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Thursday Practice Notes: Final OTA


On Thursday morning, the Redskins gathered for the tenth and final OTA practice at Redskins Park.  With the conclusion of practice, the voluntary portion of the offseason is complete.

Practice was held on the back fields, and involved spirited play from rookies and veterans alike. The players' degree of comfort with the playbook was reflected in the tempo of practice.

Players that were present but did not fully participate included defensive end Adam Carriker (blisters), cornerback Josh Wilson (quad), running backs Roy Helu Jr. (soreness), Evan Royster (soreness), Tristan Davis (soreness) and Tim Hightower (knee).

Players that did participate for the first time in an open practice included receiver Leonard Hankerson, defensive end Stephen Bowen and safety Tanard Jackson.

The majority of practice was consumed with full-team drills, primarily 11-on-11.  While no contact is permitted during OTA's, defenders were more aggressive on the pass rush, forcing Robert Griffin III to drop back and roll out more than he has in past practices.

It was also an opportunity for the offense to show quarterback sneaks and keepers that have been added to the playbook for Griffin III, which they did on multiple occasions.

After a number of quarterback keepers resulted in touchdowns, 37-year-old linebacker London Fletcher made the defensive play of the morning by containing Griffin III at the line of scrimmage and escorting him out of bounds.

Niles Paul continued to get opportunities at tight end, flashing his vertical speed and making great adjustments on off-target passes.  His versatility as a tight end and experience as a receiver should allow the Redskins to shift him anywhere on offense.

In the absence of Hightower, Helu Jr., Royster and Tristan Davis, rookies Alfred Morris and Antwon Bailey got the lion's share of opportunities at the tailback position.

Quarterbacks Rex Grossman and Kirk Cousins were each given and opportunity to lead a 3-minute drive at the end of practice.  Griffin III was given only two minutes in the hurry-up offense.

Cousins went first, and completed a pass to running back Morris, who fell, recovered and streaked down the sidelines.  Cousins' drive stalled two plays later when cornerback Chase Minnifield and lineman Delvin Johnson corralled him for a "sack."

Grossman completed four consecutive passes to Brandon Banks and Paul, including a back-shoulder touchdown pass to Paul in the back of the end zone.

With a shortened clock, Griffin III completed four passes to Santana Moss, Pierre Garçon and Joshua Morgan.  With seven seconds left on the clock, Griffin III threw a pass to the end zone that was twice tipped before being intercepted by DeAngelo Hall.

Practice was ended with players distracting kickers Graham Gano and Neil Rackers during field goal attempts.  Both specialists were perfect on the day, including boots from 56 yards.

Gano reported that since returning from a back injury that limited him early in the offseason, he was a perfect 24-for-24 on kicks.

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