1. Tough news for the Redskins’ offensive line about left guard Kory Lichtensteiger. The Redskins say he’ll return for the opener, but it’s not the optimum situation for Lichtensteiger, who missed the final 11 games in 2011 and now will only get perhaps a good week or two of work in training camp to get ready for the season. He and left tackle Trent Williams work well together and ‘Steiger does a solid job in the run game. It’s a definite loss.
2. Backup right tackle Willie Smith injured his knee in a one-on-one drill when he got bowled over by linebacker Rob Jackson. Smith did not get run over because he was hurt. Rather, he got hurt because he got run over. It was an ugly play. Smith did not return to practice and will undergo an MRI. The Redskins have a real issue at backup tackle with Lichtensteiger out and Jammal Brown injured. Tyler Polumbus might be a decent backup, but he’s now a starter. Jason Lee has not impressed, nor has Smith.
3. Yes, this is a big issue. I think one of the tough things is that on some play-actions, Robert Griffin III is rather deliberate with his fakes. By the time he turns his eyes back to the field nearly two seconds have elapsed. You don’t get a lot of time to throw and if the line is not 100 percent he’ll likely get even less. Just something to watch.
4. The running backs worked on blitz pickups today. Didn’t see enough of the drill, but the best block I saw was by rookie undrafted free agent Antwon Bailey against Lorenzo Alexander. Stood him up. Meanwhile, Roy Helu kept his head up while trying to block Ryan Kerrigan, but the second-year ‘backer still went around him. And London Fletcher popped running back Evan Royster.
5. Speaking of Fletcher, he intercepted a telegraphed Kirk Cousins pass to tight end Niles Paul. Fletcher started running before the ball was released and easily turned it into a pick-six. By the way, Cousins throws an interception almost every practice. The knock on him in college was that he made too many mistakes. Hence a guy with good size and a good arm drops to the fourth round. He has a lot to learn. Remember those who wondered what would happen if Cousins outshined Robert Griffin III in camp? Really not worried about that right now. Cousins is being groomed to be a good backup. Every team needs one. And the more you get to know Griffin the more you realize he will never be scared of competition.
6. Saw Brian Orakpo in one-on-ones get the better of left tackle Trent Williams. Started upfield and shot back inside with what looked from a distance to be a swim move (was on the other field). But it was easy to see this: Williams was caught off-balance and leaning to his left. That doesn’t happen often. Orakpo said he was working on more moves and maybe he has. Curious to see him in a game to find out. Oh, the next time they faced each other: Orakpo tried to bull rush Williams and was stopped.
7. Williams also stopped Ryan Kerrigan in the one-on-ones when he tried to go wide. Williams hasn’t had any issues with Kerrigan in the matchups I’ve seen. But Kerrigan had more success in the full-team work vs. right tackle Tyler Polumbus. Got outside for one pressure and then drove into him and pushed him back. This is where the 6-foot-8 Polumbus has problems, always being able to stay low. Got him in trouble in the one-on-ones too when Chris Wilson got around him. Wilson used a hand slap and sped outside; Polumbus was bent way too much at the waist and lost the ability to recover. Wilson also beat him on one rush in the full-team work. Polumbus has had his moments of success, no doubt. But he will be scrutinized closely because of Brown’s absence and the Redskins inability to upgrade this spot.
8. I’m also curious to see how the backup nose tackle spot plays out between Chris Neild and Chris Baker. Thus far Baker has made more noise in camp. I also know that coaches see a hundred more things than we do and know who’s out of position etc. But Baker has been more visible that’s for sure. He got inside rookie Josh LeRibeus in the one-on-ones and drove him back. Baker also got into right guard Adam Gettis’ pads for a pressure.
9. I’ve seen nothing yet to change what I think of corner Richard Crawford. Can’t wait to see if his solid play transfers to the game. He picked off another pass Monday, this time on a Cousins pass. Crawford tipped the ball in the air and grabbed it as he fell to the ground. He also played tight man coverage on Santana Moss on another play. Crawford didn’t jam him, but mirrored him off the line and covered him well.
10. Jarvis Jenkins helped collapse the pocket on one rush, knocking Maurice Hurt to the ground. I’m sure that statement will alternately please and scare Redskins fans.
11. Receiver Terrence Austin made a nice lunging catch of a Cousins pass. Austin is a quiet player, but he’s improved each summer. I don’t know if he’ll play here, but he certainly looks like he should play for someone. Austin is a smart kid, too.
12. Dezmon Briscoe hasn’t done a whole lot yet; mostly individual work.
13. An early notebook, with quotes from Tim Hightower and Rex Grossman.
14. RG3 Report.
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