RICHMOND — After an off day on Tuesday, the Redskins returned to the practice field on a 65-degree morning in Richmond. The team was in helmets and shells. Any affects from the off day? Not here, says Trent Williams.
“Today was a great pace,” he said. “Usually after going for a few days real hard – – contact like we did — and you have an off day, you come back and the practice is a little sluggish and guys aren’t on their assignments. But today we didn’t see that type of sluggishness. Everybody competed fast, fast-paced ball. We had a great practice.”
Jay Gruden agreed.
“Usually after a day off, players have an off day,” he said. “Today [that] was not the case.”
He was pleased with all aspects of the practice today especially the defense, which got off the field on 10 of 15 plays on third down.
We saw Robert Griffin III take off down the sideline on what looked like a designed zone read play, only to find out after practice that it wasn’t. Griffin was asked about making a name for himself by running the read option and how much it will be featured in the offense this year.
“It’s not how I made my name,” Griffin said. “I made my name throwing the ball in college, won a Heisman Trophy with Baylor. It’s something you want to sprinkle in and keep a defense aware of and make them have to practice it. But it’s not something you make the focal point of your offense. But it is there, and it will be utilized when coach deems [it] necessary.”
Gruden is not ready to get rid of it just yet either. He knows that it’s not something that you can run seven or eight times a game but…
“If you run it just a few times throughout the course of the game, it’s something the defense has to worry about and practice,” Gruden said. “You have to be diverse at what you do. You have to disguise what you do.”
As far as Griffin is concerned, Gruden was optimistic.
“He’s obviously very good at the read option, he’s proven he can do it,” Gruden said. “He’s also proven to come off a major injury the last couple years. There will be a balance. How much we’ll do will be a game-plan basis. It’s something that will be talked about every week for sure.”
Gruden says that Griffin’s knee is probably stronger than it was before the injury.
So don’t worry, you will still see Griffin taking off down the field at certain times during a game, but don’t look for it too often. Plus, you don’t want your quarterback exposed to that anymore. We’ve seen what can happen when it’s a focal point of the offense.
– Safety Phillip Thomas sat out with a slight hamstring injury. He said he hurt it in Monday’s practice and hopes to be back soon. He said that his foot feels great, after it caused him to miss last season.
– Pierre Garcon (injured hamstring) did a little bit of drill work today but mostly stood around with his helmet. He said on Monday there was no need to push it and Gruden said they wanted to keep him out of team drills.
– Tyler Polumbus missed practice due to personal reasons and is expected back soon.
– Gruden said that offensive lineman Shaun Lauvao is probably the most improved player on the team from OTA’s until now.
“In OTA’s we were a little worried, I’m not gonna lie,” he said. “He struggled a little bit.”
CB David Amerson said that this defense could be the best in the division.
“He’s a little anxious right now, excited. We have a long way to go before we’re the best defense in anything. We’re just trying to be the best defense today and then the best defense tomorrow.”
Trent Williams told us that he is a great athlete and could even play emergency quarterback if needed.
“I do have a talented arm. Not to toot my own horn, but, you know, just telling the truth.”
So, coach, what do you think?
“Emergency quarterback? No. We’d run a read option with Trent maybe (laughter).
Keep the quotes coming, coach.
The team released cornerback Courtney Bridget Jr. (injured). He will require shoulder surgery. The team signed free agent defensive end Jake McDonough. McDonough originally signed with the New York Jets in May of 2013. He played collegiately at Iowa State.