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
Having a workout buddy is good. Having a workout buddy who's a three-time All-Pro and who churns out 100-catch seasons like Michael Bay churns out dreadful Transformers sequels, however, is better.
It's that second kind that Terrelle Pryor has chosen to spend time with recently. On Thursday, the Redskins wideout tweeted footage of him working out alongside Antonio Brown, and even though he is much taller and 40+ pounds heavier than the Steelers star, Pryor didn't have that much trouble keeping up with the NFL's top outside threat.
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Take a look at this race between the two, for instance, in which the pair of pass-catchers blow by the camera man so quickly, he fails to film the contest's conclusion:
You can also watch Pryor and Brown go through a ladder drill while wearing a band around their ankles at the end of this video from the Redskins. Now, that band would likely cause some problems for common folk trying to complete the drill, but as these two show, they aren't common:
They even found time for yoga (please be sure to note how Pryor's groutfit is so thorough that it includes his mat):
For a guy like Pryor — who's still relatively new to his position — spending offseason time with Antonio Brown could really pay off for both him and the Redskins in 2017.
Over the next few weeks, Rich Tandler will take another position-by-position look at the Redskins’ 2017 depth chart as the team enjoys some R&R ahead of training camp. Some positions are easy to handicap. Others have moving parts and, thus, are more complex.. So who’s in? And who’s in trouble?
Position: Wide receiver
On the roster: Terrelle Pryor, Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Ryan Grant, Robert Davis, Brian Quick, Kendal Thompson, James Quick, Matt Hazel, Levern Jacobs, Zach Pascal
Locks: Pryor, Crowder, Harris, Doctson
Pryor will be the nominal No. 1, although it’s hard to call a guy who has one season as a receiver and just barely over 1,000 yards (1,007 to be exact) on his stat sheet a true No. 1. But that is what he wants to be and the Redskins will give him the opportunity to do so.
We all know the trials and tribulations of Doctson’s rookie year. Should expectations for him be like those for a rookie? Few receivers start out of the gate quickly as it is a difficult position to learn. Or should more be expected out of him since he did spend a year attending meetings and getting in some practice time and some snaps in games? For his part, he is staying quiet and working hard, a good approach in his situation. He didn’t make any spectacular plays in offseason practices but he also didn’t have any major errors.
Crowder will stay in the slot for the most part, although he will occasionally move outside when Pryor and/or Doctson aren’t in the game. Along with tight end Jordan Reed, Crowder could benefit from being the familiar face that Kirk Cousins has to throw to. It would surprise nobody if Crowder ended up being the team’s leader in receptions and receiving yards.
We will find out this year if Harris is an undrafted free agent find or a failed project. He looked the part in his very limited opportunities (12 targets, 8 receptions) in 2016. But more opportunities do not always lead to more productivity. Harris dealt fine with low expectations as a rookie after he was promoted from the practice squad in Week 7. Now he has a shot at being the No. 4 receiver, the first one off the bench if someone gets injured. That’s a different world and the Redskins hope he is able to handle it.
On the bubble: B. Quick, Grant, Davis
The Redskins signed Quick hoping that he could be an experienced, inexpensive guy down the depth chart. He was disappointing in offseason practices and he will need a strong training camp to stay around.
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Grant is a favorite of Jay Gruden’s. The coach constantly praises his work ethic and versatility. On the other hand, his production — nine receptions in 16 games last year — doesn’t get mentioned much.
Davis was a sixth-round pick out of Georgia State. He has a huge learning curve and it showed in offseason practices. If he makes the team he likely will spend many weeks as the inactive sixth receiver.
Long shots: Thompson, J. Quick, Hazel, Jacobs, Pascal
Of this group, Jacobs looked the best in OTAs and he might have an opportunity as there really isn’t a natural backup for Jamison Crowder as the slot receiver. But the realistic goal for any of these players is the practice squad.