Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Redskins morning wake-up call
By John Keim
RICHMOND, Va. -- The Redskins conduct one practice Wednesday, starting at 12:40 p.m., a highly publicized workout for obvious reasons, as coach Mike Shanahan likes to say. Here's what I'll focus on:
1. Robert Griffin III's practice. Yes, today is finally the day when Griffin takes snaps in 11-on-11 work for the first time in training camp. A Redskins team official told ESPN earlier in the week that Griffin would be limited to facing the scout team. If that’s the case it will not be at the same speed as if would be against the No. 1 defense. Griffin is not scheduled to talk to the media Wednesday, which means it’s one less day to read between the lines and wonder about meanings of well-crafted phrases. But we’ll get thoughts on the latest step in his progress from Shanahan and teammates after practice. “I don’t need it on 'SportsCenter' every time he takes a rep,” Shanahan said, “so we’ll see how he practices and we’ll definitely have a plan for him over the next three days and we’ll talk about it after each practice.”
So, today, the focus will be on the field and not about the Shanahan-Griffin relationship, becoming the most scrutinized pairing since Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. But, don’t worry, it’ll get back to that aspect soon enough I’m sure. One way to shelve it? Win games.
2. The Redskins’ secondary. With Phillip Thomas out for the year with a Lisfranc ligament tear, the Redskins have a roster spot they need to fill. The complicating matter in this situation is safety Brandon Meriweather’s health. He has yet to participate in a full practice on consecutive days. He’s recovering from ACL surgery last fall and is the starting strong safety, if healthy. Reed Doughty would start in his absence, but Thomas would have had a role, too. But if Meriweather is healthy -- which is still an if -- and Doughty is his backup, then the Redskins are OK here. DeJon Gomes can play in the box as well. They’re thin behind rookie free safety Bacarri Rambo; Thomas’ injury hasn’t changed that. It also means that someone who might have been cut before this injury will make the roster, whether it’s Gomes, a good special-teams player, or Jordan Pugh, mostly a free safety.
3. The Redskins’ backup offensive linemen. The coaching staff says the team has improved the depth at this spot, but the young guys are unproven in games and it’s clear they still have plenty to learn. In the snaps I watched 2012 third-round pick Josh LeRibeus on Monday, he struggled against veteran Kedric Golston. But I’m curious how tackle Tom Compton and guard Adam Gettis look after getting game action last week. Put veteran tackle Tony Pashos on that list, too. He looks fine against backups, though I wonder about his quickness at this stage. He’s clearly ahead of veteran tackle Jeremy Trueblood.