Here's five things we've learned about the Washington Redskins at training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center so far.
The Washington Redskins are entering Day Eight of the team's 2017 training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., as Saturday marks the team's annual Fan Appreciation Day.
With seven practice sessions down, here are some noticeable trends from the Redskins so far:
1. Even though he's just in his second full season at wide receiver, Terrelle Pryor Sr. is making some of the top plays at camp.In the lead-up to training camp, no Redskins player was more active on social media about his workouts than Pryor.
Each day, the Ohio State product would show a progression of his drills and other on-field activities on Instagram and Twitter.
"It's important to me, you know, the way I work and I think it's [that] you're working so hard, why not show some people?" Pryor said. "Like I said before, when you go and have an excellent season or do some great things, people know why. Little kids know why. Maybe that'll get kids outside to work out more and work hard – people that look up to me, people that I inspire. So I think that's another reason that's a little deeper for me."
That offseason of consistently working on his craft has shown on the field, as the quarterback-turned-wide receiver has been making some of the top catches of camp. On one play that circulated around the internet, Pryor went up over cornerback Dashaun Phillips to snag the football with one hand on a fade route in the end zone for a touchdown.
Plays like that are what the Redskins are hoping to get out of a player than recorded 1,007 yards in his first year at wide receiver.
"He's picked up the system effortlessly," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. "He asks good questions, has great logic when he is asking questions, wants to add more stuff for himself, like most quarterbacks would do. He's been outstanding really. I just like the fact that he's a very bright guy, understands coverages, understands where the ball should go and route concepts, which is very big. He is a very smart receiver, now it's just about polishing up the little things and the details of each route and we're working with him on that."
2. Kirk Cousins is a lot more at ease during training camp.
That's not to say Cousins isn't completely focused on getting better each day. Rather, he's not overanalyzing every single throw he makes while in Richmond.
Check out behind the scenes images from Quarterback, Kirk Cousin's 2017 Redskins Photo Shoot.
"In the past, training camp was my Super Bowl," Cousins said. "I didn't know if I was going to be on the team, if I was going to be the backup, the third-string. So, every day in training camp was determining my future in this league. That's not the case as much. Whereas everyday now in training camp, it's building a foundation that will eventually this season determine my future in this league. So, putting everything in its proper perspective, I think is the adjustment I'm trying to make going from being a backup player to now being a starter."
Cousins, of course, is entering his third season as Washington's full-time starter at quarterback and second under the franchise tag.
Despite not being able to come to terms on a contract extension in the offseason, Cousins' focus right now is building on the foundation he's laid in recent years.
"We're building toward Week 1," Cousins said. "We don't need to have everything perfect day one, but, we need to be building, we need to be taking steps. We don't want to repeat mistakes. When mistakes get made, we want to correct them that night in the hotel, learn from them and the next day be that much sharper. That's what it's all about. Just keep stacking the practices on top of meetings on top of walkthroughs, and be a much better football player in early September than we are in early August. That's the way it'll always be and that's why it's a process."
3. Junior Galette is showing some burst in his return to the field.Despite going undrafted in 2010, Galette made a climb up the ranks with the New Orleans Saints during his five seasons with the team that gave him his first NFL opportunity.
The Stillman College product recorded just 9.5 sacks in his first three seasons with the Saints. But between the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Galette collected 22 combined sacks. Thank ranked tied with Ryan Kerrigan for the sixth-most in the NFL during that span.
Released by the Saints in July 2015, Galette signed with the Redskins shortly after. But after two torn Achilles, Galette has yet to see game action in Washington.
Yes, Galette himself will admit he's a little rusty from the time away, but he's been a full participant at training camp and is showing flashes of the player that made him a game-changing pass rusher.
"A lot of speed, explosive, elusive," said tackle Trent Williams. "All the same qualities that made him one of the best pass rushers in the league."
One of the top 1-on-1 battles to watch at camp so far has been those between a returning Galette and Williams, a five-time Pro Bowler.
Williams excels in these drills and that's rubbing off on Galette as he rounds back into form.
"[Its] the best way to get better," Galette said. "He's going into Year Eight and I played six years… I can't think of an NFL lineman that's better than him so you have to take advantage. Every chance I get to go up against him I tell him, 'I'm not going to take [this] play off,' because you don't get to see a lineman like that every Sunday."
4. Completely healthy, second-year cornerback Kendall Fuller is more comfortable on the field and its showing.Slipping to the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft after a torn ACL suffered at Virginia Tech, Fuller was slightly behind the rest of his rookie teammates last year in learning Washington's system.
He was just healthy enough to be a preseason contributor, but was inactive the first three weeks of the regular season.
Eventually active for the final 13 games, Fuller would record 42 with two passes defensed. But Fuller looks crisper in his movement on the field right now.
"He was able to play, but I think he's more confident in the injury that he's coming off of. He looks stronger, he looks faster, so it's good to see," Gruden said. "He's moving around also, he's playing some nickel, playing some corner, and he's doing a fine job."
On the first day of camp, Fuller was the standout player on defense as he picked off two passes.
"I don't have to have a question of whether or not this cut is going to feel good or if I jump, is it going to feel good," Fuller said. "Those thoughts, they're not in my head no more, just go out there and just go."
5. Quiet off the field, Jonathan Allen is making a lot of noise on it.No teammate of Allen's knows Washington's 2017 first-round pick better than Ryan Anderson. The two, of course, were key cogs on Alabama's defense before the Redskins selected both this past April.
Despite not being a real vocal guy on the field, Allen is someone who lets his play do the talking.
"He don't like messing up, he don't like getting beat. That bothers him when stuff like that happens to him. He comes out every day and he just competes, man," Anderson said. "He's the type of guy that you want on your team. He's one of my favorite guys on my team back then. He's one of the guys that always got me going. Comes out there when I'm not feeling it some days, he's the guy that always [said], 'What you got for me today? What are we going to do today?' So it's good to have him out there doing it again."
Like Galette, Allen has been challenged by Williams during 1-on-1 drills. Washington's first-round pick from 2010 has been impressed by the team's first-round pick from this year.
"He's really explosive off the rock," Williams said. "He learns quick. A couple moves that I would do and it would take a few times to catch on, with him it only works once and you've got to switch it up. He's extremely strong so you have to be very mindful of playing with a good base when playing against him. He knows not to get past quarterback depth, which a lot of young guys make that mistake. You run them by pretty easy. I was just impressed when he gets to the depth of the pocket he turns his rush back into you. And like I said, he's pretty strong, so it's pretty eye opening. He's making good strides, man, just being a professional for only a few days."
Added Gruden of Allen: "[He's] very strong, very strong, and wants to work, which is good. He's put on a lot of muscle mass already in the short time that he's been here, we feel like, and he's going to get stronger and stronger. I like his work ethic, I like the way he learns and the way he works."