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Practice notes: A limited RG3 still draws cheers

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Practice notes: A limited RG3 still draws cheers

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.

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Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

The Redskins continue to cast a wide net in their search for a new defensive coordinator. On Thursday, they interviewed John Pagano, who was recently let go as the defensive coordinator of the Chargers.

Pagano, the brother of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, has been coaching with the Chargers since 2002. That year he started as a quality control coach and then he was the linebackers coach from 2005-2011. The Chargers fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, a current Redskins coach and another candidate to run the defense in Washington, after the 2011 season and Pagano was promoted into that job.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

In Pagano’s five seasons with the Chargers, the performance of the defense was respectable. In terms of total yards, San Diego was in the top 10 twice and only once were they ranked worse than 20th.

The Redskins fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry on January 5. The list of candidates they have interviewed includes Mike Pettine, Gus Bradley, Rob Ryan, Manusky, and Jason Tarver. They are expected to interview former Jets and Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman on Friday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

None of the candidates they have interviewed have accepted positions with other teams so they are all still in play. There is no timetable for the team to make a decision, although the sense is that the process is coming to a close and will be concluded in the near future.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 20, 97 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 40
NFL free agency starts 48
First Sunday of 2017 season 233

Will Pleasant push the defensive coordinator search to a conclusion?

Is the Redskins’ search for a defensive coordinator taking too long? Joe Barry was fired two weeks ago yesterday. The Redskins have made it clear that they want to be very thorough in their search. But taking time creates problems and one just popped up. Assistant defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant apparently has the option to follow Sean McVay to Los Angeles. But the Redskins want to hold on to him.

The problem is that they don’t want to sign Pleasant to be, say, the cornerbacks coach and tie the hands of the incoming defensive coordinator. They already would like the new guy to keep OLB coach Greg Manusky and ILB coach Kirk Olivadotti. Locking in a third position coach might made it very hard to persuade a quality coordinator to come on board.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

However, they can’t hold Pleasant, who is a young, energetic coach who relates well to the players, back indefinitely. Presumably McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have a bigger role in mind for him and they won’t wait forever for him to get things resolved in Washington.

But it’s not like the Pleasant situation will need to be resolved by the close of business today. We’re talking days, not hours. How many days? They could lose him due because of the Redskins’ deliberate process if it stretches into sometime early next week. I think the chances are strong that there will be a decision on the new defensive coordinator by, say, the close of business on Tuesday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

I’ll wrap this up with a quick round of laying out the $100 in casino chips on the various defensive coordinator candidates. Things have changed since I did it on Monday. I’ll still make Greg Manusky the favorite but I’ll drop him down five bucks to $35. I’m downgrading Mike Pettine down to a $10 wager; I’ve heard that the organization was not impressed with his interview. I’m more than doubling the wager on Gus Bradley to $25. It’s been a few days since reports that the Chargers were pressing him for a decision and yet he remains in play. I’m going with $10 on Dennis Thurmon, who is from the school of the aggressive style of play that Jay Gruden is looking for. Rob Ryan gets not a cent and the remaining $20, including John Pagao, who interviewed yesterday, goes on the field.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.