Redskins minicamp June 12: Notes and observations

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim

…The Redskins signed receiver Donte Stallworth, as expected after a good two-day showing by the veteran wideout. The question is, can Stallworth make the final roster? It depends on how many receivers they keep, but the first four appear set: Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan, Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss. Aldrick Robinson’s speed, and the couple big plays he made last season, make him the leader at the fifth receiver spot. But Stallworth would provide insurance if one of the starters got hurt. The only drawback is that he does not play special teams. So it could be that, even if he makes the roster, he’d be inactive until a health issue arises.

…The Redskins also signed receiver Devery Henderson, who caught 22 passes for 316 yards and a touchdown with New Orleans last season. Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett drafted Henderson in the second round in New Orleans in 2004 (as well as Stallworth two years earlier). Henderson has 245 career catches for 4,377 yards and 20 touchdowns.

… Once upon a time both players scared defenses because of their speed. It’s debatable how much either guy has left, but if nothing else it provides depth for camp. But it is funny because after Haslett’s press gathering Wednesday, he talked about timing Stallworth at a pre-draft workout and how stunned he was by his 40 time. Then Haslett brought up Henderson’s name as someone else who’s speed he loved. And then… he’s signed.

…The Redskins also signed kicker John Potter, who was in camp this week and whose name Mike Shanahan said he did not know on Tuesday (though it’s hard to imagine Shanahan not knowing a player’s name). Potter, 23, was a kickoff specialist in Buffalo for six weeks last season, with 13 touchbacks in 24 kickoffs.

…The Redskins placed defensive end Doug Worthington and tight end DeAngelo Peterson on the waived/injured list. Worthington tore his biceps tendon Tuesday; Peterson broke a bone in his foot. If they clear waivers they can be placed on injured reserve.

…Here’s what offensive line coach Chris Foerster had to say about his young backups: “Josh LeRibeus is hurt and needs to get himself well and in shape. He was fine last season. He didn’t come in in the best of shape and now he got injured. So he has to get ready for camp; he has five weeks to do that so he’s good. [Adam] Gettis and [Tom] Compton made big steps. They both made the steps to looking like they’re ready to step up and be contributors. Last year Josh was really the only guy who was really ready to play were something to happen. Tom and Gettis weren’t. This year it looks like Tom and Gettis should be in a position to contribute if need be.”

…For what it’s worth, Foerster said Compton will stay at left tackle for now. Compton has worked some in the past on the right side, but spent almost all of last summer at left tackle as well. “If he plays great at left tackle, we’ll work him into the mix on the other side.”

Mike Shanahan on Adam Carriker’s recovery:  “It has been slow with his thigh tendon injury. He has had some repercussions on it. I can’t tell you for sure until the doctors tell me that he’ll be ready to go. They haven’t been able to do that, he hasn’t been on the field. So it has been a slow process and he is here all the time working out but there was a setback with it and we’ll find out in time. I can’t tell you right now.”

…Shanahan on Jordan Bernstine’s recovery: “He’s made tremendous strides in his rehab. I can’t say it’s a lock for him to be ready to go once we start our camp but he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do to be ready. His injuries were more serious than most injuries.”

…Will have a story on the site later about Kyle Shanahan and the zone read option. But he made a strong defense of it Wednesday and I don’t blame him. Having watched a lot of it this offseason, the play needs to remain a part of the offense. It creates opportunities for the backs and receivers and it buys Robert Griffin III time in the pocket. At times it causes the linebackers to freeze for two seconds before they can drop (if it’s a pass); that leaves nice throwing windows.

Keep in mind, too, that defenses did adjust to this play during last season. You name it, I saw defenses try it. Sometimes their strategies worked, often it didn’t. Hence: the zone read stays. As it should.

…I missed too much of Wednesday’s practice to get a good feel for it (was posting the Haslett press conference highlights). But there were a few things that stood out. Here they are:

…Quarterback Kirk Cousins connected with receiver Leonard Hankerson down the left side for what would have been a long touchdown. Hankerson got past rookie corner David Amerson (Richard Crawford was playing deep middle and could not get over in time; not sure what was in front of him, but the pass was to the outside and that means it was on Amerson).

…Receiver Lance Lewis made some highlight type catches in college; he made one Wednesday vs. Crawford. On a deep out inside the 10, Lewis went high and used outstretched hands to grab a Pat White pass. White had a couple nice throws Wednesday, but remained inconsistent. He did improve from the first time we saw him during spring workouts, but White has a ways to go.

Chris Thompson is a fast man. That much I deduced watching him sprint on the side. I don’t think I really needed to tell anyone that considering that’s one of his most impressive traits. But it’s still something to watch a guy that fast.

…The more I see of corner E.J. Biggers the more I think he’ll help the Redskins. I don’t know that he’s anything more than a third or fourth corner – I haven’t seen him enough vs. starter types — but that’s OK. They needed that, too. He had great position vs. Aldrick Robinson on one pass in the corner of the end zone, leading to a breakup of a Rex Grossman throw.

…Then, on the next play Biggers defended tight end Niles Paul running a wheel route. Paul was not open, forcing Grossman to try and throw over the top. But Paul could only get one hand on the pass.

…Linebacker Brian Orakpo was able to get Compton off-balance on one rush, ducking inside him. On the next rush, Orakpo went low and turned the corner right to the quarterback.

…Liked one play in which Cousins locked in on Hankerson. But Hankerson was covered, so Cousins looked back to his left to spot Paul down the sideline and delivered a perfect pass, leading him into the end zone.

…Looks like linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is trying to shorten the gap between he and the offensive tackles when he rushes. Too often last year tackles were able to keep Kerrigan off them, limiting the use of his hands, which is one of his strengths. Just something to watch during camp.

 

 

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