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Redskins OTA practice report 06.03.15

Jun 3, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

McCoy-Matt Jones

The Redskins held their fifth OTA session on Wednesday. The practice was in the bubble due to a wet field with no sunshine to dry it off. Here are my observations from the session:

—The running backs were doing some pass protection drills with one back blocking and the other one imitating a blitzing linebacker What stood out was that rookie Matt Jones actually looked like a linebacker coming in there. He is a big guy.

—Alfred Morris looked about half a step faster than he has in the past. On one play on the far side of the field from where we were standing I thought for a moment that rookie scatback Trey Williams was carrying the ball. But it was Morris moving faster than I’ve ever seen him.

—Trent Williams was not present for the beginning of workouts. He came in later but without a jersey or helmet. Talking to him after practice we found out that he has been shut down until training camp due to an ankle injury.

—Jones is a very physical player. He caught a short pass and turned upfield with his shoulders lowered. The defensive backs who approached him didn’t want to have anything to do with him. After practice Jay Gruden said that he had to remind Jones on a few occasions that this was a non-contact practice and that he should take it easy.

—The Redskins are looking for an emergency backup center, one who would be active on game days and would be able to fill in if and finish a game if starter Kory Lichtensteiger got hurt. Josh LeRibeus took some reps there with the second team and Gruden said that they are pushing him to learn the position.

—Trent Murphy lined up on both the right and left sides and in two- and three-point stances. As he did last week, Trevardo Williams got a lot of the first-team OLB reps in place of the injured Ryan Kerrigan. Preston Smith also got some work with the first defense on both ends of the line.

—The Redskins have not had a quarterback who can throw a fade pattern since perhaps Joe Theismann. If the passes thrown by Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, and Colt McCoy during today’s red zone seven-on-seven work are any indication, they still don’t.

—Jones did some good things but running backs coach Randy Johnson tore into him for something he did wrong on a quick slant pass to DeSean Jackson. The demonstrative Jordan ran towards Jones yelling “No, no, no, don’t ever do that again. His mistake was not obvious but apparently critical.

—Griffin looked fairly good most of the day but he made one ugly play. In 11 on 11 in the red zone the rolled to the right, looked, looked and when he was a few steps from the sideline he threw to the goal line. It was an easy interception for Bashaud Breeland.

—Morgan Moses was on the sideline during team drills but he was an active participant in individual drills. Just looking at him doing those there is no reason to believe that he won’t be back from the Lisfranc injury he suffered in December for the start of training camp.

—One of the nicest plays of the day was Cousins hitting Jackson over the middle about 20 yards downfield. Jackson had to extend a bit to catch the pass but he didn’t have to break stride much.

—Griffin took off downfield on one play and when the defense converged after he picked about 20 yards he went into a slide. It wasn’t perfect form as his legs were sticking up in the air as he came to a stop. But the thought was good.

—Terrance Knighton is huge. That is all.

—Rookie Tevin Mitchel may have made a goal line interception of Colt McCoy. The rookie cornerback made a diving catch of a pass near the goal line. Had there been a replay review it may have been ruled that he trapped it but it was a nice play on the ball in any case.

—Brandon Scherff, Arie Kouandjio, Austin Reiter, and Takoby Cofield were out on the field for nearly 30 minutes after practice ended getting in some extra work with O-line coach Bill Callahan.

  1. Brandon H - Jun 3, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    Really like what I’m hearing and reading on the team so far.its still a long ways away.let’s hope the injury bug stays away.I truly believe with improved QB play w/our improved(hopefully) D,we can have a successful season.RG keep slidin bud nd u can run all over em.Encouraging to hear Alf,in a contract year,looks set to earn his new payday.a fastr Alf equals tons of flattend defenders.We need to b able to throw the fads.look what Aaron Rodgers can do with it and Drew Brees do with that play.its a timing route and we need it n the playbook.The whole mindset along w/new players and nice draft will always give us optimism.Can’t wait for training camp!!!

  2. troylok - Jun 3, 2015 at 4:26 PM

    Need more info:

    1. Did Trent Murphy add a few pounds or does he look as gangly as he did last year?
    2. How is Takoby Cofield doing? I heard they gave him a little more than the usual UDFA contract because of the competition for him.
    3. Is Terrance Knighton HUGE in a good way or does he have a spare tire (tractor tire)?
    4. Did Morris do anything special in the offseason to pick up his speed, or is this the result of the workouts provided by the new strength and conditioning coach?
    5. Has the defense lined up in any 4 man fronts? It sounds like maybe if Trent Murphy is getting down in a 3 point stance.

    • Skulb - Jun 3, 2015 at 6:32 PM

      Knighton just has the largest butt I`ve seen since Yokozuna. I guess a low center of mass is a good thing, but nevertheless it was rather astounding the first time I saw him.

