1. Here are some notes from earlier Tuesday, including information on who will and won’t play at Buffalo.
2. Former Illinois football coach Ron Zook attended Tuesday’s practice. He coached defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s son, Chase, at Illinois last season before being fired. Zook coached with Haslett in Pittsburgh and New Orleans.
“When there’s no pressure on you, it’s a lot of fun,” Zook said.
3. Pierre Garcon dropped two passes during a session with the quarterbacks. Yes, that was his reputation in Indianapolis. The Redskins view him differently.
“I’m very impressed with how he handled himself,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “He has speed and explosion. He’ll block. He’s competitive. He has great hands. He will definitely be a big time receiver for our team. He is everything we’re hoping for.”
4. Tight end Chris Cooley did not practice as Shanahan gave him the day off. Cooley, of course, missed the final 11 games because of a knee injury last season. He must prove he can stay healthy and, just as important, that he can contribute. One Redskins source said Cooley will play a lot this preseason as they want to see how his knee holds up.
Anyway, about today, Shanahan said: “He wasn’t complaining about anything. He could have practiced. In fact, he came up to me and said ‘Hey, I don’t need the day off,’ so you can kind get an idea of his mindset. I just thought it was in his best interest to kind of recuperate a little bit before he plays in the game.”
5. The Redskins used their scout team offense and defense during practice Tuesday. They also did a regular practice, using starters against starters.
6. Defensive end Stephen Bowen shed a Maurice Hurt block to make a stop of Roy Helu. Hurt later looked slow getting to the second level; not a lot of explosion. But Hurt is sitting lower at the snap; can usually tell if it’s a run or a pass by how heavy he sets. That’s true of a lot of linemen, but definitely with him in practice.
7. Anyway, even in scout team work Hurt struggled. Doug Worthington drove him a yard or so back on a stretch zone to the right. Chris Baker moved him back on the next play before stopping (scout team work again).
8. Worthington drove into James Lee on another snap and moved him back. It would have helped had Lee not had his feet so close together. Ugh.
9. Tony Moll took some snaps at right tackle with the scout team and went against Ryan Kerrigan twice. Kerrigan moved him back (which he should at this point). Kerrigan then did a good job getting his hands in tight vs. Moll on a rush.
10. Highlight of the day for Santana Moss? A quick catch over the middle from Robert Griffin III, beating rookie corner Richard Crawford. Moss sped downfield for a score with Crawford in pursuit. At the end of the run, Moss could be heard yelling, “Bye! Bye! Sayonara!” Moss beat Crawford inside from the slot when the rookie lost leverage.
11. Receiver Brandon Banks continues to have a strong camp at receiver. Entering the preseason games it’s clear that Banks belongs on the roster – now he must prove it in the games. He’s hard to jam off the line because of his quick feet, leading to catches in the intermediate area. Tuesday, he caught a deep ball from Rex Grossman by making a leaping adjustment vs. second-year corner Brandyn Thompson. He later made a diving catch. If Banks shows his explosiveness again on returns it’ll be tough to keep him off the roster.
12. Aldrick Robinson had one big play, catching a short pass over the middle and eluding linebacker D.J. Holt. He then made a cut and caught rookie safety Jordan Bernstine flat-footed. Sometimes you can’t tell if a safety would have made the play or not because they slow up. This time? Bernstine was toast.
13. Tight end Niles Paul made the highlight catch of the day, a diving one-handed grab with his left hand. Ah, very good. But here’s what I also liked: He lined up in the Tiger (or H-back) position and went through the line and collided with linebacker Keenan Robinson. A physical block and the sort he’ll have to make often from this spot.
14. Watched Jarvis Jenkins a little more today just to see how he did. Still not seeing the same explosiveness, but there were times when it seemed like he got a little too high off the snap. I remember last summer Jenkins needed to do a better job of bending his knees off the snap, so this is something to watch Thursday.
15. Also watched more of rookie left tackle Tom Compton Tuesday. He didn’t face anyone of real note, but he did look fine. Saw him drive rookie Keenan Robinson off the ball on a stretch zone to the left. He also did a good job picking up a stunt a couple plays later with Nick Martinez. Later, Compton buried Delvin Johnson on a run. When Compton faces better players he still struggles – Darrion Scott got into him and Compton was too upright — but he’s doing more than holding his own vs. lesser players. It’s a start.
16. Saw an example of the jams by Kevin Barnes that the coaches like. He got a good one on Pierre Garcon. Those long arms give him an edge in this area, especially against bigger receivers.
17. Lorenzo Alexander made a good stop in the hole of one run, drawing a few, “There you go 9-7” from his teammates.
18. Linebacker Brian Orakpo made a one-handed interception of a Rex Grossman pass. Looked like Helu cut his route off.
19. RGIII Report.