- The Washington Times - Friday, July 29, 2016

RICHMOND — From the moment cornerback Bashaud Breeland began individual drills against wide receivers, there was a heightened energy and physicality from the Washington Redskins‘ defense on the second day of training camp.

On one play, Breeland droves his hands into Dez Stewart at the line of scrimmage and forced him to the sideline before he was able to complete his route.

As DeSean Jackson loomed behind the line of scrimmage, the fans got excited at the thought of Breeland against Jackson and the matchup didn’t disappoint. Jackson burned past Breeland but by the time Kirk Cousins released the deep pass, Breeland had recovered and dove to break up the play.

Breeland’s strong effort earned the praise of defensive backs coach Perry Fewell, who was fired up after the play.

Here are some other observations from Friday’s session:

** Rookie linebacker/safety Su’a Cravens displayed his athleticism throughout the day. On one play, he blanketed running back Mack Brown and then sagged off at the last second, baiting Colt McCoy into throwing the check down. Cravens finished the play with a leaping interception. A few plays later, tight end Vernon Davis caught a pass and Cravens stayed with the play, chasing down Davis to poke the ball loose.

** Linemen individual drills certainly draw less attention than skill players but are always fun to watch. One of the better battles was right guard Brandon Scherff against defensive end Chris Baker. Scherff showed smooth footwork on his best attempt and neutralized Baker as he rushed toward the middle. Scherff remained active through the end of the play, which drew praise from Baker and left tackle Trent Williams.

Second-year guard Arie Kouandjio has been getting reps on the right side of the line after mostly playing left last season. With Josh LeRibeus switching back to his primary left guard position, Kouandjio got work from both sides with the second team. Kouandjio also received a few reps with the first team during the morning walkthrough.

** Inside linebacker Perry Riley Jr. returned from the physically unable to perform list. Riley, who had two surgeries on his right foot since breaking a bone in December, was being eased into action, coach Jay Gruden said, and Riley looked to be moving well on Friday. The Redskins liked the way Riley was playing alongside Will Compton until Riley got hurt. That said it will be difficult for Riley to unseat Mason Foster, who played well in Riley’s absence.

** The Redskins‘ assistant coaches have been active in harping on the fundamentals early in camp. After cornerback Jeremy Harris intercepted McCoy, Fewell snuck up behind Harris and stripped the ball after he stopped running. “Don’t drop the pill!” defensive end Ricky Jean Francois yelled.

** The Redskins will be in pads on Saturday, presuming the rain holds off. The first-team players will not be doing any live tackling until Week 1 of the preseason, Gruden said.

“These guys are competing really well and I can’t wait to see what happens when we put the pads on – it’s going to be fun,” Gruden said. “We’re going to do more one-on-one drills with the pads on – especially for the O-Line and D-Line. We’ll do some more physical-type runs in first and second down; we’ll do some third down challenging where the pass rush is full-speed with the stunts. It’s going to be fun to watch and the cream will rise to the top.”

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