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 4, 2015 at 9:28 AM

      1. Murphy did add a few pounds, will ask him about it next week.
      2. Cofield stayed out for extra work. It’s hard to tell much about OL without pads so check with me after a few days in Richmond. It’s an uphill battle for him to make it looking at the depth chart.
      3. Knighton is just huge. He’s carrying some fat up front but not as much as, say, Chris Baker.
      4. Morris isn’t big on talking to the media. Will try to catch him next couple of weeks to ask him but may not be able to before Richmond.
      5. As noted, defense was in multiple fronts. I think Preston Smith will line up hand in the dirt more than Murphy but we’ll see.

  3. mr.moneylover - Jun 3, 2015 at 4:28 PM

    All three of those O-linemen are the redskins future 0-line….they wanna give those every opportunity to compete for a starting role in training camp

    • bangkokben - Jun 3, 2015 at 5:25 PM

      I agree the can be the future. I suspect they were getting extra work because they need it more being rookies. Starting? That’s getting ahead of ourselves.

  4. berniebernard666 - Jun 3, 2015 at 5:54 PM

    yawn!….please wake me in 8 weeks. I am going to go into hibernation. This waiting is too painful.

  5. bangkokben - Jun 3, 2015 at 6:24 PM

    LeRibs getting some ’emergency’ center work. Keeping Josh? Are the other centers two green, not strong enough, not expected to make the team?

    Reading about Griffin’s interception reminded me of this: Brunell rolled to the right, looked, looked and when he was a few steps from the sideline stepped out of bounds for the sack. Griffin’s error is worse but if it’s going to happen, happen in practice. THROW THE BALL IN THE DIRT! Don’t take a sack and don’t throw a pick. This to me is akin to not being able to throw the fade. They both boil my blood because I CAN DO THIS! If I can do this in sandlot can’t a professional QB do it?

    As for Morgan Moses, are they going to try him at guard? (This is me being sarcastic since it seems to be what ‘skins fans ask Rich about o-linemen that aren’t starting and aren’t natural guards.) I guess the hope to get Lauvou’s replacement is in full swing. I suspect that his contract makes him a lock for the team this year and if his play improves he’ll get a chance next year.

    As for Pot Roast, are they going to try him at guard? ;)

    • captblood3000 - Jun 4, 2015 at 10:46 AM

      If LeRibeus can back up Lichtensteiger, they won’t inactivate him on game day. The other question is whether they’re trying out the new centers at guard.

      • bangkokben - Jun 4, 2015 at 11:03 AM

        The ‘won’t inactivate on game day’ part seems to be designated for one of the back-up centers (at least at this point). No need to activate a back-up center if he only plays center. My surprise is that LeRibs appears to be the first guy up for the task indicating that he is more on the “lock to make the team” pile than previously thought.

  6. redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 3, 2015 at 7:32 PM

    If I recall correctly, Josh LeRibeus was tried out at Center early in his career and it didn’t turn out well. If LeRibeus is able to play center then he’d make a pretty good size one. The guy was known for a nasty streak at SMU so I like the size and mental state which makes a good fit for the power blocking scheme. However, I don’t yet have much confidence this will work out.

    • gasngo14 - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:17 PM

      There is a new O-line coach in town now and that may make a HUGE difference!

  7. Blackbutcolorblind - Jun 4, 2015 at 3:16 AM

    It will be real interesting to see how Morris adjusts from running in a zone blocking scheme to power running scheme. I have a feeling he will do even better and have a break out year. He seems to have a one cut style anyway and the first tackler never tackles him. What do you think Rich?

  8. Blackbutcolorblind - Jun 4, 2015 at 4:01 AM

    And we definitely know he has what it takes to thrive in the NFc east. The games rg3 was hurt and Couldn’t run Morris powered us to NFc east champs. Like the final redskins cowboys game. Cowboys knew rg3 couldn’t run but Morris put up 200 yards. And your post kind of backs up the fact that Morris can dominate the NFc east. “Bonus stat: I came across this while looking up the numbers here—In 18 career games vs. the NFC East, Morris has 1,507 yards rushing. That’s a 16-game pace of just shy of 1,340 yards.”

  9. gonavybeatarmy - Jun 4, 2015 at 9:18 AM

    Excellent report. Thank you.

    And good point on the Skins three decades without having a QB that can consistently throw the fade. For the most part, I’ve never been a fan of the fade pattern in the red zone. It seems like a low percentage option unless the QB is Peyton, Brees, Rodgers or Rivers. The back shoulder throw seems to be used more frequently and effectively over the last several years even between the 20s; an almost unstoppable pattern. And a lot of teams, with the exception seemingly of the Skins for some reason, have seemed to adopt the Patriots very effective use of hitting a TE or WR at the back of the end zone in front of the goal post as they flood one side of the field. The Steelers and Ravens now go to this route practically every time they’re in the red zone.

  10. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jun 4, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    Fine report, Rich.
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