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Practice Notes: 2015 Minicamp, Day 2

Check out images from the Washington Redskins' second mandatory minicamp practice on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.


The Washington Redskins on Wednesday wrapped up their mandatory minicamp with their second practice session of the week. Here's some notes and observations from's Andrew Walker.

**-        Special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica definitely commands his players' attention and respect, and it's interesting to get an up-close-and-personal look at how he conducts his drills during practice. During Wednesday's punt returns, for example, the Redskins were working on their blocking off the

snap – both along the offensive line and out wide – and Kotwica kept repeating the phrase "patience and poise." Because contact is not allowed at minicamp, Kotwica also told his players that "You guys aren't killing each other, but I want to see good technique." With more depth throughout the entire roster in 2015, look for a rapid special teams improvement for the Redskins.

-        Wednesday's walkthrough at the beginning portion of practice featured a ton of hurry-up plays by the offense. It seemed as if the defense was adjusting well to the pace, and getting in plenty of practice working on their calls on the fly and calling audibles.

-        Dwight Freeney has made a living out of terrorizing quarterbacks with the sickest spin move in NFL history, earning 111.5 sacks over his 13-year career. Redskins rookie running back Trey Williams might just be working on Freeney's equal on the offensive side of the ball, as his spin move has grabbed some attention this week at minicamp. On one running back drill, Williams used the spin to break free from a pursuing Darrel Young, who nodded in approval at the nifty move. Williams is expected to be competing for the Redskins' third-down running back job, which should be one of the more interesting battles in training camp.

-        Redskins quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh definitely has some interesting drills for his players. One utilized Wednesday that could be labeled under "decision making" featured the three Redskins quarterbacks dropping back for a pass, and, randomly, as they start their

throw, Cavanaugh would yell "No!" The quarterback would then be forced to ditch that receiver and go to his next option. Cavanaugh spoke to the media for the first time on Wednesday and said he's been impressed with all three Redskins veteran quarterbacks – Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy – to this point of the offseason.

-        Redskins safety Jeron Johnson was working with the first-unit offense on Wednesday after spending most of his time with the second team on Tuesday. Johnson and Duke Ihenacho are rotating first-team reps, and Wednesday was the first open practice in which Johnson – a former member of the Seahawks who signed as an unrestricted free agent this offseason – was consistently with the No. 1s.

-        Kedric Golston made a very nice play to stuff a Michael Hill rushing attempt early in the 11-on-11 portion of practice. Other than DeAngelo Hall – who is entering his 12th NFL season – Golston and fellow defensive lineman Jason Hatcher (10th NFL seasons in 2015) are the most experienced members on the Redskins' roster.

-        Lots of attention has been placed on free-agent acquisition Terrance Knighton this offseason, and for good reason: he's one of the best nose tackles in the game. But fourth-year veteran Jerrell Powe, who signed with the team June 2 as a free agent, definitely has stood out on a few plays so far. On Wednesday, he was battling with rookie center Austin Reiter, and broke free on one play to sniff out a fake reverse run to Trey Williams. It'll be interesting to see if Powe can make the regular-season roster when it's all said and done – the defensive line is certainly crowded with talent for the Redskins.

-        Outside linebacker Trent Murphy made a nice move to break free of rookie right tackle Brandon Scherff and tab a would-be sack on Griffin III during the team's red zone session. It's the latest play in what has been a strong offseason for the second-year Stanford product.

-        Rookie cornerback Tevin Mitchel flashed on multiple plays on Wednesday, one of which being an interception of Colt McCoy in the back of the end zone during a 7-on-7 drill. Mitchel also had some tight coverage later on wide receiver Jamison Crowder – again in the back of the end zone – forcing McCoy to throw it away and live another down. Mitchel has plenty of competition ahead of him at cornerback, but he definitely has the speed and wherewithal to be an instant contributor on special teams while continuing to learn the position.

-        And, finally, for you fellow uniform nerds, three Redskins this week joined Pierre Garçon and Chris Thompson in the white-game-pants-during-practice routine: tight end Niles Paul, cornerback David Amerson and wide receiver Quinton Dunbar. It remains to be seen if the Redskins will go back to the white game pants anytime soon, but they look pretty sharp on the practice field, at least.




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