On Wednesday morning, the Washington Redskins held the second and final 2013 minicamp practice open to the media on the practice fields at Redskins Park.
The intersquad competition between the offense and defense continued to escalate within the confines of what is permitted at minicamp. Coaches and players got into the excitement of some of the full-team drills, particularly the 11-on-11 scenarios with the playclock on the field.
Here are some other observations from today's portion of practice that was open to the media:
The defensive line hasn't gotten much play in the media during offseason drills, but several of last year's starters shined brightly today. While the full team practiced one minute drills from midfield, Barry Cofieldand Jarvis Jenkinsgot into the action batting low passes over the middle. Cofield led things off batting a Rex Grossmanpass to the ground. After the defense forced Grossman's unit off the field, Jarvis Jenkins went to work on Kirk Cousins, deflecting the pass into the air into the outstretched arms of outside linebacker Darryl Tapp.
- The Redskins' defense dominated the one-minute drills as Grossman and Cousins were held unsuccessful before
Pat Whitetook the field. White had some success moving the football, hitting rookie receiver Nick Williamsand tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehibefore a false start penalty ended the drill.
- Veteran tryout Donte' Stallworth looked a little better adjusted on the practice field today and drew the praise of his offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan. In addition to the speed he flashes on the field, he also has an impressive catching radius, hauling in off-target passes from quarterbacks he just met this week.
- Redskins special teams practiced live punting again today, as
Sav Roccatried out different techniques with returners Richard Crawford, Santana Moss, Nick Williams and Skye Dawson. Nick Williams has also had a number of opportunities on offense during offseason workouts, where he will need to shine to justify a roster spot in the final 53.
- It's early in the season preparation process, but veteran receiver
Joshua Morganlooks remarkably improved from training camp last season, both physically and mentally. He is fully recovered from offseason surgery and rehab on his hands and feet, and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said he is far more comfortable with the team's playbook than he was at any point last offseason.
- With rookie running back Chris Thompson shelved until training camp, fellow rookie
Jawan Jamisonhas been the beneficiary of the added playing time and is making the most of it. As his unit coach Bobby Turner noted, no one will know much about the running back competition until the players put on pad and get in the game. However, the coaches have been testing Jamison over the last few weeks in the stretch run, between the tackles and catching passes out of the backfield.
- Redskins tight end
Niles Paulmay be a tight end, but he still possesses top-notch speed typical of a wide receiver. He used it today during red zone drills, gliding into a window between two defenders and catching a touchdown pass, in-stride from Kirk Cousins. It was the only touchdown scored during this particular set of drills.
Kai Forbathgot his first opportunity to kick field goals in front of the media today, and battled a moderate left-to-right wind on a 52-yard attempt. The kick sailed low but clean off his foot and banked off the left upright before falling though, good. He told the media he has been working to increase his leg strength for range and kickoffs this offseason.
- First-year receiver
Lance Lewishas a leg-up on most rookies, in that he learned the playbook last season. Gifted with good size (6-2, 207 pounds), Lewis has a chance to stick around if he can continue making plays like he did today. Showing off his big catching radius, Lewis made several athletic plays on the ball, particularly a pass from Pat White that sailed near the sideline. Going up against cornerback Richard Crawford, Lewis was the only one that could make a play on the ball and did, hauling it in in-bounds.
Play Of The Day: Offense
Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins made a number of sharp throws today, but perhaps none more impressive than a pass to
The point of the drill was to put the team in field goal range before time expired, which Cousins did with a pass over the middle to Santana Moss. With time remaining, the offense lined up and Cousins found Hankerson get behind his defender down the left sideline.
Slinging his pass toward the goal line, Cousins found Hankerson in stride between
Play(s) Of The Day: Defense
While David Amerson and
Thomas got to him first, jumping a slant route and earning the takeaway. The next time Grossman took the field, he found Amerson on a go route, leading to an interception.
This is the part of the offseason where miscues can look ugly for a number of reasons, including the fact that quarterbacks and receivers don't know one another.
For the offense, these issues can be resolved in the film room. For the defense, it was another step forward for two important pieces of the future.
The Redskins offseason workout plan finishes up tomorrow with a final team weight lift, position meetings and team bonding at Redskins Park. The next time the Redskins will take the field will be at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va. on July 25, 2013.
As coaches have noted throughout offseason workouts, the competitions have yet to truly begin and the last four weeks of work were intended to get everyone up to speed. When training camp begins, so will the competitions, as coaches expect players to understand the playbook inside and out.
For the coaching staff, this is an important time to step away from football and recharge before the long grind of an NFL season. For players, this is a critical time to immerse themselves in the playbook and keep up conditioning.
For a full discussion, tune in to Redskins.com tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. as a panel of experts discuss where the Redskins go from here. As always, for your official source of offseason news, follow along on Twitter, @Redskins.