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Redskins rookie camp practice report--AM session

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Redskins rookie camp practice report--AM session

A band of some 65 players wearing Redskins helmets and consisting of draft picks, undrafted free agents, tryout players and a few first-year players took to the practice field at Redskins Park on Saturday for the second day of rookie minicamp. Here are some observations, most on the offensive side of the ball. I’ll take a closer look at the defenders during the afternoon session.

—Alabama quarterback Blake Sims was there as a tryout but he was not in yellow QB jersey. He wore No. 37 and was a running back, the position he started out playing as a freshman with the Crimson Tide before moving to quarterback. It appeared that it came back to him as he showed some good instincts and cutting ability.

—Fourth-round pick Jamison Crowder ran smooth routes and caught the ball well in individual drills. It’s hard to say if he’s NFL ready since he’s going against other rookies but he is pretty polished.

—Sixth-round pick Evan Spencer was observing but not participating due to a hamstring injury.

—Reggie Bell, an undrafted free agent, made a nice move to break clear of his defender over the middle but he draft a pass right in his hands. That’s not the way to surivive until OTAs.

—Tryout quarterback Anthony Neyer didn’t have a pass to his credit during his career at Southern California. He was accurate at times but wild at others. The throws that sail way over the receivers’ heads tend to stand out on film more than the accurate tosses with no pass rush. The latter is simply expected.

—Matt Jones is a north-south runner, no question about it. But he can make a move or two in the second level. He could be fun to watch in training camp.

—In one-on-one pass protection drills, they lined up Preston Smith against Brandon Scherff a few times. Scherff was a little bit ahead of Smith in this round. On one snap Scherff just stonewalled Smith and then in an immediate rematch the tackle stopped the defender again, although this time he has to get a grip on his jersey to slow him down.

—In the same drills Arie Kouandjio was aggressive trying to block his man, at times too much so. His technique is raw but his desire certainly is there.

—Austin Reiter, the team’s seventh-round pick, was a smoother operation and had more polished technique. It will be interesting to see what they have in mind for him this year.

—Undrafted free agent running back Trey Williams did a nice job picking his way through crowds and changing direction. We will see if he is as elusive when he goes up against the veterans later this month.

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

After a poor first preseason showing and some questions about the physicality of Redskins training camp, JP Finlay talks with Patriots Insider Phil Perry from CSN New England to discuss the differences between Washington's camp and how they run things in New England.

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

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!

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

Few Redskins players draw more heated fan reaction than Ryan Grant. In three seasons with Washington, Grant has never missed a game, but he also hasn't produced much. His career stats: 39 catches for 412 yards and two touchdowns. 

Regardless, Jay Gruden and the Redskins coaching staff appreciates Grant in a way few fans understand. Grant is able to back up both the slot and outside receivers, and knows the roles of all the players.

"He’s really strong, he’s in great shape, and he’s Mr. Consistent," Gruden said of Grant. "Everything we ask him to do he does, and he does it right."

When Jamison Crowder missed time in Richmond with a hamstring strain, Grant stepped into Crowder's slot role. When Josh Doctson hurt his hamstring and missed time, Grant stepped into his role on the outside of the offense.

Throughout camp, Grant has displayed good hands and an adept knowledge of the offense. 

"No matter where he lines up, no matter what we ask him to do, he can come in the core and block the safety, whatever we want him to do, he can run whatever route from whatever positon and he runs at the right depth, perfect angles coming out of them," Gruden said. "He’s just ‘Steady Eddie,’ and that’s why I like him. I like consistent, smart players and that’s what Ryan is."

Against the Ravens in the Redskins first preseason game, Grant hung on to a tough catch over the middle to give the team one of very few offensive sparks. The problem for fans as it relates to Grant has not been preseason play. It's been inconsistent play in regular season games. 

Gruden believes that could change this year.

"I think people may be surprised with how many balls Ryan Grant might catch. Either way, could happen, I don’t know. I can’t foresee the future there, but I would be just fine with Ryan Grant being the target of a lot of balls."

To state the obvious: Grant is definitely making the roster. Behind Terrelle Pyror, Crowder and Doctson, Grant is the Redskins fourth wideout and one of the few players on the roster that is interchangeable among the Washington receiver positions. 

Grant's career best season came in 2015 when he caught 23 balls for 268 yards and two TDs. Based on his preseason, it seems Grant could surpass those totals in 2017. Much of his early season work has been a result of injuries to Doctson and Crowder, but make no mistake, Grant has been impressive in practice. 

Will it translate to the real games? The opprotunity seems only likely to arise if the Redskins deal with injuries at the receiver spot. 

Last year, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 yards, but DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon accounted for more than 2,000 of those yards. Doctson, Crowder and certainly Pryor are likely to be the major recepients of Cousins' aerial prowess. Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Chris Thompson accounted for another 1,618 yards last year.

Keep in mind, this is the last year of Grant's rookie contract. If there was ever a time to show in games what coaches have long seen and loved in practice, this would be the year. It seems only an injury would give him a major opportunity. If the situation came to pass, Gruden would have faith in Grant. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

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!