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Redskins training camp report, day 5: Things get chippy

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Redskins training camp report, day 5: Things get chippy

RICHMOND—The Redskins held their fifth full practice of training camp in full pads, football pants and all. Here are my observations:

—Lined up to return punts were DeSean Jackson, Lache Seastrunk, Richard Crawford, Nick Williams, Rashad Ross, and Chris Thompson. Crawford, Williams, and Thompson each fumbled a punt.

—An open-field tackling drill didn’t last long but it was a lot of fun. Safety Ross Madison got a good hit on WR Cody Hoffman.

—Brian Baker gets down to the nitty-gritty on pass rush techniques. Here’s a Vine of one of their drills. (Note: This is my first attempt at this medium, I’m sure there are some refinements that I can make to my technique as well.)

—One more time with the Vine thing, a look at blitz pickups, running backs vs. safeties.

—The defense also did a drill where everyone ran over in pursuit of the ball carrier. Trash cans represented blockers so it wasn’t realistic but the goal is to create the mindset. Ryan Clark talked about it yesterday. “When you’re playing the LeSean McCoys and the Darren Sproles, you have to gang tackle those guys,” he said. “You have to get a lot of people around that ball.”

—Silas Redd has shown some promise but he has to remember what Gruden says all the time—low man wins. Near the goal line in an 11 on 11 session, Redd hit the line upright. Very quickly, he was knocked back a couple of yards behind the line of scrimmage.

—Lache Seastrunk didn’t try to go through the defense he went around it. The rookie displayed some impressive speed scooting around the left end and into the end zone from about 10 yards out.

—When Robert Griffin III was a rookie and new to the team and Pierre Garçon was new to the team after signing as a free agent, Griffin threw to Garçon frequently during training camp to develop chemistry between the quarterback and receiver. This year, Griffin is strongly focusing on throwing to Andre Roberts and DeSean Jackson.

—During 11 on 11 drills, Griffin saw an opening up the middle and shot through it, picking up about 20 yards. He looked very much like the 2012 version of RG3, covering the 20 yards in the blink of an eye. This is why Gruden, while he is going to cut way back on planned runs by Griffin, will encourage him to run out of the pocket when the situation calls for it.

—Things got a bit heated, both literally as it got hotter and figuratively as a couple of scuffles broke out. First Ted Bolser and Chase Minnifield got into it and then it was cornerback Peyton Thompson and Roberts. The latter was a push, with Roberts losing his helmet but getting off a solid punch.

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Pierre-Paul injury a big loss for Redskins' playoff rival

Pierre-Paul injury a big loss for Redskins' playoff rival

When you’re fighting for a playoff spot, it’s not only about what happens to you. It’s also about what happens to the teams you’re competing against for that playoff spot. And one of the Redskins’ main competitors got some very bad news this morning.

The Giants, who are in the No. 5 spot in the NFC, the first wild card spot, got word today that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has had sports hernia surgery. The recovery time is at least four weeks, probably more like six. The Giants’ season is likely to be over by the time six weeks elapse, barring a playoff run without one of their best defensive players.

Pierre-Paul has helped solidify what was a shaky Giants defense last year. He has seven sacks and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. He has been heating up down the stretch with 5.5 sacks in his last three games.

His loss is a big blow for the Giants. They are a game ahead of the Buccaneers, who hold the No. 6 spot, and a game and a half ahead of the Redskins, who are currently seventh.

The Redskins play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins have to pick up just one game on the Giants over the next three to have a shot at passing them in the season finale.

The chances of that happening looked pretty good with Washington playing playing three teams with losing records in the Eagles, Panthers, and Bears and the Giants going against division leaders Dallas and Detroit in addition to the Eagles. With the Giants now without Pierre-Paul, the Redskins’ probabilities got tilted in their direction a little bit more.

Just finishing ahead of the Giants wouldn’t guarantee a playoff spot but it would come close. It would mean that the Redskins would have at least nine wins and the Redskins’ tie means that two teams would have to get to 10 wins to knock them out of the playoffs. The Bucs have to win three more games to get to nine wins and the Packers and Vikings would have to run the table.

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Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked — and what didn't — against Arizona

Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked — and what didn't — against Arizona

CSN has teamed up with The Edge Systems to provide the occasional statistical review of Redskins game film. The Edge is analytical football software currently being used by coaches in the NFL, SEC, ACC and the media, providing some of the fastest and best data in football.

Below is a breakdown of the Redskins run game against Arizona - a game coach Jay Gruden admitted did not feature enough carries for Robert Kelley. 

The Redskins had a lot of success with their GAP runs early in the game.

In the first half they were successful on 75 percent of their GAP runs. 

As the game wore on the Redskins moved away from what had been successful and only ran two GAP runs in the second half.

As the Redskins power run game vanished, so did their prospects for winning the game.

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