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Practice Notes: 2015 #SkinsCamp, Day 1

Posted Jul 30, 2015

Redskins.com's Andrew Walker and Stephen Czarda break down the key plays and highlights from Day 1 of the Washington Redskins' 2015 training camp in Richmond, Va.

Redskins.com's Andrew Walker and Stephen Czarda break down the key plays and highlights from Day 1 of the Washington Redskins' 2015 training camp in Richmond, Va.


OFFENSE:

-- The Redskins were in shells and helmets for Thursday's first day of action at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. Per the CBA, the team cannot have any fully-padded practices the first two days of training camp; we're yet to hear if head coach Jay Gruden will have his team pad up its first eligible day on Saturday.

-- Quarterback Robert Griffin III looked nice and loose as he slung passes to receivers on Thursday. His arm, of course, has never been an issue. It's yet to be seen exactly how much he's progressed in head coach Jay Gruden's system, but it's definitely apparent that Griffin III is the established starter at this point.

-- Keeping with the quarterback theme, Kirk Cousins seemed to be running with the No. 2 offense, while Colt McCoy was taking reps with the No. 3s. The two switched off between the No. 2 and No. 3 units during offseason workouts, so we'll see if this continues to be the case during training camp and the preseason games.

-- The offensive line was one of the major storylines this offseason. The team drafted Brandon Scherff with the No. 5-overall pick and immediately inserted him at its starting right tackle spot opposite three-time Pro Bowler Trent Williams at left tackle. The Redskins' No. 1 offensive line the first day of camp was the same as it had been most of the offseason: Williams at left tackle, Shawn Lauvao at left guard, Kory Lichtensteiger at center, Spencer Long at right guard and Scherff at right tackle.

-- The second-team offensive line on Thursday was a bit interesting, but continued some themes from the offseason: Willie Smith at left tackle, Arie Kouandjio at left guard, Josh LeRibeus at center, Tom Compton at right guard and Morgan Moses at right tackle. Moses was getting his first action on the field since suffering a foot injury in a late-season practice last year.

-- The third-team line, for those wondering about the team's depth, appeared to be Takoby Cofield at left tackle, Bryce Quigley at left guard, Austin Reiter at center, Tyler Larsen at right guard and Ty Nsekhe at right tackle.

-- As expected, Alfred Morris and Matt Jones appeared to be getting the first-team reps at running back, with Chris Thompson, Silas Redd Jr. and Trey Williams sharing reps below them. Williams' speed and quickness up close certainly is impressive; how he will hold up when the pads come on remains to be seen, however.

-- Scherff had perhaps his first "Welcome To The NFL" moment Thursday. Lined up against Ryan Kerrigan -- fresh off signing a reported five-year contract extension with the Redskins -- in one-on-one drills, the outside linebacker easily ran right by Scherff to earn a would-be sack. Scherff also had to take a lap later in the day in 11-on-11 drills after committing a false start (Moses took his place temporarily at right tackle). The kid's talented, but let's not forget, folks: he is a rookie.

-- Cousins led a nice play in 11-on-11 action. He sucked in the defense on a playaction fake, leaving tight end Jordan Reed wide open directly to his right. Reed took the pass about 20 yards before one defender really would've had a realistic shot at getting to him. It goes to show how important an effective running game can be -- and what a weapon Reed is, as well.

-- A quick special teams note: the team's two kickers attempted the usual few field goals to end the practice session on Thursday. Incumbent starter Kai Forbath was 5-of-5 on his attempts, nailing one kick each from 23 and 30 yards, and two kicks from 28 yards. Rookie free agent Ty Long, meanwhile, connected on 2-of-3 of his attempts, converting from 23 and 28 yards and missing from 30.


DEFENSE:

-- Teammates, both on the offensive and defensive sides, were congratulating Ryan Kerrigan on his new contract extension, and that continued throughout the afternoon session. But once it was time to get to work, Kerrigan, who missed a good chunk of the offseason after a minor knee procedure, looked like the same player he was a year ago. He appeared to be working at full speed and led the outside linebackers through their individual drills.

-- While it’s subject to change throughout training camp, Trent Murphy and Duke Ihenacho worked with the first team at outside linebacker and strong safety, respectively, during Thursday's first day of training camp practices.

-- Defensive line coach Robb Akey is very assertive and loud -- in a good way that is. Throughout individual drills Akey was constantly giving vocal feedback. During drills that were meant to teach the importance of driving through opponents, he would often yell that they needed to be “violent” with their tackling.

-- Throughout the offseason, defensive coordinator Joe Barry emphasized finishing plays and creating turnovers. After every single play, defensive players are asked to chase after and touch the ball to ensure they are finishing each play. During practice, three different players recorded a turnover: Bashaud Breeland, Chris Baker and Trenton Robinson. Breeland recorded a fumble recovery in the first 11-on-11 session. Baker later recorded a fumble recovery in a different 11-on-11 session on a ball that appeared to be dropped by Kirk Cousins. Late in practice, Robinson intercepted a pass off Cousins.

-- Breeland stood out throughout the day, as he also nabbed a difficult one-handed interception over Jordan Reed in 7-on-7 drills. Breeland and Reed were tangled, but Breeland was able to hold onto the ball before teammates celebrated his play.

-- DeAngelo Hall was also out on the field for his first full-go practice since tearing, and then retearing, his Achilles last season. He mixed it up with both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson during first-team unit drills.

-- Chris Culliver really locked down the opposing wide receivers he faced during 7-on-7 drills, as he kept pace with Jackson on deep routes and never created much separation.

-- Two lesser-known defensive backs in Justin Rodgers and Akeem Davis had really nice pass deflections during 7-on-7 drills with Davis stopping Niles Paul from making a toe-dragging snag.

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