Rookies, injuries, RGIIIamong ongoing stories
It provides a glimpse and, often, nothing more. Yet those glimpses sometimes are revealing: Robert Griffin III's speed and arm strength stood out last spring. They did so during the season as well. But the spring also provides mirages: Players who look great in shorts sometimes shrink once the full pads come in during training camp and the games begin.
With that in mind, here are some things we'll monitor at the Redskins' organized team activity session Thursday that's open to the media:
RGIII's press conference » Griffin hasn't talked to the local media since his surgery. And in other interviews this offseason set up by his agency, he's dropped more than enough hints that he was dissatisfied with how he was handled in the Seattle game. This isn't Watergate, but it is a topic that, alas, still has unanswered questions -- and will hopefully be laid to rest after Thursday.
The rookies » It'll be the first time reporters can see them face NFL players. Yes, they'll be in shorts and pads, so how much can be deduced? But you can see how rookie corner David Amerson fares in coverage against starting-caliber wideouts. And you can see how tight end Jordan Reed moves against legitimate NFL defenders. It's tougher to measure the safeties at this time because a lot of their game is predicated on open-field tackling and angles. But it will provide another gauge of their athleticism.
Injured players return » In addition to Griffin, other players coming off surgery will attend, but how much can they do? In this category: Linebacker London Fletcher, safety Jordan Bernstine, linebacker Keenan Robinson, defensive end Adam Carriker, safety Brandon Meriweather, receiver Joshua Morgan, safety Reed Doughty, tight end Fred Davis and running back Roy Helu. Linebacker Brian Orakpo said he's 100 percent.
Continued development » How different is quarterback Kirk Cousins? Tight end Niles Paul? Tackle Tom Compton? Corner Richard Crawford? This is a big offseason for all of them for various reasons. Is Cousins operating the same offense as last season, or will they expand what he can do (as in: using him from the pistol formation)? Cousins had a penchant for forcing passes, trying to make a big play, even in organized workouts. Has that changed? Also, what about guards Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis? We'll learn more when the pads are on in training camp, but will their increased knowledge in the offense lead to obvious changes in performance?
The new guys » This will be the first chance to see some of the veteran newcomers, such as corner E.J. Biggers and offensive tackles Jeremy Trueblood and Tony Pashos. The latter two could be fighting for one roster spot. Biggers will compete for the No. 3 corner position with Amerson.
New man in charge » How different is special teams coach Keith Burns than the man he's replacing, Danny Smith? Burns had a passion for special teams while playing; how does that transfer into his coaching and teaching?
Quarterback Pat White » While he's a longshot to make the roster, he's still an intriguing story. Plus he's almost the equivalent of a stand-in for Griffin in the offense. So it could provide a clue as to where they want to take the offense. However, it's also unlikely they'd show much in front of the media until necessary (read: training camp).