Redskins practice report: Aug. 4

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim

1. We’ll start with the fights because, well, they were the first ones of training camp and they’re always entertaining. But we saw a difference between two veterans fighting and two young guys. First, the vets: Center Will Montgomery appeared to shove linebacker London Fletcher either right after the play or just as it was ending. Fletcher didn’t like it. Words were exchanged and they started shoving one another. And then it was over. Veterans are smart enough not to throw punches. Oh, and incidentally, these two battled once last year too.

2. Now for the young guys, who do throw punches. Tight end Niles Paul and Markus White started a fracas and all I saw was Paul trying to pummel White. Note to self: Write good things about Niles Paul (some will say that won’t be a problem; I happen to like what he adds to a team). Anyway, DeAngelo Hall grabbed Paul and ushered him out of the melee. Paul started moving back in, but Hall did his job. The incident occurred after a Rex Grossman pass was tipped and intercepted by safety Tanard Jackson.

3. As for the fight. Here’s White’s take on the mess: “We got an interception and I was going to make a block. That’s it. It’s not real painful if you get hit with your helmet… That’s my boy, I don’t have no problems with him. A lot of times brothers get in fights, cousins get in fights and then you’ll be like it’s cool, whatever happens happens. That’s the maturity of a professional football player and you just go on with your business.”

4. And now Paul’s take: “I’d just seen a man running at full speed about to take me off and I defended myself. I was going to keep my poise and I snapped… Me and Markus are good friends. That’s why I didn’t understand why he tried to de-cleat me. We don’t have a problem now. …I’m expected to keep my poise a little better. You can’t do that in the game, you can’t afford to have a penalty or I’m done for a couple games.”

5. The last word: Paul is intensely competitive. It’s what makes him a good player and it’s why he was such a good blocker. But he does have to keep that sort of frustration under wraps. The Redskins too often have been hurt by silly 15-yard penalties in games. They’re not good enough to constantly overcome those mistakes.

6. OK, I’ve been raving about left tackle Trent Williams. But linebacker Brian Orakpo is having a solid camp. And he got Williams in the one-on-ones, getting him off-balance by ducking inside after starting outside. The next time they faced one another, Williams rode Orakpo out wide.

7. Defensive end Stephen Bowen drove Maurice Hurt back. I’m curious to see Hurt in a game because there hasn’t been a great deal of noticeable improvement in some of these drills. I also know the one-on-ones are difficult for this line. The defensive line is bigger while the offensive line wants quicker guys. They’re not built to drop back and handle one-on-ones as well as they are to get on the move. But there’s not a lot of nasty attitude along the line aside from Williams.

8. Rob Jackson beat Tyler Polumbus by getting low; White beat him with speed off the edge. If the Redskins can’t protect the edges, it’ll reduce Robert Griffin III’s ability to extend plays. And right now this side remains an issue. Haven’t seen anything yet to suggest otherwise.

9. Willie Smith had problems against Jackson, who started up and cut back inside. Smith lunged and missed. Smith did set well in an earlier rush vs. Chris Wilson and rode him out. Those two plays are about what he did last year in games: one good, one tough one. In the 11-on-11 work, my guy linebacker Monte Lewis – there he is again – moved Smith back. Later, White got inside Jordan Black, working at left tackle, for a pressure of Rex Grossman.

10. I’m also curious to see how Polumbus fares getting to the second level. Had one problem with it today, though Fletcher is the one he was trying to get. And by this point the defense should know what’s coming.

11. Really liked Adam Gettis’ feet in one rush vs. Doug Worthington. But Gettis still has the upper-body issues.

12. Jarvis Jenkins shot inside rookie left tackle Tom Compton in full-team work. But that’s exactly what Jenkins should be doing.

13. Haven’t talked much about rookie corner Richard Crawford and he really didn’t do much again Saturday. Doesn’t mean his play has slipped, but he was noticeable in the first few days of camp. Saturday, he struggled to get a jam on slot receiver Terrence Austin at the line on one play (Grossman threw a good out to Brandon Banks on that side).

14. Jordan Black took some reps with the second offensive line at left tackle.

15. The play of the day belonged to backup quarterback Rex Grossman, who ran a bootleg to the right and threw back deep down the left side to a wide-open tight end Logan Paulsen. Linebacker Markus White misread the play and left him alone. Give credit to receiver Brandon Banks who sprinted downfield and blocked corner Brandyn Thompson, opening the last few yards for a touchdown.

16. If I had to guess right now, Banks is on the roster. He’s stood out more than the other young receivers and his return ability still rates him an edge. Banks also caught another ball over the middle.

17. By the way, any frustration Fletcher had over his little scuffle with Montgomery he took out on Leonard Hankerson. After one catch over the middle, Fletcher popped Hankerson, who fell to the ground. He held onto the ball.

18. Running back Alfred Morris dropped a pass over the middle from Kirk Cousins.  The rookie quarterback connected with running back Tristan Davis earlier in the practice, circling out of the backfield to the middle. Davis broke free and sprinted 50 yards for the end zone. Few gave chase.

19. Nick Martinez did a nice job on one block of holding off veteran lineman Kedric Golston. Chris Baker has had a good camp, but at times he comes off the ball a little too high.

20. The replacement refs have no fans among the Redskins’ defense. They’ve been chirping at them for a couple days. They were convinced the offense was holding on two Griffin runs in the red zone. Finally after the second one in which safety Madieu Williams said tight end Chris Cooley was holding him and yelled at the refs to “Call that [expletive]! Call that [expletive]!”

21. Forgot to say, after the first time the defense complained about holding, Williams walked back to the offensive huddle while Fletcher and company were turned his way and kept his hands held up, signaling touchdown.

22. Josh LeRibeus had an up-and-down finish to his day. He may have had the best day of his life before this point, but I admit I did not focus much on him. He did appear to get beat by Bryan Kehl on one blitz inside. But on the next play LeRibeus was solid vs. defensive end Adam Carriker. He stood up Carriker and moved his feet to stay with him. Nice. Ah, but on the next play Carriker powered him into the backfield.

23. Thompson seemed to be doing a better job the last couple days. He had tight coverage on a deep ball down the left side to Banks. The receiver tried to make a lunging one-handed grab but failed. Thompson was right there with him.

24. RGIII Report. Yes, we’re now using the more formalized roman numerals.

25. Dan Snyder talks to the media (for about 90 seconds).

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