Monday marked the first day back in action at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center following yesterday's off day for players in Richmond, Va.
Weather continued to smile favorably on the Redskins and their fans, as 8,378 total fans gathered to watch the Redskins practice today, once again enjoying temperatures that topped out at 88 degrees.
The action on the field continued to heat up, as the afternoon practice once again featured 1-on-1 battles between skill positions and the big men in the trenches.
Fans had a scary moment when cornerback DeAngelo Hall was felled during drill work, but he returned to practice a few plays later before being removed completely.
After practice, head coach Mike Shanahan confirmed that Hall had rolled his ankle and would be given an X-ray in the next 24 hours for precautionary reasons. Hall told the media that had he been in a game situation, he would have stayed in the game.
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III again participated in individual and position drills, sticking to a plan that Shanahan said would be his path for the next several weeks.
Fellow quarterback Rex Grossman made the most of his opportunities today, making several completions deep downfield during 11-on-11 drills. He drew his biggest round of applause when he took off and scrambled on a busted play.
Trotting back to the huddle with the football, Grossman couldn't help but smile and wave his arms for fans to quiet down.
Here are some other observations from today's portion of practice that was open to the media:
- Second-year cornerback Chase Minnifield continues to improve, ramping up expectations again after a disappointing end (ACL tear) to his rookie season. Covering veteran receiver Devery Henderson in 1-on-1 drills, Minnifield hauled in the interception. Head coach Mike Shanahan said he is being limited in his repeatitions to ensure he stays healthy for when the snaps count.
- Another big defensive play in 1-on-1 drills was when rookie corner David Amerson blanketed veteran Pierre Garcon, knocking the pass away for a pass defensed. The offense got the upper hand with receptions by Joshua Morgan (also blanketed by Amerson on the play), and an athletic play by rookie tight end Jordan Reed over veteran safety Reed Doughty.
- Third-year receiver Aldrick Robinson turned in another solid practice today, running short, long and intermediate routes with good success. One of his slickest catches was over the middle, threaded between the safety and corner. Even when Robinson was unable to haul in the pass, his effort to make the catch on balls out of bounds show his offseason efforts are paying dividends.
- Converted defensive end Darryl Tapp is looking comfortable at the outside linebacker position, adjusting to his role in coverage for the first time in his NFL career. On a pass intended for fullback Eric Kettani, Tapp was on hand to knock the pass away, preventing a gain out of the flats. He will be a good player to watch during the team's preseason slate.
- Special teams focused on kickoff drills today, with players first working on 1-on-1 blocking and then practicing kickoff coverage as a team. The kick return candidates today included Nick Williams, Skye Dawson and Keiland Williams. One line overheard from special teams coordinator Keith Burns: "There's a sense of urgency you need to have if you want to be on this team."
- Rookie tight end Jordan Reed is becoming a force during full team drills, showing comfort near the sideline and over the middle of the field. His speed allows him to run right past safeties and his catching radius is too big to be covered by corners. Early indications are that the Redskins may have a game-changing playmaker developing from their third-round pick.
- Coaches did not shy away from bringing pressure during 11-on-11 drills, getting in the face and passing lanes available for Kirk Cousins, Pat White and Rex Grossman. To take advantage of their agression, Grossman employed the hard count, getting the defense to jump offsides. White and Cousins hung in the pocket against the pressure, finding their receivers in 1-on-1 matchups further down the field.
- Redskins fans haven't seen or heard much from receiver Dezmon Briscoe since the loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh last year, when Briscoe dropped a catchable pass in the end zone. Briscoe, however, remains an intriguing target on the roster, owning a six-touchdown season in 2011 and still very much in the mix for a roster spot at receiver. He will need a strong preseason performance to carve out his role.
Play(s) Of The Day: Offense
The top offensive performance came with Kirk Cousins under center at the end of practice, as he led the offense downfield for the first full-team touchdown drive of the 2013 Redskins training camp.
The drive started at the 30 and nearly stalled and included a bullet to Leonard Hankerson over the middle to get the team near midfield. The drive almost stalled after a dropped first down by Pierre Garcon preceded linebacker Bryan Kehl entering the backfield uncontested on a Roy Helu Jr. handoff.
On the ensuing 3rd-and-13, Cousins again targeted Garcon, who split safeties Reed Doughty and Jordan Pugh for a 20 yard gain. On the next play, Cousins found tight end Logan Paulsen for another 20 yard gain over the middle.
Down inside the red zone, the drive culminated with Cousins finding tight end Fred Davis for the score and the close of practice.
Play(s) Of The Day: Defense
This was not a big practice for defensive turnovers, but the top defensive play likely goes to Chase Minnifield, who hung with a play on a veteran when most other players would have given up.
Trailing Pierre Garcon across the field, Minnifield watched Cousins hit Garcon near the edge of the sideline. Rather than pulling up, Minnifield darted his hand out and dislodged the football just as Garcon went out of bounds.
Garcon likely would have better secured the ball in a game, but Minnifield kept him accountable and made a heads-up play on defense. Even in a crowded secondary, Minnifield is part of the youth movement that brings a lot of talent to the table.
The Redskins will be back at it again tomorrow, working every day through Friday in anticipation of Saturday's Fan Appreciation Day. For more information on the event, check out the schedule page.
Both practices are available to fans tomorrow, with walkthrough beginning at 10 a.m. and practice scheduled for 3 p.m. As always, fans are encouraged to arrive early and bring your official training camp pass.
An unnamed Redskins player and head coach Mike Shanahan will hold press conferences each day, streamed live on Redskins.com.
For your official source of training camp news, follow along @Redskins.