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Redskins practice report, Day 5: RG3 sharp in 2-minute work

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Redskins practice report, Day 5: RG3 sharp in 2-minute work

RICHMOND—It was hot again today as the Redskins end a stretch of five straight practice days. Here are my observations from the afternoon practice:

—The Redskins practiced in true full pads for the first time today, including pants with the mandated pads in them. They picked probably the hottest afternoon so far to so that.

Bill Callahan got into Arie Kouandjio during position drills, not happy with the rookie’s technique. He’s a rookie, it happens.

Matt Jones, who has a sore knee, was observing practice today, standing on the field. Although you never know, that indicates to me that his injury isn’t too serious.

Alfred Morris caught a short pass from Robert Griffin III just past the line and quickly turned it upfield for a nice gain. If he can develop into at least an average back in terms of catching passes he could earn himself a nice free agent contract next spring. But he often looks like a good receiver in the summer and we don’t see it in the fall.

—Working with the second team offense, Silas Redd found nothing on a run to the left side as Preston Smith led a group of defenders in knocking him down for a loss. On the next snap, he found the going easier on the right side as he quickly popped through the hole on the next play.

—A few plays later in the same full team session, Kirk Cousins stepped up in the pocket and fired to Pierre Garçon. The receiver got it between the “8” and the “8” on his jersey for about 20 yards

—Smith had a good day after some tough ones in the one-on-one pass blocking drill. On one play he pushed back Takoby Cofield, who looked like he was on roller skates, back to the quarterback. A few plays later the same two matched up and Smith dismissed the tackle with a quick inside move. Smith displaying both power and quickness.

Stephen Paea also has tremendous power and good moves. He easily shook off Tom Compton in the pass block drill with a quick move and burst to the quarterback.

—Overall, the blockers held their own and then some. That drill strongly favors the defense since there is no deception on the play and no double teams are allowed.

Chris Thompson made a nice red zone run. He took a handoff and went up the middle, zigzagging his way through defenders for about 10 yards.

—Thompson does have some work to do in pass protection. Keenan Robinson blew past him and chased Griffin to the right. The quarterback was able to get rid of the ball, throwing an incompletion downfield.

—Griffin and DeSean Jackson had one chance to connect deep but David Amerson was with the receiver step for step. The pass traveled about 55 yards downfield but it was a bit too long. Amerson, though, tumbled to the ground and appeared to injure his shoulder. He left practice and did not return.

—In a two-minute drill in the last session of practice, Griffin went eight for eight, although it should be noted that it looked like he was past the line of scrimmage on a shovel pass and Ryan Kerrigan could easily have sacked him on another. But he was sharp, hitting Niles Paul for a long gain inside the 10. Griffin finished off the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Grant.

—Cousins was not sharp initially when the second-team offense went into the two-minute drill. He went to throw a deep out but his eyes gave the pass away and he wound up for it too much. That enabled Chris Baker to get a hand up and bat it away.

—But a few plays later he fired a pass to Jamison Crowder on the sideline. It was just beyond the reach of a defender and Crowder snatched it out of the air for a long gain.

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Scot McCloughan jokes about not being much help to wife's fantasy league draft

Scot McCloughan jokes about not being much help to wife's fantasy league draft

Scot McCloughan helped the Redskins with their draft picks as the General Manager of the team for almost two years. He's considered to be one of the best in the league at evaluating talent.

Prior to the Redskins, he was the GM of the San Francisco 49ers and a senior personnel executive for the Seattle Seahawks. He's helped draft the likes of Russell Wilson, Frank Gore, Golden Tate, Richard Sherman and Jamison Crowder.

RELATED: REDSKINS OUSTED GM TAKES TO TWITTER

But one draft McCloughan doesn't expect to be good at is his wife's fantasy league draft.

"My wife is [in a league] this year and I'm going to try to help her with the draft but I'll probably screw it up, I'm sure. But I'm going to try," McCloughan told ESPN's Adam Schefter during his 'Know Them From Adam' podcast. 

Schefter warned McCloughan that being apart of a fantasy league changes the way you watch the game, how you follow the game and how you root for a team.

