Some notes and analysis from Wednesday at Redskins Park:
Here’s the latest on injuries: TE Chris Cooley (left knee) and G Artis Hicks (concussion) are out for Friday’s game, and QB John Beck (groin) and FS Oshiomogho Atogwe (hamstring) likely are, too.
Coach Mike Shanahan sounded particularly concerned about Cooley’s injury. He recently had fluid drained from his knee. He participated in Tuesday’s practice but wasn’t able to bounce back and go Wednesday. A telling sign will be whether he participates when the team resumes practice on Sunday.
Sorry, but I just can’t get worked up over QB Rex Grossman’s declaration that the Redskins are going to win the NFC East. Sure, he could have toned it down a bit, maybe said something along the lines of the Redskins surprising people. But he’s confident. He should be confident. If he doesn’t believe the Redskins will win the division, he should find a different line of work.
And I don’t think this has anything to do with firing up the other guys in the locker room or being a leader or that kind of thing. Grossman just said how he feels, and he should feel that way.
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if first-round pick LOLBRyan Kerrigan begins the regular season coming off the bench. That’s not outrageous considering the scope of Kerrigan’s transition to linebacker, the time he missed due to the lockout and his recent knee injury. Still, it reinforces the reality that this whole defense is a work in progress. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly all the new pieces come together.
The Redskins haven’t done any live tackling during training camp, so how they’ll fare in that aspect of Friday’s preseason opener is unknown.
“That will be interesting, that’s for sure,” Haslett said. “In the whole National Football League they haven’t had a lot of training camp. It will be a little rusty. Our guys, we do it in individual drills, so we expect good tackling, form tackling, wrap them up.”
One day earlier this week, defensive players did a drill in which they wrapped up a tackling dummy sled and hauled it to the ground. Intense stuff.
Shanahan wouldn’t divulge many specifics about playing time in Friday’s game, but he indicated that some free agent additions might play more than veterans would after a typical offseason.
“We’re going to have a number of new [defensive] starters in there who need some playing time,” he said. “They’ve got to get used to our defense. They’ve got to feel comfortable within our scheme, so you may play some of those starters who haven’t been with our team for a year a little bit more than you normally would. The key is to get them ready for the first regular season game.”
Ks Graham Gano and Shayne Graham will alternate field goal attempts in the game.
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan wants three quarterbacks to play on Friday. QB Rex Grossman said on the in-house television show “Redskins Nation” that he expects to play two quarters. That would make Friday a bit more interesting than a preseason opener normally is.
Still no timetable for SS LaRon Landry’s return from a left Achilles’ tendon injury, Shanahan said.
I chatted about all things Redskins with Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro on ESPN980-AM this afternoon. For the full audio, click here.