RICHMOND—Here are a few observations on the Redskins’ first full training camp practice on July 25, 2013.
—Per the CBA rules, the Redskins were not in full pads today; those are not permitted until the fourth day of training camp. Some of the players wore shells (light shoulder pads) but for most it was helmets and shorts.
—Robert Griffin III ran onto the field at a pretty fast clip and, of course, the crowd cheered.
—While the players are stretching, we spotted a couple of unfamiliar jerseys. Two players were signed to replace the waived Jordan Bernstine and Devin Holland. The replacements turned out to be CB Ryan Mouton and safety Jose Gumbs. At one point during stretching someone was having Gumbs look at a stack of papers, leading to speculation that he was signing his players contract out on the field
—All quarterbacks took some work making handoffs out of the Pistol formation. It has been said that Eli Manning could run an offense out of the Pistol so there’s no reason why Kirk Cousins and Rex Grossman can’t.
—Playing against no defense, Griffin pulled the ball out on a Pistol fake and took off around the left side. He looked pretty confident running and, no surprise here, the crowd cheered.
—Since Griffin is not participating in the full team drills, the individual and position drills are getting much more scrutiny from the media and the fans.
—Griffin’s knee may be hurting but his arm is in fine shape. He tossed a long rainbow to Devery Henderson, who made a nice grab over his head. The Griffin threw a dart to Pierre Garçon on the sideline.
—Chris Thompson was on the field, good news for him. He looks like he has some zip after breaking a few runs into the open.
—During team drills, Cousins tossed up a wounded duck deep. Bacarri Rambo came up with the interception. It was the kind of pass that certainly should have been picked off but the Redskins haven’t always come down with those.
—They did a lot of punting during special teams drills. Back fielding punts were Richard Crawford, Skye Dawson, Nick Williams, and DeAngelo Hall. Crawford is the clear leader to get the job at this point.
—The Redskins had someone using a handheld camera to film the returners catching the ball. The catch is an underrated aspect of the return as a clean catch can get the returner off to a quicker start. Perhaps they are studying this to try to improve technique.
—Griffin looked sharp in seven on seven drills, completing his first four passes before a drop by Garçon. His arm is a lively as ever.
—Garçon extended nicely to grab a pass over the middle and then put on a burst of speed as he turned upfield. It was just a quick glimpse of why the Redskins were 9-1 with him in the lineup.
—Update: Santana Moss joined the punt returners during the second round of punting practice.
—The second-team offensive line from left to right was Xavier Nixon, Josh LeRibeus, Kevin Matthews, Adam Gettis, and Tony Pashos. I was wondering where Tom Compton was until I saw him lining up with the first team at left tackle for a few series.
—If you come to training camp, it is likely that you will be disappointed by the running game. It just isn’t going to look sharp. That’s because the zone scheme relies on the offensive linemen throwing cut blocks on the backside. They aren’t going to do that to their teammates in practice so the pursuit is going to clog up the running game. The result is an ugly running game in practice.
—The highlight play came on a long bomb to Aldrick Robinson. DeAngelo Hall was right with him until the receiver shoved him away with two hands and made the catch. Hall was not happy but he just jogged back to the line. You have to think that there will be some retaliation coming from Hall at some point. Best served cold, as they they.
—Niles Paul knows that he has to catch the ball if he’s going to get snaps at tight end. He made a couple of lunging grabs towards the end of practice, it appears that he has been practicing.