1. Robert Griffin III says “without a doubt” the start of training camp is a realistic goal for his return. He did walk with a slight limp at one point Thursday.
2. Roy Helu returned to work Wednesday after missing the first two weeks with the lingering effects of his turf toe. Helu said his goal isn’t just to stay healthy. “I’m not focused on staying healthy per se, but just on competing the best I can do.”
Helu’s main focus: “Job security,” he said.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said of Helu, “He looked good in practice. Anytime you have a guy that weighs 225 pounds and he’s under that 4.5 in the 40 and has receiving skills and the opportunity to make a big play. It’s good to have him back.”
3. Shanahan reiterated what he said a couple weeks ago, that tight end Fred Davis would not be full go until training camp. But if there was a game next week? Davis would play.
4. Corner Chase Minnifield, coming off two major knee surgeries last year, worked Wednesday, but only did positional drills Thursday. He’ll work Tuesday, but Shanahan said he would not work Wednesday.
“We don’t want to overdo it,” Shanahan said, “especially when we have a month and a half of recovery time.”
5. Tight end DeAngelo Peterson broke a bone in his foot. No word on when he’ll be ready. He’s a longshot to make the roster with four tight ends ahead of him.
6. Safety Jordan Pugh wasn’t at practice again this week; Shanahan said he’s back in Texas because of an ear infection. Shanahan said Pugh is not allowed to travel.
7. For what it’s worth, safeties DeJon Gomes and Reed Doughty continue to work with the No. 1 defense. Rookies Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas both have worked with the No. 2 defense all spring. It’s interesting that when the Redskins drafted Thomas, coach Mike Shanahan said he would play free safety. But Thomas has worked as the strong safety every practice we’ve seen, partly, perhaps, because he’s with Rambo who is definitely a free safety. Thomas’ skill set works well at strong safety.
8. Receiver Joshua Morgan looked spry Thursday and, consequently, had a good day. Morgan will be intriguing to watch because injuries impacted his 2012 season: the seven screws in his ankle; torn ligaments in both hands. He played tough, but the injuries took a toll on his game. There was little burst after the catch. Now healthy, will that be evident this season?
9. Morgan caught a slant route at the goal line, taking it in for a touchdown, vs. rookie David Amerson (Raheem Morris seemed to like the way Amerson played it). Morgan then spiked the ball over the goal post . Later in the red zone session, Morgan made a leaping catch in the back of the end zone vs. DeAngelo Hall for a touchdown. No dunk followed.
10. File this away for potential training camp scuffles: Rambo took issue with tight end Niles Paul after one play. Didn’t see what happened, but whatever did knocked Rambo’s helmet off. Rambo was clearly upset; nose tackle Chris Baker shouted out that there was no fighting (in the spring). However, Paul and Rambo were involved in a physical play later with no words. Paul made a leaping catch of a pass and Rambo’s contact forced him to the ground. And that was that.
11. I’ll have more on Paul in the Friday email report (it’s a souvenir edition), with him talking about how different he feels as a tight end – especially catching the ball.
12. Amerson did have good coverage on Paul in the end zone on one play, prompting Paul to grab him. Paul had tried to cut in the back, but Amerson blocked his path. I like the way Amerson anticipates the ball and drives on it out of his backpedal. I can see how that will be used against him at times, but it’s also why he made big plays in college.
13. E.J. Biggers had a solid jam vs. Santana Moss in the slot; Biggers’ long arms help him with the jams. I don’t know what kind of slot corner he might be. Staying with corners: Richard Crawford got chewed out by Morris after allowing a catch in zone coverage (Crawford went to the wrong area). But he broke up a pass on the next play.
14. Jordan Reed’s athleticism is obvious when watching him catch passes from Robert Griffin III during the hurt-guys-working portion of practice. Reed made an excellent adjustment on a Griffin pass down the left seam. He had to turn back while running and made an outstretched catch as he backpedaled. He also made a leaping catch downfield. It’ll take time for him to adjust to playing tight end in the NFL, but the athleticism is noticeable.
15. Aldrick Robinson made a nice catch of a high pass thrown by quarterback Pat White. Robinson has looked good this spring; he did so a year ago as well. Hard to believe he didn’t catch a single pass after the touchdown vs. Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.
16. Rob Jackson disengaged from a Tom Compton block to make what would have been a tackle near the goal line.
17. I know you can’t tell a lot from running backs until the games begin, but last year you could see Alfred Morris’ body lean (starting in camp with the pads on). For now what you see out of rookie runner Jawan Jamison is the wiggle he uses to shake guys downfield, particularly after the catch.
18. Josh LeRibeus said there’s a chance he’ll be able to participate in the minicamp next week. He’s been sidelined the past three weeks with a pulled hamstring.