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Sluggish offense or strong defense? Notes from final Redskins minicamp practice

Sluggish offense or strong defense? Notes from final Redskins minicamp practice

The Redskins hit the fields for the final minicamp practice on Wednesday and the defense clearly outplayed the offense. In a way, it's a bit more fun when the defense is outplaying the offense in practice. Defensive players tend to hoot and holler a bit more, especially as the team makes big plays and turnovers. 

That happened plenty Wednesday, with Kirk Cousins clearly forcing some deep throws and throwing two interceptions on top of a few others that could have been picked off. The best line overheard as minicamp concluded though belonged to D.J. Swearinger.

As the offense worked near the goal line, Cousins called his own number on a zone read carry. Remember, there is no hitting in minicamp, but had their been, Swearinger would have been in position for a downhill collision. 

Other news and notes: 

  • Early in practice, Ryan Kerrigan quickly got around the corner on Morgan Moses. Remember, no pads, so don't take too much from it. That said, it does seem like the Redskins outside linebacker group could be a force. Last year the team put up Top 10 NFL sack totals and that could improve this fall.
  • DeAngelo Hall might play safety now, but watch him on the sideline, and it's clear he still thinks like a cornerback. Throughout the minicamp session, Hall talks with the corners and offers advice. After the practice session, Hall explained that he likes talking with the corners, especially Quinton Dunbar and Bashaud Breeland. Hall explained Dunbar has all the tools but is still learning to switch after playing wideout in college. On Breeland, Hall said that the fourth-year CB out of Clemson can be one of the best when he's focused, but when he's not, "he is just a guy." Sounds like a future coach.
  • Jordan Reed has been great. Vernon Davis has looked good. But damn if Niles Paul isn't impressing when he gets opportunities. Had another TD catch on Wednesday on a nice seam route where it looked like he got popped as he hit the end zone. Assuming the Redskins want to keep Jeremy Sprinkle, who hasn't impressed but is a raw rookie, Jay Gruden will have a very tough decision with his roster. Four tight ends seems like a possibility. Gruden on Paul: "He’s the hardest working guy here and he’s performed very well. He does some tight end, he does some fullback, he can split outside, very versatile. He’s also a key member of our special teams. He’s done excellent." And Cousins on Paul: "I thought he was very productive this spring. He probably did even more than I thought he would."
  • Nico Marley running the huddle with the second-team defense? Nico Marley running the huddle with the second-team defense. The kid is charismatic and super quick sideline to sideline. Special teams is his only chance for a roster spot with the lack of size, but guys must like him. 
  • Josh Norman is confident the 2017 Redskins defense will be better than the 2016 Redskins defense. I agree. The cornerback continues to work on his off-man coverage, and on Tuesday had perhaps the most impressive defensive play of minicamp when he was able to highpoint a ball on Terrelle Pryor and break up a long pass on the sideline. 
  • When the Redskins signed 6-foot-5 Pryor, many thought he would instantly help the team in the red zone. That was on display Wednesday, when Cousins found Pryor on a simple slant from about the 5-yard-line that went for a TD. The play seemed effortless, and it was clearly the highlight of the day for the QB/WR duo. In fact, Cousins and Pryor seemed a bit out of sync much of the two-day minicamp, but remember, it's June. Don't be alarmed.  
  • Redskins WR coach Ike Hilliard talked about one big difference from 2016 to 2017 - and I'm paraphrasing - We had a bunch of little guys. Now we have big guys. 

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Josh Norman just found a loophole for his illegal bow and arrow celebration

Josh Norman just found a loophole for his illegal bow and arrow celebration

That Josh Norman is one sneaky fellow, isn't he?

Earlier this month, the NFL officially banned players from celebrating big plays with a bow and arrow gesture during a game. That just so happens to be Norman's go-to move, and something he used a few times last season when he was particularly excited.

But with the league's recent announcement, it was assumed that he'd never do it again, since it's an automatic flag and would probably lead to a fine, too. You know what people love to say about assuming, though...

So, the very first time Norman stepped on his home turf in 2017 for a game, he bow and arrow'd when the NFL said he couldn't bow and arrow. That's bold, Josh.

