RICHMOND—During practice on Friday rookie linebacker Su’a Cravens flashed some of what the Redskins hope they see out of him when September comes around.
He had the two highlight plays of the day. On one, Colt McCoy tried to get a pass off to a running back. Cravens read the play and made a leaping interception. It could have been a pick six but it was hard to say since there were a lot of players and coaches standing where Cravens would have returned it.
A few plays later, veteran tight end Vernon Davis caught a pass in front of Cravens and turned upfield. The rookie made a quick move and punched the ball out of Davis’ arm, setting up an easy recovery for the defense.
Here is where the disclaimer that they were practicing without pads and it was the second day of training camp goes. Still, it shows why they got Cravens.
The Redskins drafted Cravens in the second round. That’s pretty high for a player who doesn’t have a set NFL position. If he is going to justify that draft pick he will have to make plays like he did on Friday.
The Redskins weren’t bad in the takeaway department last year. They recovered a league-leading 16 fumbles and had 11 interceptions. Their 27 total turnovers were eighth in NFL.
But NFL teams always want more takeaways. If they get two in a game they will wish they had gotten three. If they get three they will think they had a chance to get five.
More is better and if you can get a defender who can create turnovers in the second round it is well worth it.
Cravens has been playing mostly at inside linebacker during OTAs, minicamp, and so far at training camp. The idea is for him to learn the defense from the inside out before learning other positions. His exact role has not yet been determined. But they will put him in positions where he can make plays like he did yesterday and hope that good things will follow.
You'd think that comparing an offensive line to The Hogs — that famous unit who played a major role in the Redskins' best days in the 1980s and '90s — would come across as a compliment.
But one Dallas sportscaster didn't take it as such when a CSN reporter tried to do so.
On Wednesday's edition of Countdown to Training Camp, Newy Scruggs joined Chris Miller and Doc Walker to talk about the Cowboys. During that discussion, Miller asked Scruggs if the team's revered offensive line could end up as the second coming of The Hogs.
Scruggs responded by calling that thought disrespectful. Not disrespectful to The Hogs, however.
"We've already had a great wall in Dallas that won three Super Bowls, OK?" Scruggs said with a tone that was a mix of annoyed and incredulous. "Why can't they be that next version? Let's not compare them to something that's over in Washington."
To see Scruggs' full answer to Miller's question and his entire explanation for why he didn't like it, watch the video above. And for any Redskins fans who don't like the way he spoke about The Hogs, here's the man's Twitter. Now, tweet away.
MORE NFL: TWO STEPS THAT'LL MAKE RYAN KERRIGAN MUCH BETTER
Here's a list of things you can depend on Ryan Kerrigan doing: having bigger biceps than you, being a part of the world's cutest engagement photos and showing up on Sundays to harrass opposing quarterbacks.
The Redskins' 2011 first-round pick has never missed an NFL game and has averaged 9.75 sacks over the course of his six-year career. But CSN analyst and former Redskin Doc Walker thinks the 28-year-old can be even better than the production he's posted for Washington.
"He can get that waking up," Walker said, referring to the 11 sacks Kerrigan notched last season. "I need 16, big fella."
But in Walker's opinion, there are two things that are holding the Pro Bowler back from reaching the next level. For his full analysis of what's missing, watch the video above.
MORE REDSKINS: CLINTON PORTIS ONCE CONTEMPLATED MURDER