Two days after getting the chance to actually play football for the first time this season, the Washington Redskins returned to the training camp grind.
The Redskins on Thursday defeated the New England Patriots 23-6 at FedExField, were given Friday off, and were back at it Saturday with an afternoon practice at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
Top photos from Washington Redskins Training Camp Saturday, August 9, 2014.
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said after watching and breaking down Thursday's game film, there was a lot to like about his team heading into its next game Aug. 18 against the Cleveland Browns.
"Guys were flying around and they were all doing the right thing," Gruden said. "I was impressed with the rookies the way they came out and there were very few mental mistakes, so it was a good day for a lot of people. Obviously there is a lot to work on and there is a lot we can do better, but very pleased with their effort and their knowledge of the scheme so far."
Gruden said he was encouraged by the play of all three phases of his team, each of which also had its occasional hiccups, which he said is to be expected in a preseason opener.
On offense, Gruden -- who was calling the plays from the sidelines -- said the game film showed some solid blocking in the run game.
"Obviously the running game was very good," the first-year head coach said. "I like the way our backs were finishing runs, getting yards after contact. I like the way our receivers were blocking. And in the passing game, I thought we were pretty disciplined in our routes and didn't have any drops – I don't think that I can remember."
Defensively, Gruden was impressed with the way his team tackled in the winning effort.
"I was impressed with the way we ran around, flew around to the football and we played some good situations," Gruden said. "I was just impressed with the communication and then pursuit to the football and then the tackling I thought was outstanding. Very few missed tackles, which was exciting. When you see the guy on the ground for the Patriots, you freeze the film and you see six or seven red hats around the ball, that's what I like to see."
And finally, on special teams – one of the major points of emphasis this offseason – Gruden said it's very apparent that the unit has bought in to what coordinator Ben Kotwica has been preaching each and every day in practices and in meetings.
"I feel very good about the fact that they are buying in and they understand the importance of special teams and that is exactly where we want to be right now," Gruden said. "Now it's a matter of cleaning up our techniques and adding some things as we go along."
Bumps and bruisesSeveral Redskins players were either limited in or held out of Saturday's practices with minor injuries or ailments.
The list included:
- Tight end Jordan Reed (illness)
- Running backs Roy Helu Jr. (knee) and Chris Thompson (ankle)
- Safetys Ryan Clark and Phillip Thomas (hamstring)
- Tight end Mike Caussin (knee)
- Wide receiver DeSean Jackson (ankle)
Gruden said none of the injuries were believed to be serious, however.
Tablets debutGruden and his team weren't the only ones making their debuts in Thursday night's game at FedExField.
Also being used for the very first time on each sideline were several Microsoft Surface tablets, which provide the coaches and players with high-res pre- and post-snap photos to help quickly break down each play.
Gruden admitted that he's not much of a technology expert, however.
"I like to just get a brief look at it and see if there is any blitz or any different coverage we need to see, but other than that I just like to move on and get to the next series," he said. "But those tablets do come in handy, and I think it'll take some getting used to by the coaches, but I think they were good."
Standout plays, highlightsThe Redskins on Saturday practiced for a little more than two hours, wearing their shoulder pad shells and shorts on a mild, overcast day in Richmond.
Here were some top plays and observations from Saturday's practice:
Full day Sunday
The Redskins have a full day ahead of them on Sunday, practicing once in the morning (8:35 a.m.) and then having a walkthrough practice session in the afternoon (4:10 p.m.).
They're scheduled to have the same schedule on Monday, and both days' practices are open to the public.
The Redskins will also practice Tuesday prior to breaking camp, but those sessions are not open to the public.