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Training camp

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

Observations

1 Quarterback Robert Griffin III had a strong day passing Tuesday. Griffin did a better job getting rid of the ball, even throwing down the field more than in most practices. Griffin's best pass came when he dropped a perfect strike to Pierre Garcon, just over corner Josh Wilson and in front of safety Madieu Williams. It required excellent touch and accuracy, and Griffin displayed both. Griffin had a couple passes over the middle dropped by receiver Santana Moss. Griffin had another pass where he pumped the ball, reset his feet and calmly delivered a completion to Josh Morgan.

2 Punter Sav Rocca was inconsistent with his hangtime vs. Buffalo and again in practice Saturday. He had one punt vs. the Bills that hung for nearly five seconds; another was around 3.4 seconds. On Tuesday, most of Rocca's punts were in the 4.2 to 4.5 range, which is the desired range. Rocca was a good weapon for the Redskins' coverage units in 2011.

3 Receiver Dezmon Briscoe, signed July 28, is starting to flash more and more in practice. He's not a standout, but he is starting to show what he can do. He caught a couple passes in practice Saturday and several more Monday. On Tuesday, he caught another one, this time on an out route from Kirk Cousins. It's tough to say where Briscoe fits into this group, but it'll be interesting to see if he makes his presence felt in the upcoming preseason games.

4 One area that linebacker Brian Orakpo said he wanted to improve was pass coverage. It's too early to say if that has happened or not. But he did do a nice job vs. receiver Leonard Hankerson in the slot. Orakpo played to his inside and bumped him off the line, then understood where he had help over the top and stayed on his inside hip. The pass went elsewhere.

Notes

» The Redskins' running backs remain in flux when it comes to availability. Tim Hightower might return soon; Roy Helu isn't sure when he'll resume playing. Hightower, who has been limited in practice all of camp following his ACL surgery in November, might play in the Aug. 25 preseason game vs. Indianapolis, coach Mike Shanahan said. "I've seen some big strides out of him over the last two to three days," Shanahan said. "His quickness has vastly improved from three weeks ago, and now we have to put him in team situations and see how he reacts. There's a big difference from when he first started." Helu did not practice for a second consecutive day because of tendinitis in his left foot. Helu said he had a similar issue last year, but "nothing to this extreme." He said he's not sure about whether or not he'll play Saturday at Chicago. "I wish circumstances were better," he said. "I don't want to carry things over to next week, and then we end up building things up to going into the season. You don't want to carry certain things, hindrances into the season."

» Left tackle Trent Williams (bruised left foot) participated in part of the full-team work. He said he originally planned to only take half the snaps. But his foot became sore -- he was running with a slight limp -- causing him to exit earlier than planned. Right guard Chris Chester (sprained left ankle) had hoped to practice in full-team drills, but did not. Wide receivers Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan both left practice for heat-related issues.

Player of Note

NT Chris Neild

Neild, a backup to Barry Cofield last season, tore the ACL in his left knee in practice Monday and will miss the season. The 2011 seventh-round pick out of West Virginia received limited playing time as a rookie. Neild would have had a tough time making it this season with the emergence of Chris Baker, who was among the early training camp standouts. Baker can play end or nose; Neild was strictly a run-stopping nose tackle. "Chris is a fighter," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "It's a temporary setback for him."

- John Keim

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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