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Thursday Training Camp Practice Notes


After four-consecutive practices with full upper-body pads, coaches dialed back the physical intensity today and went with practice shells on the fields at Redskins Park.

Despite facing the 22nd day in a row of temperatures north of 90 degrees in Washington, the Redskins had another strong turnout of fans, who chanted "R-G-3!" at his first appearance.

Also in attendance today was a team of NFL officials, brought in for preseason training and to help keep the Redskins' practice honest.

With only one week of work under their belts, the Redskins were surprisingly clean throughout practice, only drawing three flags.  The officials were particularly useful for determining catch or no-catch on sideline passes and out-routes.

This team of officials will continue to monitor the Redskins through Saturday's Fan Appreciation Day practice, gearing the team up for the first preseason game in Buffalo a week from today.

Much of the Redskins' practice today was devoted to full-team drills and situational drives down the field.

Quarterback Robert Griffin III rotated with Kirk Cousins and Rex Grossman, as the coaching staff tried out different combinations of players in the first, second and third team offenses and defenses.

Tight end Chris Cooley and Brandon Banks each made spectacular catches off the hand of Grossman.  Banks's went the distance for an 80-yard touchdown catch and run, while Cooley made an athletic move to beat coverage and make a catch down the sidelines.

Linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and London Fletcher were back in the action today after sitting out yesterday's practice.  Safety DeJon Gomes and receiver Lance Lewis sat out today's practice with leg injuries.

In good injury news, safety Tanard Jackson practiced for the first time as a member of the Redskins, after being activated from the PUP list earlier this week. 

While he said he does feel like he has catch up to the rest of the group, Jackson feels confident with so much of the preseason left to go.

The Redskins found a pair of quarterbacks with mobility this April, as Cousins showed his ability to tuck the ball and run when the pocket collapses.  Linebacker Keenan Robinson flushed him out during red zone drills, and Cousins won the foot race to the sidelines for a modest gain.

He hit fullback Dorson Boyce on the next play for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

Defense was the name of the game late in practice, as both Kevin Barnes and Madieu Williams intercepted passes on consecutive plays.  Shanahan praised Barnes after practice for his ability to adjust to the outside receiver again, after spending last year in the nickel.

Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander continues to show impressive speed on the practice field, after losing 30 pounds this offseason to move to inside linebacker.  He now weighs 244 pounds, down from 300-plus earlier in his career.

Shanahan reported that he has not heard from defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer since finding his hotel room cleared out two days ago. 

While it is presumed that Balmer has quit the team, Shanahan classifed him as "absent without leave," and said he hopes Balmer is okay.




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