Redskins notes and analysis

Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim


  1. Coach Mike Shanahan was the main casualty during Monday’s OTA session, getting blindsided by cornerback Brandyn Thompson on a deep Robert Griffin III incompletion. Shanahan lay on the ground for nearly five minutes as players gathered around him (giving him space). They applauded as he was finally helped to his feet. “He showed some toughness,” Griffin said. “That’s the bedmark of our team, you know. But it was pretty scary actually to see two guys running full speed smack dab into your coach. We’re glad he got up, glad he was fine. Hopefully he’s fine tomorrow because usually hits like that don’t kick in until the next day.”
  2. The problem for Shanahan on the play: Because they were practicing indoors, he was standing at midfield watching action at the other end (where the No. 2 offense worked vs. the starting defense). Had this been an outdoor practice, they would have been on different fields and he could have stood on the sidelines. But after getting hit Monday, he stayed at the practice. However, he did not address the media afterward as scheduled.
  3. Linebacker London Fletcher said of acquiring Griffin, “I’m in my 15th season, to go into another year with not having a quarterback was not very appealing to me. So when they were able to make the trade, knowing we would be getting either Andrew Luck or [Griffin] that definitely made the situation a lot brighter as far as coming back here. I’ve had enough years of the other stuff.” Fletcher also wasn’t in great demand on the market because of his age (37). But it’s amazing how he works even in the OTAs; the guy goes hard every play. It’s hard to quantify what the Redskins would have lost had he signed elsewhere.
  4. Corner DeAngelo Hall was absent Monday. The reason is uncertain. Receiver Leonard Hankerson (hip) and defensive end Stephen Bowen (knee) did not participate and instead worked on the side. Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger (knee) participated in individual work, but not in full-team drills.
  5.  Bowen underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in mid-April, a result of the partial PCL tear last season. Bowen said he tried to avoid surgery but “one day I felt a pinch and wanted it to get taken care of. I didn’t want there to maybe be a chance I’ll be 100 percent and then feel that pain again so I wanted to have it taken care of.” Bowen said he should be 100 percent in two to four weeks.
  6. Second-year lineman Maurice Hurt spent his time at right tackle (Tyler Polumbus worked at left guard). With rookies Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis also able to play guard, Hurt needs to prove he can help at multiple spots. He worked at tackle some last season as well. OK, I know it’s only May 21, but James Lee needs to get a heck of a lot lower at the line of scrimmage. On one pass set he was way too upright in his stance, a clear tip-off a pass was coming. Needless to say the defender, linebacker Chris Wilson, drilled into his mid-section and drove him back off the snap. Definitely something to watch this summer.
  7. Santana Moss looked quicker. Maybe it comes from knowing that he’s lost 15 pounds or so, but he appeared to be running faster than a year ago.
  8. Saw quarterback Kirk Cousins throw a nice deep out about 30 yards downfield. His arm is plenty strong enough for the NFL.
  9. Rookie corner Richard Crawford showed decent coverage skills, though one time still resulted in a completion because of Griffin’s arm strength. But another time Crawford lunged and batted down a Griffin pass intended for Garcon.
  10. Niles Paul can be an effective pass-catching tight end – he made a one-handed grab of a Griffin pass Monday. He could end up being a major threat on bootlegs or plays in which he’s being hit in stride. I do wonder about his ability to block ends. At 235 pounds, he’s only about two pounds lighter than Chris Cooley but at 6-foot-1 Paul is two inches shorter. Will that make a difference in terms of reach, etc.? Then again Shannon Sharpe was only 6-foot-2. So here’s the point: We’ll find out this summer. And in this offense more often than not the blocking is about beating a defender with their feet and setting the edge.
  11. Rookie Josh LeRibeus will become a go-to guy if and when he cracks the starting lineup because of his colorful quotes. He said of Griffin Monday, “He's a little, you wouldn't expect it, from the bright eyes, big smile but he's a little mastermind." LeRibeus said he worked at both guard spots and center. Sounds as if his main spot will be center for the time being. Again, his coach at SMU, June Jones, said LeRibeus’ best position in the NFL likely would be center.
  12. Will post something in a couple hours on Griffin's day.

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