Practice observations and analysis: 8/6

← return to Redskins Watch

Breaking down what I saw at Saturday’s practice, the Redskins’ first in shoulder pads this training camp:

QB John Beck tweaked a groin muscle while scrambling during 11-on-11 drills. He doesn’t believe it’s a serious problem, so we’ll see whether he’s limited when the Redskins return to practice on Monday morning.

The Redskins’ offense requires quarterbacks to run on misdirection plays and bootlegs, plus they often have to run from pressure, so a bum leg could significantly hinder Beck’s play. Not to mention how it affects arm strength. It’s worth monitoring.

***

After watching newly-signed RT Sean Lockler go through one-on-one and team drills, it’s clear why he has a reputation for being a quality pass blocker. His violent initial punch stunned OLB Edgar Jones during one-on-one drills. He drove both hands into Jones’ chest while maintaining his balance. Later, his punch similarly stopped OLB Rob Jackson. Locklear’s feet were good, too, but keep an eye on that punch of his.

***

RB Roy Helu Jr. took a handoff during team drills and sprinted forward behind center. But when that hole closed, he changed directions without breaking stride and ran between the left guard and tackle. Helu appears to have a good feel for the main principles of the one-cut zone scheme. It’s difficult to get a feel for running backs during 11-on-11 team drills, though. We need to see him when there’s full contact and actual tackling.

***

RB Evan Royster picked up S Anderson Russell blitzing from the left edge during team drills. Royster squared his shoulders and stuffed Russell in his tracks with a good hit. Royster was a quality pass blocker at Penn State, and that would go a long way toward helping him secure a spot in a crowded backfield.

***

FB Keiland Williams made a nice combination block around the right edge on a running play during 11-on-11. He chipped OLB Markus White before working to the next level and blocking ILB Perry Riley.

To me, Williams still seems a bit undersized for the fullback position (he’s listed at 5-11, 230). And coach Mike Shanahan seems committed to the tailback group of Ryan Torain, Tim Hightower, Helu and Royster. He’s kind of stuck in the middle of a numbers game.

***

LG Selvish Capers failed to sustain his block against ILB Perry Riley after he pulled on a running play. Riley shed him easily and made the stop. Capers’ feet have appeared slow during one-on-one drills. He must improve if he is to avoid another season on the practice squad—or worse.

***

Undrafted WR Isaac Anderson dropped a pass after getting wide open on an intermediate cross. You know what coaches say: Most players cut themselves.

***

Two noteworthy items from this play: RB Tim Hightower got around the right edge for a significant gain during 11-on-11. His speed to the edges and ability to turn the corner have been impressive. We still haven’t seen an after-burner gear from him, so maybe that’s where Helu has the advantage.

At the end of the play, FS Oshiomogho Atogwe lowered his shoulder and knocked Hightower off his feet. Atogwe is widely regarded as a reliable tackler, and the Redskins should benefit from having him as their last line of defense instead of Kareem Moore, who struggled in run support last year.

***

The more I see of rookie WR Niles Paul, the better I regard his chances of making the final roster. He’s just solid. He gets open, he doesn’t drop passes and he adjusts well to throws that aren’t perfectly on target. In 11-on-11 today, he didn’t get much separation cutting in against CB Byron Westbrook, but he made a terrific sliding catch.

***

Second-year WR Terrence Austin got wide open against CB Reggie Jones on a crossing route during 7-on-7. But QB Rex Grossman’s throw was so far behind Austin that Jones intercepted it in stride. Looking on the bright side, Austin’s quickness in and out of breaks is an asset.

***

FS Chris Horton dominated lesser competition is one-on-one drills. He broke up passes intended for undrafted TEs Joe Torchia and Kevin Gidrey. He ran with them stride-for-stride when they broke to the sideline on their respective routes.

Later during team drills, Horton ducked under LT Trent Williams’ attempted block and stopped a screen pass to WR Santana Moss. Horton’s awareness and recognition appear to be at the level you’d expect from a player entering his fourth season.

***

Rookie WR Leonard Hankerson isn’t the most explosive receiver in and out of cuts, but he knows how to use his size (6-2, 205) to his advantage. During one-on-one drills, he set up CB Reggie Jones with a step to the outside. That gave him enough space to get back inside and put Jones on his back. It was an easy completion on the slant.

***

NT Anthony Bryant drove OL Erik Cook back into the imaginary quarterback during one-on-one drills. Bryant came off the ball much lower than Cook, and it was over right there. Coaches cheered, complimenting Bryant’s pad level. Leverage was an issue for Bryant last summer.

← return to Redskins Watch

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Happening Now