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Redskins training camp practice report, Day 1

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Redskins training camp practice report, Day 1

RICHMOND—The Redskins took the field for their first full training camp practice with warm temperatures and high humidity. The CBA prohibits practicing in pads until the players have had three days to get acclimated so they wore just helmets and shorts today.

—Special teams drills were up first. Tress Way is unchallenged as the team’s punter and he showed why with several booming kicks.

—During a defensive line drill, Terrance Knighton took a moment to pose for a picture with a fan who was permitted to be on the sidelines. I’m not sure if that says anything good about his focus during practice. We’ll see if it’s more than a one-time thing.

—The defensive line practiced knocking the ball out of the carrier’s arm. Robb Akey was emphasizing doing it before the runner knows you're there. Have never seen that emphasis.

#Redskins DL practicing punching ball out. Coach emphasizing knocking the back out before carrier knows he is there.

A video posted by Rich (@richtandler) on Jul 30, 2015 at 12:29pm PDT


—After that the linemen went to hit the two-man sled. These drills required for the sled to stay in one place. To do this they needed two large men and several cinder blocks on the back end of the sled.

—In the first session of 11 on 11 drills Colt McCoy had two nice passes for touchdowns. One was to fullback Jordan Campbell, who beat LB Martrell Spaight. The other was to TE Je’Ron Hamm, who beat S Kyshoen Jarrett. Both throws covered about 30 yards and were thrown with touch and accuracy.

—On Robert Griffin’s first pass he dropped back, hesitated a half beat, and threw sidearm and off target. There still is work to do.

—Even through undrafted rookie RB Trey Williams is listed at 5-7, 195 he doesn’t look small on the field. He finished off one run with a nice stiff arm. I’m not sure if there is room for him on this roster but he’s worth keeping an eye on.

—We nearly had our first scuffle of camp. Jordan Reed didn’t like how DeAngelo Hall bumped into him after a reception. They exchanged words but teammates intervened before the altercation got physical.

—Griffin did warm up as practice went on, firing some nice passes. He hit Jamison Crowder downfield with a bullet.

—They went back to special teams and with one group rookie DL Preston Smith was lined up as the second man in from the right end. At 6-5, 270 he would be scary to see running downfield towards a potential blocker. I will keep an eye on this when preseason games start.

—Even the fifth overall pick in the draft is subject to discipline. Brandon Scherff jumped early on one play and ran a lap around the field to do penance. That was interesting but I’ll be really impressed if I see Trent Williams do it.

—Kirk Cousins did not have a good day. In seven on seven drills he was tipping off his passes, looking straight at his primary receiver before the snap. A few of us in the media were calling out who the ball was going to before the snap and we were right way more often than not. Later in full team drills, he threw an interception to Jarrett over the middle. There was no indication why he threw the pass where he did.

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Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.

That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

RELATED: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice?

Will Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Finlay: The better question might be what constitutes the next step for Cousins? And going one step further, will it be with the Redskins? Answering the second part first, Cousins will be the 'Skins quarterback in 2017. Taking the next step is trickier, since the passer has thrown for more than 9,000 yards in the last two seasons.

For me, Cousins can still get much better, particularly in the red zone. If the Redskins scored at the same pace they pile up yards, this team would have won 11 games in 2016. 

In 2016, Cousins ranked 3rd in the NFL in passing yards, yet outside of the Top 10 in TDs with 25. To really enter the next phase of his career, Cousins needs to lead an offense that scores more, and that means 30+ touchdowns. He can do it. 

Tandler: I don’t look at the next step for Cousins being about numbers. Sure, maybe he can throw for 5,000 yards and 30-plus touchdowns on year. But being a top quarterback is more than that.

I want to see him go into Seattle next year and rally the Redskins from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. I want to see him go into a playoff game and, unlike what happened against the Packers after the 2015 season, will the team to a win when the Redskins aren’t playing their best and when a QB like Aaron Rodgers is on the other side. I want to see him glare at a lineman who missed an assignment and correct a receiver who went the wrong way on a route.

To be sure, he has led the team to some comeback wins and he has played very well in some key games, like the division-clinching win in Philadelphia in 2015. But a top-flight quarterback can’t essentially negate one of those with a play like the season-ending pick against the Giants. Sure, any quarterback is going to have an off day. But you have to have more pluses than minuses on the ledger.

Cousins has been a starter for just two years so maybe he can develop into a top-shelf quarterback. Putting up good stats is part of the picture but he won’t be there until he elevates and motivates those around him. Maybe he can take that next step but until he does there is no way of knowing if he will. 

More offseason questions: 

What are reasonable expectations for Josh Doctson?

— Will there be a surprise salary cap cut?

— Should the Redskins defense switch to the 4-3?

— Is Spencer Long the answer at center?

— How many D-linemen do the Redskins need?

— Should the Redskins draft another QB? 

— With Sean McVay gone, will the Redskins run the ball more?

— Can Cravens handle the transition to safety? 

— Will the Redskins re-sign Pierre Garçon? 

— Will Rob Kelley be the lead running back in 2017?

— Defense in the first round?

— Will they make a change at left guard?

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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

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Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

There hasn't been much good news out of Redskins Park lately, as the team deals with pending free agency for QB Kirk Cousins and others combined with rumors of infighting among the front office. So video of 2016 first round pick Josh Doctson running and cutting comes at a great time for beleaguered 'Skins fans. 

Doctson posted the video to his Snapchat account. When he last spoke after the Washington season ended, Doctson made clear he was feeling much better and that '100 percent health' is his main goal this offseason.

His rookie year, however, was a different matter.

The receiver out of TCU missed all but the first two games of the year. Even in those games, he played a very reduced role. Drafted 22nd overall, he had just two catches all year as an obscure Achilles' injuries landed him on the injured reserve. His plight could not be figured out by a slew of doctors and specialists, and the team finally decided to sit down their prized rookie.

A breakout year in 2017 would serve Jay Gruden's squad well, as the team stands to lose DeSean Jackson and/or Pierre Garçon to free agency. It looks likely the 'Skins will lose at least one of their starting WRs, and losing both is a distinct possibility. That could result in more than 2,000 receiving yards leaving the Redskins offense, and the team will need Doctson to pick up a good chunk of that production.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN 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!