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Redskins training camp report, Day 3: First day in pads

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Redskins training camp report, Day 3: First day in pads

RICHMOND—The weather was a winner again today as practice was held under partly cloudy skies with temperatures that climbed through the 70’s as practice went on. Here are my observations:

—They were permitted to wear pads for the first time and most of the players were in shoulder pads, helmets, and shorts. The one exception was Ryan Clark, who wore football pants.

—They did special teams drills first, as they have been. Yesterday I asked Gruden why they did it that way. “A lot of teams have special teams in practice,” he said. “It just kind of disrupts the flow. Coach [Ben] Kotwica wanted to get the special teams done first – a big 15-minute period done first where they are focused in on it, they’re fresh, everybody’s involved in it and it’s worked out very well so far.”

—As you would expect, there was more contact with the pads on. The blocking on the kickoff return drills was almost live (although it was 2 blocking 2, not full team) and there was some hard contact made with the returner, though there was no tackling to the groud.

—Special teams assistant Bradford Banta was giving detailed instruction on forcing the opposing kickoff coverage team to commit to going one way and then setting up to run the other way. There was a lot of technical talk of spacing and moving the wedge.

—No changes on the second- or third-team offensive lines. Morgan Moses is still at left tackle and Tom Compton is on the right side.

—I don’t know how RB Silas Redd can make the roster; the numbers game at the position works against the undrafted free agent. But if he makes more runs like the nice one he popped up the middle during 11 on 11 work the coaches will have a tough decision to make.

—The play of the day was Robert Griffin III running a bootleg to the right and launching a deep pass to DeSean Jackson. It should be noted that undrafted free agent cornerback Courtney Bridget had the coverage.

—The defense made amends a few snaps later when they reacted quickly to a bubble screen to Jackson. A mass of bodies in burgundy shirts (the color the defense wears) corralled Jackson out of bounds.

—The play of the day on defense came from Chris Baker. Griffin handed off to Pierre Garçon on an end around. Baker shot into the backfield and got Garçon for what would have been about an eight-yard loss. That drew a very enthusiastic response.

—There were quite a few snaps with the first-team offense going against the second- and third-team defense. Mike Shanahan’s philosophy was to run the 1’s against the 1’s almost exclusively. Gruden doesn’t do it that way. "You’ve got to test them, see if they're any good,” he said yesterday. “You have got to put them in with the ones, you have got to put them in with the twos. You have got to mix and match, mix and mingle these guys. You can't just put them in threes against threes all the time because then you don’t know how good they really are.”

—DeAngelo Hall made a pretty easy pick-six of a Griffin pass that was intended for Jackson in the flat. Hall just sat on the route, jumped in, and made the pick. He rolled near the end zone and when Darrel Young approached him he flipped the ball over to Ryan Kerrigan, who stepped in for the TD.

—It was starting to get quite warm towards the end of practice and some sort of scuffle started to seem inevitable. It finally happened when Tom Compton and Darryl Sharpton got into it a little bit. No major punches were thrown and order was restored quickly.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins talk, back end of D

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins talk, back end of D

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 22, five days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 202 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 50 days.

Days until:

—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 19
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 28
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 42

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics from the past week on www.CSNmidatlantic.com and on www.RealRedskins.com.

What would a fair Redskins contract offer to Kirk Cousins look like?  As it turns out, the offer the Redskins made fell below “fair” territory. But perhaps they recognized that a deal never was going to get done, not this year anyway. Cousins is content to see things unfold in 2017 and decide on a longer-term destination next year. So, the team’s offer was not high enough but there really wasn’t an offer that was going to be sufficient.

Cousins explains why he's not offended by Redskins statement—Bruce Allen raised plenty of eyebrows by detailing some of the team’s contract offer in a statement. Clearly the intent of the statement, which revealed some details that weren’t very impressive under closer inspection, was designed to turn public opinion in their favor. Cousins, appearing on the radio the next day, didn’t have a problem with it and said that Allen had told him that he would do it. As expected, plenty of fans and media types decided to be outraged in his place.

Redskins have plenty of 2018 cap room for possible Kirk Cousins offer—With the focus turning to 2018, the fact that the team will have about $60 million in cap space becomes relevant. It’s enough to give him the $35 million franchise tag and perhaps enough to match a front-loaded offer sheet if the Redskins use the transition tag. But the cautionary word is that they have at least a dozen starters and key contributors who also are set to be free agents next year. They will have to find money for them or their replacements somewhere.

Redskins depth chart preview--Safety—Cousins talk dominated the week but other topics did draw plenty of interest. The back end of the defense, with Su’a Cravens converting from linebacker and free agent D. J. Swearinger moving from being mostly a strong safety to playing free, will be under the microscope this year. Whether the defense gets better may hinge on the safety position. 

11 predictions for the 2017 Redskins offenseDoes Trent Williams make the All-Pro team? How many yards for Rob Kelley? One prediction for each projected offensive starter here including how many non-receiving touchdowns for Jamison Crowder.

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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Matt Ryan throws some serious shade at Kyle Shanahan for the Super Bowl loss

Matt Ryan throws some serious shade at Kyle Shanahan for the Super Bowl loss

Matt Ryan spoke to CBS Sports' Pete Prisco about the loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl and how the Falcons will rebound in 2017. 

In the process, he took a shot at former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's play-calling and put some of the blame on his style of coaching for the disastrous fourth quarter.

"Kyle's play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in," Ryan said. "As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you're talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, 'There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.' You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

"With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You're not being aggressive not running it there."

Those are some harsh words from Ryan and not exactly a ringing endorsement of Kyle Shanahan. This loss will surely haunt him should he never get back to another Super Bowl.

"There's always going to be a little sting," Ryan said. "You never lose that. Hopefully we've got four Super Bowl victories after this one, but that doesn't mean we won't still be like, 'Damn, let's talk about the other one we should've had."

Redskins fans may be able to relate to Matt Ryan's pain as some were vocal about Kyle Shanahan's play-calling during his time in Washington. Maybe Kirk Cousins takes notice of Ryan's comments as well before he considers San Francisco next off-season.

MORE REDSKINS: REDSKINS STATEMENT WAS A MISTAKE, BUT WON'T HAVE IMPACT ON THE FIELD