The Washington Redskins now know the 2014 regular season is just around the corner.
The team on Thursday conducted its first preseason practice at their Redskins Park headquarters in Loudoun County, Va., after spending the previous three weeks away at training camp in Richmond, Va.
“That's what it's about,” Griffin III said. “We've got 90 guys and only 53 make it, and that's not counting practice squad. I don't think anybody comes out here every day to work with the goal of making the practice squad.”
Griffin III said nobody wants to be called into the coach’s office during cut day, so every player is paying extra special attention to every detail.
“It's always a tough day, cut days in the NFL, but everybody's trying their best and doing their best and making sure they're dotting their I's and crossing their T's,” he said. “And you can see it.”
First-year Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said he came away from Thursday’s practice feeling as if the defense outperformed the offense.
The offense, he said, “really took it to the defense” on Tuesday – the final training camp practice in Richmond – and thinks the defenders “geared it up a notch” on Thursday.
“It was great to see our defense come out with a chip on their shoulder, rush the quarterback, communicate very well in two-minute, and they had a great day today,” Gruden said.
Gruden said, overall, Thursday was a “great day” for his squad.
“We got a lot done today, so it was fun to see,” he said.
Thomas returns; Meriweather out
Gruden said it was good to see Thomas – the team’s fourth-round (119th overall) pick in last year’s NFL Draft – get the chance to run around and make plays again.
“He looked like he was moving fine,” Gruden said. “I don’t think he had any recurring injury from it. That’s the first step is to make sure you go out there, practice and then if there’s no soreness, then we know we’re on the right track to getting him 100 percent.”
In other Redskins injury news, Gruden said safety
“Got a little blood underneath his toenail,” Gruden explained. “(He’s) limping around a little bit, but he should be OK."
Pass protection an emphasis
The Cleveland Browns finished ninth in the NFL in total defense in 2014, and Gruden knows they aren’t likely going to take their foot off the pedal in Monday night’s preseason game at FedExField.
Gruden said he’s expecting the Browns to feature a blitz-heavy attack, so he’s trying to make sure his running backs are going to be prepared for that challenge in pass protection.
“All we’re doing is trying to teach fundamentals – their base, their footwork, all that good stuff,” Gruden said. “Anytime we have got pads on, we’re going to work on that.”
Gruden said that at this point, he feels “most confident” with veteran
“It’s just a matter of getting them out there and picking up some blitzes and seeing how they do – if they stick their face in there and protect,” he said. “We’ll go from there and make the decision.”
Asked if Hankerson could remain on the PUP list going into the first game of the season, Gruden acknowledged that could be a possibility.
“We just have to see if he is healthy or not,” Gruden said. “If he’s not healthy then that obviously will be an option so we have to wait and see when he gets cleared from the doctors and I’m not sure when that is going to be yet.”
Hankerson was just catching fire in the two weeks leading up to his injury last season against the Philadelphia Eagles, hauling in two touchdown passes and recorded back-to-back 50-plus-yard games.
When he does return, he’ll be trying to get a spot on a roster that features an already-deep and talented group of wide recievers, like
Standout plays, highlights