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Redskins training camp practice blog, Day 12—Pryor continues to shine

Redskins training camp practice blog, Day 12—Pryor continues to shine

RICHMOND—The rain cleared up and the Redskins got back to work for the first time since their disappointing performance in their preseason opener in Baltimore. Here are my observations:

—We saw draft picks CB Fabian Moreau (3rd round) and S Montae Nicholson (4th) on the field fully participating for the first time today. Both had injuries when they were drafted. Rather than putting them on the PUP, however, they left them active so that they could participate in individual drills while finishing up rehab.

—Speaking of players recovering from injuries, Jamison Crowder looks close to full speed and full participation as he rehabs his injured hamstring. He did not play against the Ravens but he could get some snaps against the Packers.

—In one-on-one work, rookie Robert Davis was targeted more than any other receiver on Thursday and he continued to get the ball thrown to him in practice today. He made Kirk Cousins look good on one throw with a catch made diving back towards the line of scrimmage. Dashaun Phillips had decent coverage but Davis dove and made the catch about a foot from the ground.

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—On a deep pass, Terrelle Pryor and Bashaud Breeland both did some pushing while tracking the ball. Pryor got in the last push and made the catch. Breeland wanted pass interference and he may have had a case.

—Pryor does use his hands and, by extension, his arms a lot. He takes it right to the line and sometimes he crosses it. I’ll bet he gets flagged for offensive interference on multiple occasions this year. In fact, I’ll put the over/under at 2.5 and take the over. He was hit for OPI twice with the Browns last year.

—When they lined up for team drills for the first time, Will Compton and Zach Brown were the inside linebackers and Deshazor Everett was the strong safety in place of the injured Su’a Cravens.

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—Breeland got a win in the early going, knocking away a pass intended for Davis.

—Pryor did a good job of stealing a Cousins pass away from Josh Norman, reaching up and out to haul in the pass with Norman just missing making a play on the ball. If Cousins' pass isn't right on the money or if Pryor wasn't using all of his length, Norman bats the ball away. 

—On one outside run by Samaje Perine, A.J. Francis and Martrell Spaight sandwiched the back, with the lineman stopping the back from the front and Spaight finishing the play from behind.

—Arie Kouandjio is still lining up at guard with the third team. We will see how significant that is when the roster cuts are made in three weeks.

—Ryan Kerrigan just blew up an off tackle run by Rob Kelley. The play was over in a flash as Kelley went to the ground and Kerrigan remained on his feet.

—Before practice, Jay Gruden said that Crowder will be the punt returner, confirming what Crowder said earlier this week. Also lined up to field punts during special teams practice were Chris Thompson, James Quick, Kendall Fuller, who had a 17-yard return against the Ravens, and Will Blackmon.

—D.J. Swearinger chatters at everybody. Colt McCoy threw a pass away and the ball bounced off the hands of a spectator. “You’ve got to catch that!”, Swearinger jokingly yelled at the fan.

—Jay Gruden yelled a few minutes later but I can’t repeat all of it. Spencer Long was off-target on a shotgun snap on third and five. Gruden cursed and then said, “That’s a game changer!” Indeed, such a play at the wrong time in the game could be a disaster.

—That all for Saturday. Tomorrow afternoon I will be back with the final live practice blog of training camp starting at about 3:30.

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.

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Top 5: Redskins players and positions to watch vs. Packers

Top 5: Redskins players and positions to watch vs. Packers

The Redskins stumbled out of the gate in their preseason opener after falling to the Baltimore Ravens 23-3. Washington showed very little offense as they struggled to move the ball for most of the game, while the defense suffered some key injuries.

Kirk Cousins and company look to rebound in their second preseason game as they host the Green Bay Packers this Saturday at 7:30 PM. 

CSN's Julie Donaldson and former NFL GM Charley Casserly give their top five players and positions to keep an eye on in the Redskins second preseason game.


Charley Casserly Top 5:

5. Matt Ioannidis: "I like Ioannidis. I thought he played the best of the rest of the defensive lineman. He's a high motor guy, he gives you effort, he's quick."

4. Deshazor Everett: "I thought he played well the other night. I thought he covered well, I thought he was aggressive against the run, he made good tackles."

3. Outside Linebackers: "Hey Preston Smith, this is your opportunity. This is a big year for him because hey, we drafted a guy. Anytime we draft a guy, the pressure is on."

2. Kirk Cousins: "He's got an advantage here. Green Bay is down, two of their top three corners aren't playing. This passing game should be in sync this week."

1. Offensive Line: "This offensive line did not play last week...you got to come out, dominate the line of scrimmage, control the line of scrimmage, and set the tone for the game."

Julie Donaldson's Top 5:

5. Nico Marley: "He has a lot of heart. He's making a name for himself... this guy has more to show for us than just being Bob's grandson, but I want to see can he do it again..."

4. Deshazor Everett: Cc'd: Casserly's comments

3. Samaje Perine: "There were so many expectations for him, he looked a little bit lost. I'm kinda hoping those are just nerves..."

2. Offensive Line: "If Kirk Cousins is going to have any success, or anybody that goes behind him, if that run game is going to have any success then we need to get that o-line in sync."

1. Colt McCoy: "We are one injury away from Coly McCoy taking over this team."

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Josh Doctson looks good to go, new starters at LB and other practice notes


Josh Doctson looks good to go, new starters at LB and other practice notes

Josh Doctson looked like a first-round pick in Richmond, at least, until a hamstring injury knocked him off the Richmond practice fields for a few days. On Thursday, back in Ashburn, Doctson again showed his considerable talents.

Taking the field for 11v11 drills for the first time since he injured his hamstring. Doctson made three catches from QB Kirk Cousins. He showed the same fluidity and smoothness in his routes that he flahes in Richmond. 

Leaving the field, Doctson said he felt good. After practice, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said Doctson "looked good." Gruden added the plan is to see how Doctson looks in warmups before the Packers game Saturday (6:30, CSN) night and then the team will decide if the second year wideout will play or not. 

Other notes and observations:

  • In season, the media gets to watch very little of NFL practices, especially in the time leading up to a game. Since Thursday's practice was still technically a training camp session, reporters got to stay and watch as the Redskins prepared for the Packers by running their scout team offense and defense. Cousins and the starting Redskins offense went up against the faux-Packers squad, complete with Dashaun Phillips dressed in a yellow penny playing the role of Ha-Ha Clinton Dix. It was very interesting to watch, and shows that the Redskins will be better prepared for Green Bay this week than they were for Baltimore last week. 
  • Thursday's practice also went much shorter than many of the recent sessions, another sign that the Redskins were treating the Packers game like a normal week. The team skipped the bulk of individual drills, 7v7 and cut down on special teams work. 
  • Deshazor Everett missed the practice session with a personal issue, per Gruden. The coach added that Everett is "okay."
  • Working in drills near the goal line - against the scout team - Cousins looked dialed in. He fired touchdowns to Vernon Davis and Terrelle Pryor.
  • Kendall Fuller has locked up the nickel cornerback role. It also looks like the four down linemen in nickel will start with Jon Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan. There will be plenty of changes and rotations among that group though.
  • Gruden announced after practice that Zach Brown and Mason Foster will start at the linebacker spots vs Green Bay. The team showed that duo in drills, which meant Will Compton got pushed to the second team. When that group was on the field, rookie Montae Nicholson tipped a pass at the goal line. Compton came up with it for the INT. 


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