- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 4, 2016

RICHMOND — The Washington Redskins returned to their regular practice schedule on Thursday following Wednesday’s special teams session, which also doubled as a day off for the regular starters.

Left tackle Trent Williams and running back Matt Jones both did not practice because of knee soreness, but their absences were precautionary, according to the team. Jones said he was resting his legs and “felt fine.”

Inside linebacker Steven Daniels also missed practice and coach Jay Gruden said the rookie is “banged up a little bit.” Fellow rookie linebacker/safety Su’a Cravens and running back Robert Kelley both returned to practice after missing Tuesday’s session with hamstring strains.

“It was a good day back,” Cravens said. “I don’t like sitting out practice.”

With that, here are some observations from Thursday’s practice:

** When veteran tight end Vernon Davis joined the Redskins, the 32-year-old pledged to do whatever the coaches asked him, which included more run blocking. On Thursday, he was a bit more active in the passing game in team drills and hauled in a red-zone touchdown — out-jumping inside linebacker to secure the catch.

Davis was pumped and celebrated by tossing the football into the air.

“It feels great,” Davis said. “I feel great. It’s been a great week, everything’s going well. Getting acclimated to the system, the coaching staff, just the organization in general. Taking it one day at a time.”

So far, Davis has been coming along nicely and the Redskins have been pleased with how quickly he’s picked up the system.

** Kirk Cousins was fired up after the Redskins successfully completed a move-the-ball drill that began on the offense’s five-yard line. Cousins completed a pass to Pierre Garcon in the back corner of the end zone to seal the drill, though it was unclear if Garcon got both feet in bounds. Bruce Allen held up his hands to signal for a touchdown, prompting Cousins to yell, “Bruce said he’s in, he’s the president of the team!”

** Since the Redskins have put on the pads, the one-on-one pass rush drills have been fun to watch. One of the best matchups has featured defensive end Chris Baker against right guard Brandon Scherff. It’s been a fairly even matchup to this point and Scherff has held his own against Baker on several occasions.

“He’s gotten a lot better using his inside hand and really trying to shut my moves down,” Baker said. “I’ve got to get back to the drawing board.”

** Gruden has been impressed with inside linebacker Martrell Spaight, who missed all of his rookie season with a concussion. “He’s turned a lot of heads so far.” Spaight is garnering attention because of his physicality, but he also flashed his coverage skills on Thursday and broke up a pass intended for tight end Jordan Reed.

“He’s tough, man,” Spaight said. “Now that I’m competing with him, it’s rough, but just have to have fun and get better.”

** Last season, former fullback Darrel Young was the emergency quarterback on the roster. Gruden said they are preparing Reed and wide receiver Jamison Crowder for that role, though he said it’s likely to be Reed. The tight end was recruited as a quarterback before switching to tight end at Florida.

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