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Three Things To Watch For In Mini-Camp


The Redskins open their three-day veteran mini-camp today, the first mandatory activity of the offseason, and the last week of practice until training camp.

Head coach Mike Shanahan reported flawless attendance to voluntary OTA workouts, and all players are expected to be at Redskins Park for mini-camp.

Here's a look at the topics likely to develop over the next few days.

How will players respond coming off of injury?

The 2011 season was marred by injury, and there are a number of starters and role players still in the recovery process.  The team also added several players in free agency that are still getting back to 100 percent.

On offense, Leonard Hankerson, Kory Lichtensteiger, Jammal Brown, Chris Cooley and Joshua Morgan are already back on the field.  Tim Hightower is expected to fully test his injured knee in training camp, and will continue limited work this week.

On defense, Stephen Bowen, Kedric Golston, Jarvis Jenkins, Chase Minnifield and Tanard Jackson are already back on the field.

Kicker Graham Gano is practicing without limitation, and went 24-for-24 on field goals in OTA's.  His competition with veteran Neil Rackers should be a battle deep into the preseason.

Josh Wilson, Roy Helu Jr., Evan Royster, Tristan Davis and Adam Carriker were each limited in last Thursday's practice, with minor injuries.  Their participation this week has yet to be announced.

How do the rookies mesh with the veterans in the system?

All eyes will be on starting quarterback Robert Griffin III, as he attempts to master the playbook and learn his receivers.  He estimated 10 days ago that he knew 60 to 70 percent of the playbook, and was already having light bulb moments of recognition.

Other rookies that could stand out on offense are guards Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis.  Not necessarily household names during the draft, these two were taken in front of other guards based on their ability and experience in the zone blocking scheme.

Running back Alfred Morris was the beneficiary of extra playing time last week, with each of the veteran backs out with injuries.  He comes in to camp in a similar situation to Royster last year, who played a critical role in the final weeks after spending most of the season on the practice squad.

On defense, keep an eye on linebacker Keenan Robinson.  Robinson played for the Redskins-coached South Squad in the 2012 Senior Bowl, and head coach Shanahan believes the team got value with their fourth-round pick.  Like Perry Riley before him, Robinson may not be comepting for a starting job this year, but his development could pay off down the road.

How will competition play out in the secondary?

This week should offer the first good look at the team's most competitive position battles, in the team's secondary.

After a disappointing 2011 in pass defense, the Redskins added secondary coach Raheem Morris and eight defensive backs.  His players have spoken glowingly of Morris' instruction and scheme, as he continues to expand players' versatility.

Head coach Mike Shanahan has not revealed how many roster spots he will devote to the secondary, but there are currently 15 defensive backs in camp.




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