RICHMOND, Va. — The Redskins and Patriots worked on situational football during their nearly three-hour joint practice on Tuesday. We saw some two-minute drill, third down, and some red-zone offense, as well as individual work.
“Absolutely awesome, it really is,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said after practice. “You can’t underestimate the reps that we got today and yesterday — situational.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke before practice and agreed with Gruden.
“That’s where a lot of the value comes on this,” Belichick said. “We might get a handful of red-area plays in the preseason, but we know we’re going to get 25 here. Same thing with third down. By the end of the week, we’ll probably have 30 third-down situations here. You just can’t get the reps in a preseason game like you do out here in practice.”
Gruden was impressed with the way his team responded after Monday’s practice. He wanted to see how guys would respond and thought offensively and defensively they competed the way he wanted. The one issue he has is in the red zone.
“Obviously we have a lot of work to do in the red zone. Some of the drives we got some stops, but the red zone it just looked like we’re a little off-kilter for whatever reason. We’ll get it fixed. Great experience.”
These practices are especially beneficial for the starters due to the lack of playing time they will get in the preseason, particularly in Thursdays opener.
“No question,” Gruden said. “That was the purpose of it, to get these guys a lot of work because in the preseason games they’ll be limited. Every team in the NFL, the No.1 unit is limited, so this was a great opportunity to come out and compete against another team and get a feel for what they’re doing, see how we react to different coverages and fronts on offense and defensively, a different scheme, different route concepts and runs and no-huddle.”
After struggling a bit on Monday, Robert Griffin III and the Redskins offense looked a little sharper on Tuesday.
“I think our whole room progressed from yesterday in decision making,” Griffin said. “That’s what you want to see everyday.”
While it may not be fair to compare the two franchises on the practice field, Griffin has learned something about his team these last two days.
“They will accept the challenge,” he said. “You want to see that. We came out yesterday and we were physical. Today, we came out and were physical again. That’s the kind of team you have to be, I enjoy seeing that fire in our team knowing that we’re going to fight back.”
Brady continues to impress
I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again, it’s a lot of fun watching Tom Brady work. He is 37 years-old and runs the offense with precision; that seems to be the word of the day. Jay Gruden was impressed watching him run the two-minute offense today as well.
“It was good, it was efficient,” Gruden said. “It was fun to watch. He does a good job.”
He looks pretty good for being 37 years old, doesn’t he?
“He does,” Gruden said. “He looks good. It’s fun to watch him. He’s poetry in motion and obviously a Hall of Famer and the best of all-time, so when you get a chance to watch him in a setting like this, it’s a great learning experience for everybody.”
Gruden knows you cannot underestimate the experience his defense is getting.
“It’s really good for our defensive tempo just to see how he operates and how we compete out there with him and I don’t think anybody backed down.”
– Pierre Garcon sat out today’s practice. He is still battling a hamstring issue from last week.
– Ryan Clark said he tweaked his hamstring today but said he will be fine. He wants to play on Thursday but not sure if he will yet.
– Safety Phillip Thomas has a hamstring injury as well. He was held out today.
– Cornerback Richard Crawford hurt his knee, but later returned.
Tomorrow’s practice will not be in full pads. They will wear helmets and shells.
Believe it or not, there is a football game in less than 48 hours.