Redskins training camp

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

Observations

1 Newly signed right tackle Jordan Black worked with the second-string offensive line Thursday, his first action in nearly a year. He looked like a guy with a lot of rust and needed to adapt to the speed. Linebacker Chris Wilson moved him back on one rush; Wilson later ran past him on consecutive rushes. On the second, Black tried to reach him but couldn't. It's fair to say the coaches will cut him a little slack for a while.

2 Don't be surprised if linebacker Brian Orakpo plays more with his hands in the dirt as a pass rusher this season. He has done that several times when the Redskins have used their nickel defense. He has done this on both the left and right sides of the line. There have been some coaches here in the past who think he is a much better rusher when he's in a four-point stance than when he's upright.

3 Robert Griffin III continues to hold the ball a long time in the pocket. Give him credit for not forcing a lot of throws, but he's also learning to be more decisive. He was intercepted once Thursday by cornerback Kevin Barnes, who conned Griffin into the throw with a coverage disguise. Barnes had tried a similar technique on an earlier throw but failed to make the play. A difference: The first time Griffin was throwing to 6-foot-2 Leonard Hankerson, who made an outstretched grab; the second time it went to 5-7 Brandon Banks. The pass was high and wide.

4 Quarterback Rex Grossman was involved in two plays of the day. On the first, he connected with Banks on a deep post off a bootleg play. Barnes tried to jam Banks at the line and didn't succeed. As Barnes settled into a zone, Banks sped past safety Tanard Jackson. Later, Grossman lofted a pass down the right side to tight end Chris Cooley, a step ahead of linebacker Keenan Robinson. Cooley made a (disputed) diving grab.

Notes

» Redskins coach Mike Shanahan still hasn't talked to defensive end Kentwan Balmer, who left training camp before Wednesday afternoon's practice. This isn't new for Balmer. He went missing from San Francisco's training camp in 2010, prompting a trade to Seattle. "You're always concerned," Shanahan said. "You're just hoping he's OK. He cleared everything out of the hotel, and that usually means it's a guy who doesn't want to play football anymore. But that's not always the case. I hate to say something. All I know is we haven't had a chance to speak to him yet."

» Receiver Anthony Armstrong injured the AC joint in his right shoulder after crashing to the ground following a pass breakup. Armstrong had jumped for the pass. He did not return to practice and will undergo an X-ray, though Shanahan said the trainers thought it was just bruised. Receiver Josh Morgan (hamstring), safety DeJon Gomes (shoulder), offensive tackle James Lee (knee) and receiver Lance Lewis (groin) did not practice Thursday. Lewis could miss one to two weeks. The other three could return by Monday.

» Shanahan said he expected right tackle Jammal Brown to return last night and he will start rehabilitating his hips. Brown has struggled with his hip since coming to Washington via a trade in 2010. He will take anti-inflammatories to help his hip. Shanahan said one thing that will help Brown is that he's in better shape. "He was a different guy just with his flexibility," Shanahan said. "You could see how he could bend, come out of his stances. We thought there was a chance for him to have a really good year. So there is a setback."

Player of note

CB Kevin Barnes

The fourth-year veteran is having a solid camp now that the Redskins have removed him from playing the slot. He's much more suited to playing outside, where his long arms and athleticism enable him to get better jams. He intercepted a Robert Griffin III pass when he displayed some savvy, showing one look and breaking off to jump a different route. Later, Barnes broke up a pass along the sidelines intended for Anthony Armstrong.

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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Author:

John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner