- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

RICHMOND — By the time Tuesday’s training camp practice was over, the Washington Redskins appeared eager to hit somebody other than each other and they’ll get the chance to do so on Thursday against the Atlanta Falcons.

Tuesday’s two-hour session was feisty at times with a few minor scuffles. During individual pass rush drills, outside linebacker Trent Murphy and right guard Brandon Scherff got into it. During team drills, defensive end Ziggy Hood and center Austin Reiter, and offensive tackle Takoby Cofield and linebacker Ejiro Ederaine mixed it up.

“The humidity was probably the last straw,” Cofield quipped as he was walking off the field.

Here are some observations from Tuesday’s practice:

** When the Redskins signed Hood to a one-year contract in February, it was unclear what the veteran defensive end had left in the tank. He played just two games for the Chicago Bears last season and was waived in December. Prior to that season, he played 16 games in every year — one with the Jacksonville Jaguars and five with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He’s caught the attention of the coaching staff in training camp thus far, especially during individual pass rushing drills. As the Redskins begin their preseason schedule on Thursday, it will be interesting to see how Hood plays against a live opponent. He was also strong against the running game on Tuesday.

“I’ll tell you what, Ziggy Hood has jumped out a lot,” coach Jay Gruden said on Tuesday. “What you’re looking for in defensive linemen, you obviously want them to be sound in their run game, but you want to see guys show up. He’s disruptive. He’s a smart football player who has played a lot of football. Like I said, he just shows up and does a good job.”

** Keep a close eye on the running backs in Thursday’s game. It’s difficult to get a true evaluation of the running backs in training camp, even when the pads are on in practice. Defenders still aren’t tackling ball carriers to the ground and often times, the linebackers slow down when they likely would have closed in to make a play. Seventh-round draft pick Keith Marshall has garnered attention with his shifty speed, while undrafted free agent Robert Kelley and second-year player Mack Brown are more physical runners. The preseason games will be the best evaluation coaches will get when gauging the progress of the young running backs.

** Wide receiver Maurice Harris, who signed as an undrafted free agent from California, has had a strong few days of practice. On Sunday, he hauled in a deep pass from Colt McCoy. On Tuesday, he showed his skill in tight spaces and reeled one in one the right sideline from Kirk Cousins. With Jamison Crowder out against the Falcons, and a lighter load in general for the starters, Harris should get a good amount of reps on Thursday.

** The Redskins shifted their practice to a walk-through in the second half in preparation for the game against Atlanta.

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