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Redskins thoughts: Three things I learned

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim

A new feature, which will run throughout the season

1. Center/guard Josh LeRibeus learned a valuable lesson against Buffalo. You can’t be overaggressive at the line. It worked one time when he stoned his man, taking steps at him. However, it also got him in trouble on other plays in which he ended up trying to be aggressive, but instead lunging in vain.

“I just have to work on the timing,” LeRibeus said. “Sometimes you’ll see a guy and think, ‘I’m gonna blow this guy up.’ And then he does a little move and he’s around you. You have to be patient and make sure you time the punch up.”

2. Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan clearly has worked on staying lower this season. Noticed that in camp and again in the preseason opener, he was staying lower at the snap. It was evident when compared to some of his stances at the end of last season. Based on camp Kerrigan is coming off the ball faster and drilling blockers in practice, whether it’s the right tackles or tight ends. Earlier this week he exploded into tight end Logan Paulsen and knocked him back on a run. Kerrigan hasn’t fared well vs. Trent Williams so it’s tough to say what this all means (then again, nobody looked better than Williams this summer). Regardless, Kerrigan wanted to work on this and it’s smart.

“You just burst out more when you’re lower,” Kerrigan said.

3. Willie Smith remains eligible for the practice squad. A few weeks ago I wouldn’t have double checked that information because I’d have put him as perhaps the last lineman. But, as of now, he hasn’t exactly stood out nor shown that he’s improved from last season. Because Smith was on the active roster for only seven games last season (and was a free agent) he can still get cut and placed on the Redskins’ practice squad. It’s hard to see him making the final roster based on his performance this summer and those ahead of him. Yes, he had a minor injury in camp. But it came because Rob Jackson steamrolled him in a one-on-one drill, a bad sign. Smith has worked at both left and right tackle. However, he still has trouble reacting to counter moves. Rookie Tom Compton, a sixth-round pick, has worked ahead of him at left tackle. Jordan Black also is a swing tackle and would be the veteran backup teams like if he proves he can still help.

 

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