and he was all the talk of 2015 training camp, and while it looked bad on the surface, it wasn't much more than two incredibly competitive players, both of whom also enjoy talking smack, refusing to back down. 

The dynamic between he and Cousins is different. Not bad or not positive, just not what it was with Newton.

"There are limits to my madness," Norman said, again, with a great big smile across his face. "But, umm... yeah I think it will be just a bit better," Norman quipped, with the entire group of reporters and personnel laughing. Kirk's my guy. He's great."

But that's not to say Cousins isn't going to make it a competition.

Norman noted that the quarterback was a bit more lively under center on Wednesday, throwing playful jabs at the defense.

 "I was like, 'I don't want to go there yet. I want to be cool,'" Norman said, smile always present. "He looked away a couple times and he didn't throw no balls so I got a little jubilant, ya know? I was like, 'alright, what are you gonna do about it?' Just a little competition."

"I think, on the last play with the ones, he threw a ball, and completed it, and Kirk got all excited again. I was like 'Kirk, I'm gonna whoop y'all butt today."

While no one wants to see teammates fight, Norman brings a level of competitiveness the Redskins can definitely use. While the scuffle with Newton was a hot-button issue, the fact remains that the Panthers' team chemistry was as good as it ever was. The team's cohesiveness was one of the main reasons the Panthers were in San Francisco for Super Bowl 50.

Norman is hoping he can provide competition needed to take the Redskins to the next level, albeit without a fight. 

"It's all fun and games," Norman said to media members.

"We make each other better. We just have to keep challenging each other."


Redskins teammates already putting Jordan Reed in elite class


Redskins teammates already putting Jordan Reed in elite class

Jordan Reed is expected to be front-and-center for the Redskins' offense in 2016, and with good reason.

The athletic tight end had his best season as a pro in 2015, hauling in 87 catches for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. Reed was also the healthiest he's been since he entered the league in 2012.

The organization has made it clear that Reed is a key cog in their machine, signing him to a five-year, $50-million contract extension earlier in the month

Simply put, Reed is a matchup nightmare. He is part of the new breed of tight ends: Physical freaks with uncanny athleticism and unparalleled agility for someone of that stature.

But where Reed really stands out is in his route-running.

Reed's route-running isn't just good, it's great.

Former Maryland standout and two-time Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis was signed by the Redskins this offseason to provide guidance and depth to the position. He's had very little time to work with Reed, but it's clear to him that Reed's ability to run routes isn't just the best among tight ends, but the best among every pass-catcher in the NFL.

"I think Jordan Reed runs routes better than the best wide receivers in the National Football League," Davis told reporters following OTAs on Wednesday. "Route-running is his super power."

It may be hard to fathom given the type of season Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown had a year ago, or just how easy Cincinnati's A.J. Green and Atlanta's Julio Jones makes it look. On top of that Reed has to be compared to Seattle's Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski. But the praise coming from a standout tight end like Davis should be evident to just how good Reed is. But Davis isn't the only teammate effusive in praise.

Kirk Cousins looked Reed's way often last season, and very rarely did the decision to do so end up in an incompletion. During the last four games of the season, in which the Redskins went 4-0 and locked up an NFC East championship, Cousins threw to Reed 31 times, and Reed caught all but two of the passes. 

When asked if Reed still needs to improve, Cousins was quite honest. "Does he have to improve a lot?" he quipped at the pool of reporters at the Redskins' facility.

"Well, he was pretty good last year."


Redskins rookie WR Josh Doctson held out of OTAs


Redskins rookie WR Josh Doctson held out of OTAs

Everybody wants to see what first-round rookie WR Josh Doctson can do when out on the field with Kirk Cousins and the Redskins first-team offense - but they were forced to wait on Wednesday. Washington decided to keep their prized rookie off to the side working with trainers while the team took part in individual and team drills.

"Just kind of Achilles got rolled up on, and I’m just taking it easy," Doctson said after the OTA session. "It happened back in minicamp, so I’m just trying to take it easy for the day. I’ll be back out there tomorrow."

'Skins coach Jay Gruden echoed Doctson's comments, saying the team was using precaution with the rookie.

"Sore Achilles," the coach said of Doctson. "We're just trying to be smart with him. We don't want it to reoccur."

While Doctson battled a broken wrist last November in college, the Achilles injury is new, though both coach and player did not seemed alarmed. 

DeSean Jackson also missed Wednesday's practice session, leaving the Redskins WR group down two of their most explosive players. 

"I’ll go tomorrow," Doctson said. "Just a small tweak."

As for the missed OTA session, the rookie still tried to absorb as much as he could.

"I’m trying to learn, take mental reps. Everything’s going pretty easy right now, learning from the older guys and just watching them," he said. "I’m not happy I ain’t get to practice today, but I understand I gotta take it easy."