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Practice Notes: 2015 #SkinsCamp, Day 9

0808-bell-tc-prax_615x255.JPG's Andrew Walker and Stephen Czarda break down the key plays and highlights from Day 9 of the Washington Redskins' 2015 training camp in Richmond, Va.


-- So, in case you didn't know, the Redskins and Houston Texans' practice was interrupted at least three times by separate scrums before head coaches Jay Gruden and Bill O'Brien agreed to separate the teams for the remainder of the session. It didn't take long into the two team's first 11-on-11 sessions for tempers to boil over, apparently stemming from the Texans taking exception to Redskins rookie running back Matt Jones trucking a Houston safety during Friday's practice. Fortunately, there were no injuries reported on either side. With HARD KNOCKS in town filming the Texans' entire training camp, however, you can bet this will be must-watch TV whenever that episode is aired.

-- Because of the on-field issues, today's practice notes will be abbreviated. The play of day certainly was made by wide receiver Reggie Bell in a red-zone session, when he brought in a one-handed catch in the end zone on a zipped pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins. Bell might not have had both feet in to complete the play, but it was an impressive showing nonetheless.

-- Several Redskins had days off, either scheduled or due to minor injuries. On the offensive side of the ball, the players not practicing Saturday included left tackle Trent Williams, wide receiver Jamison Crowder, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and tight end Logan Paulsen. With Williams out – and with Morgan Moses (right tackle) and Brandon Scherff (right guard) apparently solidified at their spots along the right side of the line – the Redskins put veteran Willie Smith in as their first-team left tackle on Saturday. Smith certainly held his own during 11-on-11 drills, and is a quality emergency option should Washington need him at either tackle position.

-- Both the Redskins' first- and second-team offenses were forced into field goals during the final two-minute drill of the day, and both field goals were missed. On the initial drive by the first-team Redskins' offense, quarterback Robert Griffin III used his legs on a couple occasions to pick up about 15 yards on his own, and also had an eight-yard completion to running back Chris Thompson, a five-yard completion to tight end Niles Paul, and another five-yard completion to rookie wide receiver Evan Spencer, getting Washington's offense to the opposing 30-yard line with eight seconds left. Veteran kicker Kai Forbath's 48-yard attempt, however, was wide right.

-- The second-team offense on Saturday was led by Cousins, who could've struck gold on the very first play, but Spencer did not get his head up in enough time to track down the fade pass down the left sideline. On the next play, however, Cousins found tight end Je'Ron Hamm for a nice play across the middle – a completion of 17 yards – to get to the opposing 48-yard line. A couple plays later, running back Silas Redd Jr. made a nice move to chip linebacker Houston Bates before receiving the short pass from Cousins for a 10-yard completion to the 38. The drive would stall there, however, and with 30 seconds left, Ty Long's 56-yard field goal attempt was *just *short and banged off the cross bar.


-- DeAngelo Hall, Chris Culliver and Preston Smith were out once again today while linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and defensive end Jason Hatcher were not in pads as well. These were likely scheduled off days for guys like Kerrigan and Hatcher, while Hall, Culliver and Smith battle to return from minor injuries.

-- Over the last few practices during individual drills, linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti has been working with the players on pursuing the ball and finishing plays. Linebackers will line up on one side of a set of trash cans emulating offensive lineman and then attack a pad that the coaches drag away from them. Once they get to the pad, they carry it with them for a few yards, ensuring they finish the play like they would a tackle.

-- While the first two scrums broke out between the Redskins' offense and the Texans' defense, a third one started just minutes later between the Redskins' defense and Texans' offense. Chris Baker said Houston offensive players were playing it a little too rough. This continued with their players pushing down Kyshoen Jarrett and DaMon Cromartie-Smith.

The Washington Redskins conducted their ninth day of training camp practice Saturday, August 8, 2015, at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.

-- After the two teams were separated, the Redskins' offense and Redskins' defense went through a series of 11-on-11 drills against each other, specifically two-minute work. While the offense was at relatively full-strength, the defense was not, as the aforementioned Hall, Culliver and Kerrigan were not participating. This gave guys like Jackson Jeffcoat, Houston Bates, Dyshawn Davis, Deshazor Everett and Tajh Hasson some prime opportunities. While the offense was able to move the ball at a pretty good pace before head coach Jay Gruden called on the field goal unit, they did pressure Robert Griffin III several different times and displayed good coverage, forcing the quarterback to scramble. And on two of their completions to Chris Thompson and Niles Paul, Duke Ihenacho and Perry Riley Jr. were there to stop them from gaining extra yards.

-- One player that stood out during both the first-team and second-team's work was Jeffcoat. Remember, Jeffcoat was a defensive end in college and only has three NFL games of experience at outside linebacker. Despite this, he does a really good job at forcing pressure.

-- Bryan McCann also made a pretty good play during the two-minute drill, forcing an incompletion on a deep route where he read Kirk Cousins' eyes the whole time. McCann has only been with the Redskins for a few practices, but he's getting plenty of exposure with some many players dinged up.


-- Despite a steady (and annoying) rain and mild (to below mild) temperatures on Saturday, Tress Way continued to excel with his punts during an early special teams drill against the Texans' return team. His eight punts averaged 4.62 seconds of hang time, according to the official Stop Watch, and his final kick was dropped by the returner. These certainly aren't bad numbers considering the elements, and you can bet special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica appreciated the practice in not-so-great conditions.

-- Both Forbath and Long attempted five kicks, each from the same distance, in a field goal competition at the end of practice. Forbath hit 3-of-5 of his kicks, converting his first two from 33 and 38 yards, missing from 40, hitting from 43 and then missing from 47. Long, meanwhile, converted 4-of-5 kicks, hitting the first two from 33 and 38 yards, missing from 40, and then hitting his 43- and 47-yard attempts.


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