MORE: REDSKINS-PACKERS LIVE BLOG

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Redskins vs. Packers Preseason Live Updates: Week 2 score, stats, highlights, analysis

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CSNMA

Redskins vs. Packers Preseason Live Updates: Week 2 score, stats, highlights, analysis

Week 2 of the NFL preseason is here as the Redskins take on the Packers on Saturday night.

Following the Redskins' 23-3 loss to the Ravens in Week 1, Kirk Cousins and the Redskins starters will look to continue their development again against Green Bay. Head coach Jay Gruden plans to play the starters for at least a full quarter.

The Redskins-Packers preseason game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. and will be aired on CSN Mid-Atlantic. Redskins Kickoff begins a 6:30 p.m. ET, as Chick Hernandez, Brian Mitchell and Trevor Matich get your prepared for the game with 60 minutes of pregame coverage. (Channel Finder)

CSN Mid-Atlantic is here to provide all the live updates, stats, score, highlights, video and analysis from the Redskins and Ravens. If you have a comment about the game, be sure to leave a comment in the section below the article.

REDSKINS VS. PACKERS WEEK 2 PRESEASON LIVE UPDATES

8:36 PM - Touchdown, Packers

Jones 5 pass from Hundley (Crosby kick)
Drive: 7 plays, 73 yards, 3:49
Drive summary: After going three and out his first series, QB Brett Hundley heated up for the Packers. A pass to Trevor Davis got a first down at the Green Bay 44 and then he went deep to Jeff Cass for 38 yards to the Redskins six. On third down, Hundley found RB Aaron Jones wide open for an east touchdown.  

Packers 14, Redskins 3

8:32 PM - First-team defense is done for the night early in the second quarter.

End of 1st Quarter - Packers 7, Redskins 3
-Redskins' first team offense gets their first 1st down of the preseason on final play of quarter.

8:14 PM - We go down one blogger, Pete Hailey is cramping up after a slow off-season. Will try and tough it out but his return is questionable.

8:11 PM - Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers and majority of Green Bay first-team head to bench on second offensive series. Their night is done. 

8:07 PM - Touchdown, Packers

Bennett 3 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick)
Drive: 15 plays, 75 yards, 7:41
Drive summary: The Packers got their drive started with some Aaron Rodgers artistry. Or a cheap trick, whatever you want to call it. He went no huddle on third and five and on a replay review the Redskins were caught with 12 men on the field. One pass to Davante Adams and two to Jordy Nelson got the Packers into Redskins territory. On third and six, Rodgers scrambled for 13 yards to the 13. A hands to the face penalty set up a first and goal at the four. On second down, Rogers threw a fade to TE Martellus Bennett, who fought the ball away from ILB Zach Brown.

Packers 7, Redskins 3

7:53 PM - Redskins get caught with too many players on the field after a forcing a three-and-out. Packers get a first down.

7:46 PM - FG, Redskins  

FG Hopkins 34
Drive: 4 plays, 0:17, 0 yards
Drive summary: The Redskins had a golden opportunity after the Packers fumbled a punt and Niles Paul recovered at the Green Bay 16. But after three incomplete passes the Redskins had to go for three and Dustin Hopkins put it through. 

Redskins 3, Packers 0

7:44 PM - Morgan Moses returns to the field at right tackle.

7:42 PM - On the punt return, the Packers muff the kick, Niles Paul recovered the loose ball at the Packers 16-yard line.

7:39 PM - Morgan Moses goes down on the second offensive play. He is helped to the sideline by the trainers, replaced by Ty Nsekhe at right tackle.

7:34 PM -  Josh Norman uses his infamous bow-and-arrow celebration during player introductions. No flag.

6:50 PM - Get excited, Redskins fans:

6:45 PM - And it's official:

6:30 PM - We'll just leave this right here:

5:10 PM - Preseason games are what they are: Not all that great after the first quarter. But there's value in the games. Here are the three things you should be watching for.

5:05 PM - I implore you to follow me on Twitter. I'm great. You can also follow Our @CSNRedskins account, which is equally great. Our Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler are OK too. 

5:00 PM - The 2017 NFL preseason rolls on as the Redskins take on the Packers in Week 2 of the preseason at FedEx Field. As is the case again this season, I am Troy Machir, and I will be guiding you through the live blog of tonight's preseason game.