Anyone who's been apart of one can understand the stress it brings on game days.

"I can believe it because some teams you've played against for a long time and never really liked them because they're better than you or whatever. Now you're pulling for one guy so you're pulling for them to win. I can only imagine. It will be very interesting."

McCloughan said he didn't even have a successful track record with helping his son pick college games. 

"When I was an area scout I'd help my son out with picking college games each week, not for betting but just like little club, and I was awful on it. I'd do a school call that week and I'd know exactly the team. They're playing well or not playing well or who's playing or not playing, and I was awful at it. You stick yourself, I'm done." 

Luckily for McCloughan, who is running his own scouting service after being fired by the Redskins in March, is really good at drafting when it matters.

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Redskins 2017 position outlook: Offensive line

Redskins 2017 position outlook: Offensive line

With the season opener fast approaching, it’s time to put the Redskins’ depth chart under the microscope. Over the coming days, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

Offensive line

Starters: Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses
Other roster locks: Ty Nsekhe, Chase Roullier
On the bubble: Vinston Painter, Arie Kouandjio, Kyle Kalis,

How the offensive line compares:

To the 2016 Redskins: Over the course of 16 games they should be better because Williams is unlikely to get his with another four-game suspension. He may miss a game or two with an injury as he did in 2014 and 2015 but they can manage that. With all five starters returning, they may be only marginally better on a game-to-game basis. Lauvao was hampered by injuries last year and he looks healthier. Long will be going into his second season at center so he could learn more and improve. Still, the improvements will be marginal. They were a top 5-10 unit last year and they should be this year. Marginally better

To the rest of the NFL: As noted, it’s a top 10 unit easily and you could make the case that it’s in the top five. Yes, even though the Redskins were 21st in the league in rushing last year. The thing is, they were eighth in the league with 4.5 yards per rushing attempt. When they ran the ball, they ran it well. And their sack percentage was fourth in the league. They should set aside the "Hogs 2.0" nickname until the accomplish more as a team but they are very good right now.  Top five

RELATED: 2017 REDSKINS--5 REASONS FOR CONCERN

2017 outlook

Biggest upside: Scherff was the fifth pick of the 2015 draft. He nominally was taken as a tackle although many analysts, including some at Redskins Park, figured he would end up as a guard. He is off to a good start in his career, playing nearly every snap over his two seasons and making the Pro Bowl last year. But he can get better and he has the mindset to do it.

Most to prove: Long is injured right now and that has been a minor issue with him since he became a starter. Last year he played well after taking over at center when Kory Lichtensteiger was injured but he still has a lot to learn. His contract is up after this year and if he is going to earn a solid contract from the Redskins or from any other team he must take a couple of steps up and show that he is worth a significant financial investment.

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Rookie watch: With Long sidelined until the season opener, the focus turns to Roullier. Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan have shown extraordinary confidence in the sixth-round pick, not shopping for a veteran backup center after seeing Roullier in the offseason program and in training camp. They have a better idea of what they have in him after he starts against the Bengals’ first-team defense on Sunday.

Bottom line: The offensive line is one of the strengths of the team. Williams and Scherff could go back to the Pro Bowl. Moses won’t but that’s primarily because right tackles don’t get Pro Bowl invitations. They will keep Kirk Cousins upright and on what is likely to continue to be a pass-first team, that is critical. Run blocking could be better but that top-10 average of 4.5 yards per carry last year points to issues in the run game beyond the O-line.

Quote-unquote

Jay Gruden on Trent Williams:

I think he’s going to get better. He’s lost a little bit of weight and I think he might even be a vegan, whatever that means. The things that he can do with his body and athleticism is incredible. He’s by far I think the best tackle in the league and we’re glad we have him. But it’s also good to see a guy with that type of talent and skill set work as hard as he does. That rubs off on the younger guys, the guys that are up and coming young players. They see a guy like that with much talent, that much production over the years – and Pro Bowls – work that hard, you know, it makes the other guys say, ‘Hey, I better work harder because I’m not as talented as him.’

2017 Redskins position outlook series: Wide receiver | Defensive line |

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