Redskins report: Practice observations

August, 13, 2013
8/13/13
8:00
PM ET
1. Today was the chippy practice of training camp, starring cornerback Chase Minnifield during the 7-on-7 portion. But the first skirmish, though it involved Minnifield, was not started or escalated by him. At least not directly. Minnifield was covering receiver Aldrick Robinson on a deep ball down the right side. Their feet got tangled up as the play ended (an incompletion) and the players fell to the ground. Next thing you knew, safety Jose Gumbs dove on Robinson to break up any fight. Robinson had shoved Minnifield. A number of players ran down to help break it up, a few shoves were made and it ended. As they returned to the huddle, receiver Pierre Garcon was yelling at Minnifield. A couple snaps later Minnifield became entangled with receiver Chip Reeves at the line and a hard shove was made. But that one ended without further incident, though some of the coaches did not look too pleased with Minnifield after that one.

2. And shortly after that, corner Jerome Murphy lowered his shoulder for a good pop on fullback Eric Kettani after he caught pass in the flat. Kettani was not pleased. To which secondary coach Raheem Morris, in his colorful way, reminded him he’s a fullback. In other words, get over it. Kettani laughed.

3. Coach Mike Shanahan gathered the team after the Robinson-Minnifield dustup. Shanahan’s take: “Emotions happen all the time… I saw the receiver push the defensive back. Well, that’s a 15-yard penalty and then you have a retaliation and that retaliation would have cost us another 15 yards. We had a 15-yard penalty. Why push a guy after we know that the guy lost his poise and made a mistake? Those things transfer over to game day. The way you practice is the way you play. So if someone loses their poise, you have to have enough poise that we don’t lose our cool and we can take advantage of a 15-yard penalty. No one will get hurt with a push; all you do is hurt your football team. … There’s no one that’s worth a 15-yard penalty.”

4. Right after the 7-on-7 work ended, the Redskins broke into special-teams work. Minnifield and Robinson were in the same group and, in fact, the corner was in line behind the wideout. Nothing happened. They later went against one another in team drills. Again, nothing happened. But Minnifield has a reputation for being feisty and smart – much like his dad, Frank, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It’s doubtful that Chase Minnifield will alter his game based on anything that happened today. Minnifield told reporters from the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Washington Post, “It’s cool. … I’m kind of an aggressive guy.” Robinson had a previously scheduled online question-and-answer session with fans afterward and did not speak to reporters.

5. Receiver Josh Morgan was carted off after practice due to severe cramps and dehydration. Safety Brandon Meriweather was more limited during practice today, after a full load Monday. For now, Reed Doughty is the starting strong safety.

6. Running back Alfred Morris continues to have a quiet camp, but the qualities that made him good last season remain visible: the body lean, the lowering of the shoulder pads, the quick cuts. I’m curious to see him in a game (regular season mostly) just to see how different he is as a runner.

7. Liked one block Jordan Reed threw against Darryl Tapp on an inside zone. From just off the line, Reed launched into Tapp, getting immediate leverage, and moved him back. A good job with his hands. Coaches have been pleasantly pleased with Reed’s blocking this summer. Still need to see it in a game, but in camp he’s made progress. Another reason Reed will eventually help: the ability to shake linebackers (well, at least backups so far). Wrote about this in my rookie report on him, but he did it to Bryan Kehl today. Reed faked to the outside with a little shoulder dip, causing Kehl to get off-balance as Reed darted back inside for a catch.

8. Not a good sign for Skye Dawson when he drops the ball when fielding a punt from the Jugs machine. Rookie Chris Thompson also worked on fielding punts this afternoon. He did not return punts at Florida State, but did return six kickoffs as a freshman. Still think Richard Crawford makes smoother catches than the others deep. Also like his decision making.

9. David Amerson, having a strong camp, did mess up one play Tuesday when Reed caught a deep out in his zone. Amerson had misread the play and went deep with a wideout when he should have been aware of Reed coming into his area.

10. Brandon Jenkins took more work with the starting defense in the nickel package. I like a lot of what I’ve seen from Jenkins, but he’s still learning how to make moves against better players – mostly from a timing standpoint. There were times today when he’d start a move too early, giving the tackle plenty of time to react. Tyler Polumbus was able to stop him because of it, though there was one time Jenkins might have gotten inside but was picked up by Chris Chester. Jenkins did get the better of Jeremy Trueblood later by getting into his pads.

11. Kedric Golston had a couple nice rushes vs. second-year guard Josh LeRibeus, once taking him to the outside, then overpowering him to get back inside.

12. The Kirk Cousins Confident Throw of The Day: He threw about a 15-yard pass down the right seam, right over the top of linebacker Nick Barnett and in front of Minnifield. Santana Moss made a leaping catch in between them for a nice gain. OK, another one: With corner Josh Wilson on Garcon’s inside hip, Cousins made a terrific throw that led him into the catch. Receiver Dez Briscoe made a terrific catch of a deep out from Cousins along the side; caught it in stride with outstretched arms.

13. The few times I focused on defensive ends Chris Baker and Jarvis Jenkins, I liked their penetration. Both showed good power.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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