1. Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger and running back Tim Hightower both had the afternoon off, a scheduled rest thanks to their ACL surgeries in the fall. Josh LeRibeus replaced Lichtensteiger with the starting unit and was OK. He does not look overmatched at all, though there was one time in which end Stephen Bowen got into his chest on one play in 11-on-11 work.
2. Linebacker Jonathan Goff injured his right knee – the same one in which he tore his ACL last year with the New York Giants. He’ll undergo an MRI, but coach Mike Shanahan said he was “feeling good.” Goff was dropping into pass coverage on the play. Trainers helped him to the sideline and checked out his knee. He stuck around for the rest of practice and walked to the locker room on his own.
3. Pointed out Friday that Aldrick Robinson had a ways to go to earn a roster spot. One of the guys he’s competing with, Brandon Banks, had a terrific day. Robinson might have looked good in the one-on-ones, but it’s the full-team work where receivers need to shine and that’s what Banks did. He caught three passes over the middle, including two in traffic, making a leaping catch on one Rex Grossman ball. The play I liked: corner Cedric Griffin went to jam him, though he used his outside hand (left) to do so and Banks stepped in that direction. It got Griffin off-balance and Banks shot inside for an open grab.
4. Banks did drop one pass (on a crossing route vs. Josh Wilson) and you can never get too excited about one practice. But it was a good day for him. He did one thing they want to see their receivers do and that’s beat press coverage. Banks needs to have this translate into games, not to mention return a couple kicks for long gains.
5. I’m going to write about this in my RG3 report (focusing on him of course) but the quarterbacks and receivers struggled to connect on a simple bootleg pass to the left with no defense. I usually don’t write about drills like this, but it was actually quite ugly. Griffin struggled with his accuracy on this play. But: Banks dropped a ball and Leonard Hankerson dropped a ball. Grossman was fine in this drill and Kirk Cousins on his last throw slowed his delivery way down and completed a pass to Terrence Austin.
6. Ryan Kerrigan worked on pass rush moves from the right side in the one-on-one drills against the offensive line. (Yes, first full pad workout which brought out my favorite drill). But the first time he went against Trent Williams, Kerrigan tried to go upfield then spin inside and was stopped.
7. By the way, Williams looks really good. The coaches say he’s in the best shape of his career and it shows. I’d say he’s shed the label of a guy who’s not willing to work hard. He’s always moved well so that’s nothing new. But he seems intent on proving he’s a good player.
8. In that same drill Brian Orakpo had no trouble getting around Tyler Polumbus. Meanwhile, rookie left tackle Tom Compton continues to learn the importance of staying low. He tends to get too upright and it gets him in trouble. Defenders get into his pads too often.
9. The more I see of Adam Gettis the more I like him. When he’ll be ready to play I have no idea. But some guys are technicians and he’s one. Always seems to have a good base. In the one-on-ones he did let Doug Worthington move him back. But he did a good job vs. Adam Carriker and then Kedric Golston and finally Kentwan Balmer. Why? Because Gettis keeps a low base. Don’t go crazy on him just yet, but know that he’s off to a solid start.
10. Man, I used the word base twice in one paragraph. Might draw a fine from the other writers.
11. Rob Jackson got Maurice Hurt off-balance on a rush, beating him to the inside.
12. Back to Kerrigan and Orakpo. When the 11-on-11 drills started Kerrigan rushed from right end and Orakpo was in a four-point stance at left end (they were in a nickel front). There is a belief that Orakpo rushes better with his hands in the dirt. The first time he did so he rushed past Polumbus (plays too tall at times, but he’s 6-foot-8).
13. Another rookie I’ve liked so far: corner Richard Crawford. Actually, most of the rookies have shown something. But Crawford stood out a little Saturday. He ran stride for stride with Santana Moss on one deep ball. Used good technique off the snap. Later, he intercepted a Kirk Cousins pass (it was overthrown to Samuel Kirkland). And he also jumped a route by Terrence Austin to break up a pass. It’s early, but so far he’s shown something.
14. Secondary coach Raheem Morris does like to needle anyone. Griffin dropped a shotgun snap and eventually the play was aborted. The receivers, running their routes, pulled up with a little frustration. Morris shouted to Santana Moss, “Hey, Tana! Go back to the one-on-ones to get your confidence up!” No idea if Moss responded to him. But on the next play Griffin’s pass to Moss over the middle was broken up by DeAngelo Hall.
15. Morris also has more say in the defense than just with the secondary. After one defensive call, linebacker London Fletcher turned in his direction and shouted a question about the coverage that Morris answered.
16. Kerrigan blew up tight end Fred Davis, aligned in the slot on one rush. Earlier, Kerrigan avoided fullback Darrel Young on a rush. Young lunged at him and missed as Kerrigan went wide. Need to pay more attention to Kerrigan to see how he’s looking in all areas.
17. OK, rookie report again. On a stretch zone to the right, Gettis reached the second level (no one was in his zone so he went right at Lorenzo Alexander). He was able to bump him back, but Alexander got off him to get into the play. But rookie Alfred Morris’ low running style worked for him as he gained a few extra yards. A nice, hard run.
18. Cousins had an uneven day in the 11-on-11 work. He was intercepted by rookie linebacker Keenan Robinson (properly dropping to the strong side). One play later Cousins slid to his right and threw back left to a wide-open Lennon Creer. Not sure who busted the coverage, but it led to a long gain. But the next play was the overthrow that Crawford intercepted.
19. I know Rex Grossman gets criticized all the time, but there are times he looks sharp. Like on a deep out to tight end Niles Paul, who ran a good route –stemming inside, then cutting back outside. As he turned the ball arrived. Just a nice pitch and catch, as a former coach used to say.
20. It’s Saturday night. Time to quit.
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