Redskins prepare for visit from Patriots

RICHMOND — The week is over and now it’s time for the fun to begin. The Redskins wrapped up the week with temperatures in the mid-70’s and light drizzle on Friday. The team did not wear pads as Jay Gruden had suggested they would, instead they were in helmets and shells. Gruden reiterated that his main goal was to have everyone healthy and ready to go on Monday.

For the first time we saw the two-minute drill towards the end of practice. It’s another aspect of the offense that was installed. The first-string offense looked pretty sharp, as did the second unit with Kirk Cousins running the show.

“We like it,” Robert Griffin III said. “We want to make sure we’re versatile and want to try and have as many points of attack as we can on offense.”

Patriots next week

On Monday, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will bring the Patriots to Richmond to practice with the Redskins for three days before they play each other in the first preseason game, next Thursday night at FedExField.

Gruden said that all three days have been planned out — he and Belichick talked about two to three months ago and planned the week. We will see 1-2 periods of live scrimmaging, individual drills, and 7-on-7.

Gruden said last year he was a little bit skeptical about doing the joint practices when the Bengals practiced with the Falcons, but feels a lot better about it now.

His big concern was that it gives somebody else a chance to get more tape on you and see your tendencies. He doesn’t feel that way anymore.

“We have four games on tape before the regular season game so the Texans (season- opening opponent) will have plenty to study from us. We just have to do a good job as coaches of policing it.”

The most beneficial thing, Gruden said, is the fact that the competition is better. It gives his team more of a chance to show what they can do against another team.

“I think it’s a great chance for everybody to learn and get better. It’s also a great chance for us, as coaches, to evaluate our guys and evaluate what we’re doing, schematically.”

I think this will give the Redskins a good opportunity to see how a Super Bowl contending team runs its operation. From top to bottom, I think it will be beneficial for Jay Gruden, his staff, and players.

The coach agrees.

“The New England Patriots [have been] a model franchise for a long time,” he said. “They’ve been consistent in what they do, their approach and winning games. Any time you get a chance to practice against someone like that, I think it’s a great benefit for a lot of people.”

He hopes his players will take the opportunity as well.

“Hopefully Robert will see the way Tom Brady handles the huddle, handles his teammates as a leader,and as a person and as a player,” Gruden said. “Any time you get a chance to lean form somebody like that first-hand, you better use it to your benefit. I intend to use it with Coach Belichick and hopefully our whole team gets a chance to watch a team play like that and learn from them. And maybe they’ll learn something from us, too.”

As far as whether Robert Griffin III plans to spend any time with Tom Brady…

“If I get a chance to sit down and talk with him, I’d love to, just to pick his brain,” Griffin said. “But he’s also still playing quarterback in the NFL and it’s a competitive position, a competitive sport. I don’t expect him to give me any groundbreaking secrets.”

When it comes to the the game next Thursday, Gruden hopes to get his starters a series or two against the Patriots.

Injury update

– Trent Williams sat out the morning practice after being kicked in the shin yesterday.

– Pierre Garcon returned to 11-11 action.

– Safety Phillip Thomas (hamstring) took part in individual drills but watched the team portion.

– Wide receiver Jerry Rice Jr. has a torn labrum and will require surgery. He is likely to be headed to IR, but not done yet.

Fan Appreciation Day

Tomorrow is Fan Appreciation Day and you must have a ticket to get in. All of the allotted tickets have been distributed, but the team said it will start at stand- by line for fans that want to show up and wait in line and try to get in. The band and cheerleaders will be here, the team will go through a full padded practice and sign plenty of autographs.

The festivities begin at 10:35 a.m.

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