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Practice Notes: 2016 Minicamp, Day 2

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Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda and Jake Kring-Schreifels break down the key plays and highlights from Day 2 of the Washington Redskins' 2016 minicamp.


Offense:

The Washington Redskins held minicamp practice Wednesday, June 15, 2016, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

-- The Redskins offense started out pretty strong on Tuesday, but Wednesday didn't offer similar results. After a nice opening run and cut up field from running back Rob Kelley, the group couldn't find much of a rhythm. Head coach Jay Gruden gave them a 50-second, no timeouts hurry-up drill midway through the day that ended after two plays when quarterback Trent Williams didn't see Will Compton over the middle and was picked off by the linebacker. Near the end of practice, things started to click a little more, but even Gruden admitted that the defense had "won" the last two days of minicamp.

-- Spencer Long got nearly all of the first-team snaps today at left guard. While assistant offensive line coach Kevin Carberry has been working with Long at center during individual drills, he spent most of the day between Trent Williams and Trent Williams. As we've mentioned before numerous times, he, Shawn Lauvao and Arie Kouandjio should be an interesting trio to watch during training camp as they battle for the starting job.

-- Wide receiver Josh Doctson , still hampered by some tendinitis in his Achilles, wasn't at practice today because he was getting a tooth pulled, as told by Gruden. He hasn't been able to participate in practices so far, but the Redskins hope he will be able to get up to speed come training camp. Tight end Jordan Reed, wide receiver Reggie Diggs and running back Keith Marshall remained sidelined Wednesday as well. Robert Kelly has been doing a nice job in Marshall's place and running back Mack Brown busted out a couple of nice runs near the end of practice. With Chris Thompson -- aiming to return by training camp -- shadowing running backs coach Randy Jordan, it's been a busy few weeks of reps for the rookie group.

-- Cousins and Colt McCoy were flushed out of the pocket a lot on Wednesday. Occasionally they were able to extend plays – that included a short touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder who escaped Bashaud Breeland as Cousins scrambled to his left -- while other times coaches called out "sack" if they believed the defense would have tackled them in time. McCoy was able to hit Jamison Crowder  in the end zone on a 10-yard slant, and a probable score from wide receiver Ryan Grant had defensive coordinator Joe Barry fuming, reminding his players they were in "Cover 0." For the most part, receivers had trouble finding openings.

-- During 11-on-11's in the second half of practice, Nate Sudfeld was the only quarterback able to complete a couple of first downs. That included a third down completion to tight end Marcel Jensen and then a touchdown pass to Maurice Harris over the middle. Still, between McCoy and Sudfeld in that series, referees called two false starts and a delay of game, which got Gruden pretty upset. "Let's snap the ball," he yelled.

-- To finish his final series on the field, Cousins ended with some pretty tosses. He threw a dart to Rob Kelley down the left seam just above Su'a Cravens, who was able to get a few fingers on the ball, for about a 20-yard gain. Gruden backed the offense up to the 45-yard line and Cousins followed with an even prettier laser to Jamison Crowder, hitting him in stride on a seam route for a 45-yard score. Crowder has said one of his biggest goals this season is to catch more touchdown passes, and so far he seems to be fulfilling that desire.

-- McCoy was also able to drive the second-team offense down the field much better than he had earlier in the day, connecting with Niles Paul just short of the goal line as the tight end fell backwards and maintained possession of the ball. A read-option play stalled to running back Kelsey Young, who was gobbled up at the line, forcing McCoy to yell out "It's a read, don't take it from me," indicating he would have liked to have kept the ball and run with it outside. He showed off his legs earlier in the day with a 20-yard scramble down the sideline, and when coaches called it back believing he would have been sacked, he yelled, "No way!"

(Jake Kring-Schreifels)


Defense:

--The defense had a strong final day of minicamp practice, getting the better end of work particularly in unit action. The best play of the day came from linebacker Will Compton, who intercepted a pass from Kirk Cousins during a simulated two-minute drill. Starting from the 50-yard line with 50 seconds left on the clock, down by a score and no timeouts, the defense forced the offense into an incompletion on first down when Cousins tried to locate Pierre Garçon but threw it too far from the wide receiver. Then on second down, with 45 seconds on the clock, Cousins threw it right to Compton who scampered up field for what might have been a long return in actual game action.

The Washington Redskins held minicamp practice Wednesday, June 15, 2016, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

--During 7-on-7 action, linebacker Martrell Spaight had a nice pass defense on wide receiver Maurice Harris. Spaight has looked smooth at times in return back from a concussion that took most of his rookie season.

--Safety Su'a Cravens continued to work with the second-team as an inside linebacker alongside Spaight. Cravens had a nice run stop early on in 11-on-11 action that got defensive coordinator Joe Barry excited. "There you go, Su'a! Good, good!" Barry said in approval.

--While a lot of projections have pegged Jonathan Allen as perhaps the team's No. 1 nickel corner, the rookie received some action on the outside during Wednesday's practice, holding his own against the speedy Colt McCoy.

--During the middle portion of 11-on-11 work, the defense took control of the offense, forcing Cousins and Colt McCoy into sacks. Houston Bates, Kendall Reyes and Anthony Lanier II all got in on the action. The second-team defense in particular stumped McCoy and Co., as they forced him into sacks and even a delay of game call. Throughout this sequence, the defensive players on the sideline chanted "Defense!"

--Anywhere the ball was David Bruton Jr. was basically there too. Bruton Jr. has worked with the first-team all offseason as he tries to become an every-down back with the Redskins after signing with Washington earlier this year.

--With Stephen Paea once again not at practice for personal reasons, Ricky Jean Francois worked as a first-team defensive end. While Jean Francois didn't record any would-be sacks, he was consistent in getting pressure on Cousins.

(Stephen Czarda)


Special teams:

--Rashad Ross, Jamison Crowder, Bashaud Breeland and Dashaun Phillips were today's kick returners. All four fielded kickoffs just shy of the goal line, simulating the potential of kicks not reaching the end zone. Touchbacks will come out to the 25-yard line this year instead of the 20-yard line.

--Dustin Hopkins was once again perfect on the day, not only hitting all four of his field goal attempts (38, 40, 42 and 44 yards), but doing so within the skinny goal posts.

(Stephen Czarda)

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