Some notes, quotes and observations from a soggy Friday at Redskins Park:
SS LaRon Landry (hamstring) said he practiced today at “70, 80 percent.”
“It was a little sore, but we’ll see what happens Monday,” he said.
Landry still hasn’t tested himself at full speed. He said coach Mike Shanahan will decide whether he plays.
“It’s up to him to protect the players and put the players out there who are able to perform,” Landry said.
The Redskins could use a healthy Landry to help cover TE Jason Witten, who had 10 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown these teams’ last meeting.
“We just have to make sure when he’s ready that he knows everything we’re doing because he hasn’t played in a long time,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said Thursday. “
RG Chris Chester believes he has made significant progress blocking in the Redskins’ zone running scheme in the eight weeks he’s been here. The proof is RB Tim Hightower’s 20-yard run through the right side in the second quarter against Arizona. His combination block with C Will Montgomery helped make that play.
Cardinals DL Darnell Docket lined up between Montgomery and Chester with play-side leverage on Montgomery. As the play started to the right, Chester blocked Dockett long enough for Montgomery to get to Dockett’s play-side shoulder and hook him inside. Then Chester released to block ILB Paris Lenon, and Hightower was off and running.
“Maybe earlier in the season he would have left too quickly, he would have left a little slower, whatever it is,” offensive line coach Chris Foerster said. “Chris is getting a better feel for how it is.”
Chester agrees. “More than anything, the timing of combo blocks with guard and tackle and getting a feel for that is what I feel like I’ve improved the most on,” he said.
Speaking of the offensive line, here’s Foerster’s take on the improvement from Week 1 to Week 2:
“We did a better job protecting against Arizona,” he said. “There was no difference in regard to communication or anything like that. We communicate and make our calls based on their defenses, and there was nothing unusual in either game. We just executed.”
Following up on the blocked field goal in last Sunday’s game, the Cardinals overloaded the left side of the Redskins’ line. Cardinals DL Calais Campbell breached the line between Jammal Brown and Adam Carriker and blocked the kick. (Carriker appeared to be in for Lorenzo Alexander, who was out following a hit on a punt return just before that.)
Brown and Carriker were outnumbered on their side because of the overload. Players in that situation are told they’re responsible for an area. They stab wide with their arms and even take a blocker in the chest and get run over if that’s what it takes to slow the rush.
On the game winning field goal, the Cardinals tried the same overload. That time, Brown stopped Campbell’s rush by reaching out his left arm.
P Sav Rocca received the Redskins special teams hit stick following last Sunday’s win against Arizona for his game-ending hit on PR Patrick Peterson. The stick is awarded after every Redskins win to the player who had the best hit on special teams.
Rocca said he’s the first punter ever to receive it.
“It’s an honor,” he said. “I was rapped about it.”
For those of you who aren’t from down under like Sav is, “rapped” means “extremely happy.” I had to Google that one.
The third chapter in TE Chris Cooley’s return from his knee injury will be written Monday night. He hasn’t played as many snaps as TE Fred Davis, but how much of that is due to the knee isn’t totally clear. Cooley still has played a significant amount, which has pleasantly surprised some coaches who initially feared he’d miss the start of the season.
“When you’re out for a month and you’re not able to practice pads and your first time in pads is a game situation, you feel little bit uncomfortable,” Mike Shanahan said. “That’s what Chris is talking about. Every time Chris plays in pads and practices in pads, he’s feeling better, he feels like he’s more ready to do what he’s capable of doing.”