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Practice Notes: 2016 #SkinsCamp, Day 5

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Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda and Jake Kring-Schreifels break down the key plays and highlights from Day 5 of the Washington Redskins' 2016 training camp in Richmond, Va.


Offense:

--The offense was methodically and effective in both red zone and third down action against the defense on Tuesday afternoon. During 7-on-7 red zone drills, Trent Williams threw a touchdown pass to second-year wide receiver Jamison Crowder after the quarterback admitted his mistake of not finding Rob Kelley for a score just one player earlier. Second-team quarterback Colt McCoy, meanwhile connected with wide receiver Maurice Harris – who hauled in a nice reception over Jonathan Allen – and tight end Marcel Jensen for back-to-back touchdown passes within the 15-yard line. The unit's success only continued during 11-on-11 work, as the first-team offense scored two touchdowns including a powerful Rob Kelley run. Colt McCoy may have found Ryan Grant for a touchdown, too, but the referees ruled that he bobbled the grab. Gruden joked in response that the referees needed training camp practice just like the players.

--During third down drills, Cousins was accurate on his throws, helping the offense convert from multiple distances while keeping the defense on their toes the entire time. On his last throw of the session, Cousins connected with Crowder for a would-be 65-yard touchdown on a 3rd-and-10 play.

--The tables turned on the offense during the two-minute drill, though. With all three units having less than 90 seconds to drive 50 yards for a necessary touchdown, the defense dominated. The first- and second-team offenses were intercepted while the third-team's drive was plagued by penalties before the final practice whistle blew.

--Chris Thompson had a good day running out of the backfield, as he showed burst getting to the second level of the defense. While the fourth-year running back is expected to be a third-down weapon catching the football, Thompson's goal is to be effective enough running the ball that the coaching staff can trust him carrying the load some, too.

--Spencer Long and Shawn Lauvao continued to rotate in at left guard with the first-team while Long received some reps at center with the unit as well.

--Fullback Joe Kerridge had perhaps the strongest run of the afternoon when he took a carry up the right sideline before lowering his shoulder into fellow rookie Geno Matias-Smith. It was the kind of run that running backs coach Randy Jordan wants to see how of his players. During individual drills, Jordan instructed all of the backs to make sure they had good body lean and balance so that defenders don't gain an advantage.

--Rookie wide receiver Reggie Diggs (knee) was activated off the Active/Physically Unable To Perform list just before practice started and participated in drills throughout the afternoon. Kendal Thompson and Rob Kelley, meanwhile, did not participate.

(Stephen Czarda)


Defense:

--Head coach Jay Gruden was asked Tuesday about how Bashaud Breeland feels being the second cornerback behind Josh Norman, a designation Gruden doesn't necessarily believe is apt. The reasoning could be seen on the some of the first snaps from 11-on-11 drills, when both Breeland and Norman lined up on the same side of the field. Later, closer to the red zone, they lined up together again, swapping inside and outside positions, indicating a lack of a hierarchy within the defensive system. As if to emphasize his own belief that he's an elite corner, Breeland recorded another interception near the end of practice after linebacker Will Compton tipped a Cousins pass and Breeland cradled it just before it hit the ground.

An up-close-and-personal look at the Washington Redskins players and coaches from the first week of training camp.

--Cornerback Dashaun Phillips, who bulked up over the offseason, seemed to grab the nickel spot while the team participated in OTAs and minicamp. Recently, rookie Kendall Fuller has climbed his way ahead of him; however, Phillips got some reps with the first team on Tuesday. He made one big play against Jamison Crowder who ran corner route toward the sideline and Phillips collided with him as the ball came down to prevent a completion.

--The defense didn't seem to be as effective during red zone drills and were unable to prevent a touchdown until the last drive from the first team. The combination of Jackson and Jamison Crowder crossing over the middle proved to be a difficult task for the middle linebackers and showed just how dangerous the Redskins offense could be closer to the goal line.

--The linebackers group did stand out today. Preston Smith, Terence Garvin and Lynden Trail all made some nice plays up front, shedding tackles and breaking through the line to hit a running back in the backfield. Later, in the red zone, Compton shouted out two audibles, almost comically back-to-back that prompted a hurried, incomplete pass from Cousins and earned a celebratory scream from defensive end Chris Baker.

--Compton also showed off his speed on a Crowder seam route in which he was able to stay in stride and prevent the speedster from moving inside for the pass. To finish out practice, right after Breeland recorded his interception, Martrell Spaight collected his own, leaping up high to grab a Colt McCoy toss over the middle of the field, and teammates mobbed him once the play had ended.

--Defensive end Trent Murphy wasn't practice on Tuesday with a reported illness. Meanwhile Su'a Cravens watched from the sideline for the second straight day. Gruden said before practice that he sprained his tendon on the back of his leg and didn't seem too concerned, but the team will be monitoring him closely throughout the week.

(Jake Kring-Schreifels)


Special Teams:

-- While Wednesday's practice will be fully devoted to special teams work, the Redskins opened up practice with punt drills and later spent some considerable time with hands team for onside kick practice. Tress Way decided to give the onside kick a try and did a pretty nice job using both feet to pop balls up and squib them into the middle of the receiving team. Crowder made some nice diving plays on balls that were popped up and earned some praise from special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica.

(Jake Kring-Schreifels)

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