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

Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

There continues to be a (ridiculous) debate on whether or not Kirk Cousins can continue to be a successful starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

In the betting industry, there is not much debate with Cousins being listed with 50/1 odds to win the NFL MVP award this upcoming season from Bovada. Among all the other players listed, he is in a tie for 14th. 

He is coming off back-to-back seasons with seven 300 yard passing games, a team record, and has an abundance of fresh, young wide receivers to compliment his passing style. Last year he was third in the league in passing yards with 4,917, trailing only Drew Brees (5,208) and Matt Ryan (4,944). 

The team may not be poised for a Super Bowl run in 2017-18, but if the team makes a post-season run, who will it be on the back of? Jordan Reed? Rob Kelley? Ryan Kerrigan?

No, it will be Kirk Cousins. 

RELATED: Ex-GM outlines staggering contract for Kirk Cousins

Entering this season at 40-years-old, and defending Super Bowl MVP, Tom Brady is the overall favorite at 4/1. He is closely followed by Aaron Rodgers, and young quarterbacks Derek Carr and Dak Prescott. 

BOVADA 2017-18 NFL MVP ODDS:

Tom Brady, NE — 4/1
Aaron Rodgers, GB — 7/1
Derek Carr, OAK — 9/1
Dak Prescott, DAL — 12/1
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT — 12/1
Russell Wilson, SEA — 12/1
Matt Ryan, ATL — 16/1
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL — 20/1
Drew Brees, NO — 25/1
Andrew Luck, IND — 25/1
Cam Newton, CAR — 25/1
David Johnson, ARI — 33/1
Marcus Mariota, TEN — 33/1
Sam Bradford, MIN — 50/1
Antonio Brown, PIT — 50/1
Kirk Cousins, WAS — 50/1
Julio Jones, ATL — 50/1
Eli Manning, NYG — 50/1
Carson Palmer, ARI — 50/1
Adrian Peterson, NO — 50/1
Philip Rivers, LAC — 50/1
Matt Stafford, DET — 50/1
Odell Beckham Jr., NYG — 66/1
Rob Gronkowski, NE — 66/1
Alex Smith, KC — 66/1
Ryan Tannehill, MIA — 66/1
J.J. Watt, HOU — 66/1
Jameis Winston, TB — 66/1
Blake Bortles, JAX — 100/1
Andy Dalton, CIN — 100/1
Joe Flacco, BAL — 100/1
T.Y. Hilton, IND — 100/1
Marshawn Lynch, OAK — 100/1
LeSean McCoy, BUF — 100/1
Von Miller, DEN — 100/1
DeMarco Murray, TEN — 100/1
Carson Wentz, PHL — 100/1

RELATED: After Derek Carr deal, Cousins' best option may be short-term

Quick Links

True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

Robert Kelley emerged as the Redskins top running back in 2016, an incredible story of an undrafted guy working his way to the top. Of course, Matt Jones' problems with fumbling helped push Kelley to the top. 

Redskins coach Jay Gruden speaks highly of Kelley, particularly his fluidity and vision, but the team drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round this year to provide additional competition in the backfield.

Here's the crucial statement: Rob Kelley will lead the Redskins in rushing yards in 2017.

Finlay: True.

Kelley averaged 4.2 yards-per-carry last season and the Redskins ground game is very much centered on a "4 or more" philosophy. Washington running backs coach Randy Jordan joined the #RedskinsTalk podcast and explained that the team wants a runner it can count on for positive yards more than creating big plays. The Redskins offense, as designed by Gruden, sets up for big plays in the pass game, and the run should allow for proper use of play action. 

In just nine starts last year, Kelley gained more than 700 yards. Project that out over 16 games, and he would be over 1,000 yards rushing. Perine has much to learn about the NFL, and understanding pass protections will take time for the rookie out of Oklahoma. Chris Thompson will be a key part of the offense, but much of his yardage will come via the pass game. 

Kelley will lead this team in rush yards. He's looked great in OTAs and minicamp while the coaching staff believes Kelley is in much better shape this year than he was as a rookie. Write it down in pen. 

RELATED: How will Kelley and Perine share the carries?

Tandler: True.

After the draft and during rookie camp I was saying that there was a chance that Perine could lead the team is rushing this year. But after seeing Perine playing with the big boys in OTAs and minicamp it’s apparent that he has a long way to go to become a consistently productive running back.

One thing Kelley seems to have going in his favor is that he has a very sensible outlook on the NFL. As JP noted, Kelley showed up to Redskins Park in better shape than he did as a rookie. This indicates to me that he understands that being an NFL players is a year-round job. Staying in great shape is important in the league but at running back it’s vital. Kelley gets that and because he does, his chances of being available for 16 games are much higher.

In turn, that improves his chance of being the team’s leading rusher. I’m not sure if he’ll get 1,000 yards—Perine will get things figured out enough to take some carries before the season gets too old—but Gruden will make sure that he gets fed plenty as long as he is available. 

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

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!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back