RICHMOND — That’s all folks.
Save for a quick walkthrough, the Redskins are done with training camp in Richmond. The team returns to its normal home base in Ashburn on Monday, where practice is expected to be held Wednesday and Thursday before the second preseason game against Green Bay on Saturday.
So, for a final time from Richmond, here’s what we learned on Day 13 of Redskins training camp.
A word from Doug Williams
The Redskins Senior Vice President of Player Personnel spoke Sunday and called this roster “the best roster that I’ve seen since I’ve been here.” That would mean since 2014.
Williams said he felt that way before training camp began, and he still feels that way now, even after a flat performance in the first preseason game. Why? Williams feels the Redskins will be better in the trenches, in particular, and not just because of personnel.
“We’ve got [offensive line coach Bill] Callahan and we’ve got [defensive line coach Jim] Tomsula,” Williams said. “Those are the same two guys. It’s all about fundamentals.
“I think when you look at this team as a whole, in the trenches has gotten a lot better not only because of the players that are here [but] the coaches too,” Williams said.
Tomsula and Callahan do mirror each others’ energy. Callahan is roughly half the size of most of the offensive linemen he coaches but, when he zips around the practice field demonstrating techniques himself, he has no problem holding attention.
Tomsula is more gruff, perpetually sporting a heavy black windbreaker even in 90-degree weather, with a gold chain peeking through parts of the collar.
Both are entertaining to watch, and both have had success as position coaches in the past.
Williams also explained how he feels the Redskins will cope with the loss of outside linebacker Trent Murphy, out for the season with a torn ACL and MCL. Williams said that Murphy’s injury will mean an opportunity for Junior Galette, who has missed the last two seasons with Achilles tendon injuries, “to stay healthy and be that guy.”
“If not we’re going to have to go with Ryan [Anderson] and Preston [Smith] and Ryan Anderson is going to have to step up and be a good player for us and Chris Carter is going to have to fill in somewhere,” Williams said.
Smith, who had been dealing with a sprained ankle, was out at the Redskins walkthrough and participated in individual drills Sunday, but was held out of team work, where Carter filled in opposite Ryan Kerrigan to start.
Moreau impresses with his body
Third-round cornerback Fabian Moreau and fourth-round safety Montae Nicholson were cleared for one-on-one work and team drills Saturday, but Moreau had more chances to get involved during a longer practice Sunday. Nicholson left the session early with cramps.
Working with the third-team defense, Moreau had a nice pass breakup on a ball intended for receiver Zach Pascal. He looked like a sure tackler, as well. After practice, Moreau was adamant that he has a lot to work on and a long ways to go, but it seems he knows how to use his body.
“He’s exactly what we thought as far as his height, weight, speed measurables are concerned,” Gruden said. “He looks the part. He can run. Now it’s just a matter of him adjusting to the scheme and the techniques that we’re teaching.”
Reed and Hall ramping up
Redskins tight end Jordan Reed (toe) is still on the physically unable to participate (PUP) list but has been more active over the past two days when he’s worn special orthotics in his cleats. Reed and safety DeAngelo Hall (also on PUP) did conditioning work on a separate field during part of practice Sunday, running through ladders and catching passes with a trainer.
Reed was running around a bit Saturday as well, but it as by far the most involved physical work Hall, who is recovering from a torn ACL, has been seen doing during training camp. For the most part, Hall has spent practice serving as a player-coach from the sideline.
Hall did express some eagerness to get back out there. Hall was standing under the uprights on a play where Kirk Cousins held onto the ball too long and then threw it into traffic. “I’m gonna get some of that!” Hall shouted.
Roster moves: The Redskins signed offensive lineman Kendall Pace and linebacker Ron Thompson Jr. and waived safety Tim Scott and wide receiver Kendal Thompson. Thompson was waived with an injury designation. If you’d like an example of how thin the Redskins group of outside linebackers is at the moment (don’t panic, it shouldn’t stay that way for long), Thompson Jr. took a couple reps with the starting defense Sunday, the first day he pulled on a Redskins uniform.
Injuries: Nicholson was carted off the field after going up to break up a pass during 7-on-7 work but just had cramps. Gruden also said that receiver Josh Doctson (hamstring) should be back in “four or five days, probably.”
Extra point: Running back Rob Kelley said linebacker Ryan Anderson had his favorite rookie skit. “He did a magic trick,” Kelley said. “He said ‘Now you see me, now you don’t,’ and he cut the lights off and walked off. Everybody thought it was funny.”