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Practice report: Redskins in full pads

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Practice report: Redskins in full pads

RICHMOND—It was Fan Appreciation Day, it was crowded, and it was hot. And they had a lively two-hour practice to wrap up the week in Richmond.

—The Redskins practiced in full pads for the first time on Saturday. Under Mike Shanahan the team has usually practices in shorts but with new rules requiring players to wear knee and thigh pads, Shanahan wanted to get the players acclimated to the change. Some were already wearing them, others didn’t mind the change. A few others, well, one unidentified player spoke for them when he yelled “(Expletive) these knee pads!”

—Aldrick Robinson has been one of the stars of camp. If he truly “gets it” he could be a great weapon.

—Robert Griffin III was putting on quite a show for the fans during one on one drills. His first deep pass was on the money to Skye Dawson but the rookie’s knee hit the ball while he was trying to catch it and it popped out. Then Dez Briscoe dropped another deep ball. After that his receivers held on. His final pass was a perfectly thrown long bomb to Robinson, who made the catch. Griffin kept his follow through extended as the ball traveled in the air and gave a quick little “basket good” sign when Robinson hauled it in

—There were some real NFL officials on the sideline for today’s practice. On one deep pass during 11 on 11 a receiver made a catch on a deep pass near the sideline. The line judge, who was stationed near the line of scrimmage, signaled that the pass was complete. Jim Haslett yelled, with a smile, “How can you see that from where you are?” The zebra yelled back to Haslett, “How can you see it?” The official had a point; Haslett was stationed about 12 yards behind the line of scrimmage, further away from the play.

—Pat White took off running to the left and had some room to operate. About 20 yards downfield near the sideline, however, safety Jose Gumbs knocked the ball out of White’s hand. Gumbs recovered the fumble. White’s running ability is what is giving him a shot here and he just can’t make mistakes like that fumble, especially when it was the result of him holding the ball carelessly.

—I’m not sure who should have blocked Ryan Kerrigan on a running play but nobody did on a handoff to Roy Helu Jr. Had Helu been a player on another team, he would have been blown up.

—Fred Davis got his hands on a pass and almost immediately had it knocked out by Richard Crawford. Taking advantage of the striped shirts being there, we asked for a ruling. Catch and fumble, the line judge said. Davis had control and took two steps before he was stripped. The ball bounced back up into Davis’ arms anyaway.

—Santana Moss fielded a few punts during special teams drills but he is not going to do that during the season unless there is a dire emergency. He said the other day that he just wanted to stay in practice.

—Griffin was 13 for 17 in seven on seven work. His incompletions were a misfire on a short pass to Pierre Garçon, one near the sideline that was too high, a pass that was a bit too wide for Davis to lunge for and an apparent miscommunication on a pattern by Moss. He had a number of good throws including a dart to Leonard Hankerson over the middle (the receiver bobbled the ball before securing it) and a soft toss to Moss after a scramble. That pass had perfect arc and touch to it.

—In red zone 11 on 11, Kirk Cousins threaded the needle on a pass to Moss for a touchdown.

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Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?

Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

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Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

Rich Tandler and JP Finlay wrap up the Redskins offseason and prepare for what will be the most intriguing and the most overplayed storylines at training camp in Richmond.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back