Quick Links

Redskins training camp practice report, Day 3

mahina-camp.png

Redskins training camp practice report, Day 3

RICHMOND—The Redskins took the field in pads for the first time in front of the largest crowd of the week. Here are some of the highlights of the practice.

—As they have every day so far, the Redskins started out with special teams. Among those returning punts were Rashad Ross, Trey Williams, Andre Roberts, and Jamison Crowder.

—I thought the rotation they used at the key punt team personal protector job was interesting. Niles Paul, who had the job last year, split snaps with two guys who are likely to be starting at safety, Dashon Goldson and Jeron Johnson. It’s an important spot and it’s not unusual for teams to have a front-line player handling it.

—Robert Griffin III was on target in some one-on-one coverage drills. On one play Quinton Dunbar shook off Chris Culliver on an out pattern and Griffith hit him on the sideline. He also hit Garcon on a deep down and in. That makes twice in two days that Dunbar has managed to get free from high-dollar free agent Culliver.

—A bit later in team drills Griffin felt some pressure, scrambled to his left, reset and completed a short pass to Alfred Morris. A year ago in camp it is likely that Griffin would either have been frozen and taken a sack or would have taken off running.

—We saw some good power running by Matt Jones right up the gut. There appeared to be no hole but Jones burrowed for about 10 yards.

—I think that the defense is trying to send a message to Jones. He was a little too rough in the no-pads OTAs. Perry Riley and Kyshoen Jarrett both gave Jones good shots.

—Kirk Cousins isn’t known for operating on the move but he did it nicely on one play. After a play fake he rolled to his right and hit Andre Roberts with a strike for a good gain.

—On Thursday, Silas Redd made a nice run but it was ruined when Duke Ihenacho punched the ball out from behind. Today Redd made another nice run and Ihenacho again tried to knock the ball out. This time, though, Redd was aware of the defender and had the ball in his left arm, away from Ihenacho. His punches were futile.

—Terrace Knighton blew through Kory Lichtensteiger on a one-on-one pass protection drill. It should be noted that these drills favor the defense. Even given that, Steiger will need help against big, athletic nose tackles. Fortunately there aren’t too many like Knighton out there.

—In the latter part of practice, it looked like things were getting ragged as Griffin took a sack and then the offense had to re-huddle after going to the line. But Griffin made up for it with a sharp pass to Roberts.

—Jamison Crowder told me yesterday that his game is based on quickness more than on speed. That may be true but he sure looked like one of the fastest players on the field when he took an end around handoff and zipped around left side for a nice chunk of yardage.

—Team drills finished off with a two-minute drill. Griffin we five for five, all fairly short passes. He did take a sack when Ryan Kerrigan and Keenan Robinson got into the backfield.

—At the end of practice the entire team has been lining up along the sideline from end zone to end zone for some stretching and then a run across the field. I suppose it should be called more of a jog and many players are nearly walking the last five yards or so. It’s not a great look.

Quick Links

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!

Quick Links

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!