Practice report: July 31

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim

1. Still no word on Jammal Brown’s MRI, which he had Tuesday in New York. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he’ll get the results Tuesday night and let the media know what the results were on Wednesday. This one has never felt right, but we’ll see.

2. The bubble paid off Tuesday when lightning lit up the sky during practice, forcing the Redskins indoors. The fans were out of luck, however. The bubble isn’t big enough for a few thousand fans on the sidelines. Sadly, I remember some times in Frostburg when the Redskins had to practice in the gym during some rain delays. They did let fans in, mainly because there weren’t that many who attended.

3. I don’t know if there’s going to be a significant dropoff from Brown to Tyler Polumbus, considering the former was inconsistent and always playing injured. But there is a drop in the depth. And watching the backup tackles in action makes you realize why they signed Jordan Black. Maurice Hurt also is a backup tackle, but for now he’s starting at left guard.

However, James Lee has struggled mightily in camp. He’ll need to play a lot better – a lot better – to win a roster spot. Lee was routinely beaten in one-on-one work as well as full-team drills.  Rookie Tom Compton has a ways to go, too. Realistically he’s a practice squad type. Nothing wrong with that considering he’s a sixth-round pick. As the Redskins saw last season it’s tough to rely on inexperienced backups.

4. The most impressive player offensively has been, without a doubt, left tackle Trent Williams. He might be having the best camp of anyone for that matter. Brian Orakpo has gotten him on occasion, but nobody else has come close to beating him. When Ryan Kerrigan goes against him, it’s a clear win for Williams. In the one-on-ones Tuesday, he stopped Orakpo who tried to go upfield and cut back inside. He stopped Kerrigan who went wide. Then he whipped Markus White, who tried to lull him with a stutter step. But Williams was patient, let White reveal his intentions and then reacted. Oh, and he pushed him to the ground at the end. Beast. Williams’ lower half is so sound and his feet so good that he can compensate for mistakes.

I remember when he was a rookie how he could get himself out of bad spots because of his athleticism. The difference now? So far I haven’t seen him get in many bad situations.  That’s a testament to his growth as a player.

5. Rookie Adam Gettis is a battler and I like how he sets his lower body. But he also gets stood up quite a bit; as with all rookies it’s early. But this is something he’ll have to correct. In full-team work, Chris Baker slanted to his right and drove into Gettis’ body, standing him up. He shed Gettis and made the tackle. Baker had a pressure later in the day. The kid is active. Fellow rookie Josh LeRibeus is adapting to the pro game, too. It’s tough to play this game without consistent technique; LeRibeus had a bit too much forward lean on one run, causing an ineffective block. Learning process, folks.

6. Love the pass protection drill between the linebackers and the running backs. Rookie Alfred Morris didn’t back down from linebacker London Fletcher. The two went at it – hard. Definitely the most intense competition. Fletcher started upfield and Morris tried to ride him. Fletcher spun in and Morris stayed with him and the two continued to battle one another before they finally blew the whistle. It was, by far, the longest they let one of these go on.

7. Morris is inconsistent in his pickups, but no one struggled like Lennon Creer. Could be the last time I write that name.

8. The biggest pop came when Kerrigan rammed into Dorson Boyce and knocked him back. Orakpo powered into Evan Royster and got around him as Royster fell. Rob Jackson rammed into Morris and popped him back and then cut inside. Morris also had his head down on one block, allowing D.J. Holt to slip past. Pass protection was one of Morris’ strengths in college, so the want-to is there. But his technique must become more consistent.

9. As a runner, Morris continues to intrigue. It’s impossible to get a good gauge on the running backs because you need to see if they’re breaking tackles, how they elude defenders, etc. Can’t see that until they play. But I continue to like the way Morris runs. Doesn’t waste movement with his feet on his cuts. That’s important.

10. Leonard Hankerson has had a solid camp. Unlike last summer, haven’t seen him drop many passes (only recall one). He beat Kevin Barnes in the one-on-one drills. These are set up for the DB’s to fail, but on this one Hankerson ran a good route, giving Barnes a hard cut to the outside and then turning back inside. Barnes bit on the outside fake leaving Hankerson free for a grab.

11. Barnes did intercept a Rex Grossman pass later, so his day wasn’t bad at all.

12. Corner DeAngelo Hall had a terrific afternoon. It started with him covering Pierre Garcon on a deep post, breaking up a Robert Griffin III pass by leaping underneath. On the next play Hall made a terrific read and jumped a pass to Hankerson. Hall dropped the potential pick. Raheem Morris shouted, “Ohhh! Someone’s on fire today!”

13. Another way that Niles Paul can help at tight end: He lined up in an H-back (F-back whatever) and served as a lead blocker to the outside on a Morris run. Paul runs well and blocks even better on the move. He got to his man, but unfortunately for the offense Kedric Golston got to Morris before Paul’s block mattered.

14. Orakpo made an excellent play while covering Santana Moss split wide. Paul was to Moss’  left on the outside and served as  a decoy, running straight downfield. Griffin threw quickly to Moss. He tried to juke Orakpo but failed and the linebacker smothered him for a loss.

15. Corner Brandyn Thompson did not have a good day and rookie corner Richard Crawford didn’t have his best day. Thompson would have been called for a pass interference on a pass to tight end Chris Cooley. He also failed to make a play in the end zone against Terrence Austin (another good day for him). Austin ran a corner route and Thompson was in front of him. He turned as the ball was arriving, but failed to get a hand on it and Austin made the catch. Crawford allowed a touchdown catch to Austin, too, on a crossing route.

16. Kerrigan seems to be doing a good job getting quick penetration against the run, forcing backs a little wider or to cut inside. He’s doing a good job with his hands getting leverage, whether against the tackle or tight end (in this case Fred Davis).

17. Like watching pro athletes get excited about a touchdown in practice. It shows you how competitive these guys are; it’s not just the games that matter. After Kirk Cousins threw a touchdown pass to receiver Darius Hanks, he ran up toward the goal line and shouted, “Touchdown!” Cousins made a good throw on the run to his right.

18. Brandon Meriweather is a constant yapper on the field. He would have sacked Griffin on one play and shouted, “Got him again!” He’s always talking.

19. Will Montgomery’s shotgun snaps remain inconsistent. Blooped a couple and had another that was low.

20. RG3 Report.

21. Fullback Darrel Young will miss a week or two with his strained left hamstring. Receiver Josh Morgan also sat out with a strained hamstring. No word on how long he’ll be out.

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John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner