…Quarterback Robert Griffin III was closer to running all-out sprints Tuesday, but the big test remains over the next month when he adds cutting to his rehab.
Griffin, who according to multiple reports will see Dr. James Andrews again next week for a checkup, said he’ll start cutting next week. But he knows it won’t be a matter of cutting for one or two days and proclaiming himself ready.
“It’s a month of doing cutting drills, changing direction,” he said. “That way I can train my body to get back for that. I’ll start cutting and then after that it’s just everything over and over.
“I continue to work out in the weight room over the next four or five weeks, continue to keep sprinting, and just get more and more comfortable.”
…Griffin was able to run a lot more bootlegs Tuesday, though he continued to work with only the other players who are still rehabbing. Griffin ran the bootlegs to both sides, throwing off his surgically-repaired right leg as well as off his left one (which also underwent surgery). Looked fine, but did not look like he will in a month or two.
…Right tackle Jeremy Trueblood is coming off a tough couple of years in Tampa Bay. He’ll need to improve a bit if he harbors any hope of unseating Tyler Polumbus for the starting job. Trueblood, who is 6-foot-8, struggles to always stay low and that gets him in trouble – even in workouts with no pads. Doug Worthington got into his pads on one rush when Trueblood was too upright. He also will need to improve his footwork.
…Rookie safeties Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo both worked with the first unit, as did corner David Amerson. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has rotated backups in with the starters in the past, just to have them work against better players. Thomas, again, worked mostly in the box with Rambo deep. Loved Thomas’ read of a screen pass to Josh Morgan; Thomas raced up hard.
…Corner Chase Minnifield participated in the entire practice, the first time we’ve seen him do so since last year’s minicamp. Minnifield looked a bit rusty at times coming out of his breaks. On one, against Aldrick Robinson, he jammed his left arm into him after a couple steps, but Robinson created a little separation off the break. Had the pass been on target it’s a catch.
But that’s to be expected given that he missed all last season after ACL surgery and only recently was cleared to work the full practice.
Minnifield said he’ll spend the next month working at home with his father, ex-NFL corner Frank Minnifield, on his technique. Minnifield remains confident.
“I feel like my play can stack up against anybody in the league,” he said. “I’m confident in my abilities. If I can get out there I think I’ll be there for the season.”
Minnifield did pick off Rex Grossman on a deep ball intended for Josh Morgan.
“He looks healthy now,” Shanahan said. “Doctors say he’s ready to go and he’s worked extremely hard to get himself in great shape. Him coming back in the first couple days have been very impressive. It doesn’t look like there’s any setback or that he’s favoring anything whatsoever. That’s why I’m excited he has five more weeks to keep getting better and do what he needs to make the team.”
…Lots of deep play-action passes from Kirk Cousins and Grossman Tuesday. Cousins did throw one wobbly deep ball, which probably went around 50 yards, that receiver Leonard Hankerson caught. But it wasn’t pretty. However, Cousins also threw some nice deep balls, though most were incomplete. Grossman threw four interceptions; he’s extra aggressive in these workouts. It’s who he is.
…Can’t wait to see Brian Orakpo against Trent Williams in training camp one-on-one blocking drills or full-team work. Orakpo is playing with more energy than I remember seeing in him the past couple springs.
As Griffin said Williams told him, Orakpo is “out there rushing like it’s the NFC Championship Game.”
Said it before, but you can’t underestimate the value of having Orakpo and his energy back in the huddle. They missed it last season.
…Hankerson was open on some deep passes that fell incomplete, getting a step or two past Rambo on one post. Hankerson made a nice grab of a Grossman pass down the seam. He also did what I’ve always liked in him: making himself taller with his long arms. With corner Richard Crawford behind him on a route, Hankerson did an excellent job of extending his arms and catching the ball. Crawford had no chance. I do know the third year is a big one for receivers; I also know a third-year receiver had better look good in the spring.
…This is how you know it’s spring workouts: After drawing nose tackle Chris Baker offsides on a play, Grossman did a little dance in front of him (drawing a hand slap from Griffin afterward).
…Rob Jackson sprinted around left tackle Tom Compton on a pass rush. Just too fast. But Compton stopped him cold on the next play, showing a strong base.
…Safety DeJon Gomes, who has worked most of the spring with the starters, anticipated a Grossman pass over the middle to a tightly covered Logan Paulsen (by linebacker Bryan Kehl). Gomes sprinted up and intercepted the ball in full stride.
…Corner E.J. Biggers made an athletic interception in the back of the end zone on a deep ball to Robinson. Rambo was also in the area, but Biggers raced past both players and made the pick in the back.
…Shanahan said doctors told him that safety Brandon Meriweather would be ready for the start of training camp. Meriweather played one game last year because of knee issues (before and after, tearing his ACL).
…Safety Jordan Pugh is in Ashburn, but is still unable to practice because of what Shanahan called an “unusual ear infection.” Doctors advised Pugh not to practice, but he’s expected to be ready for training camp.