RICHMOND, Va. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Washington Redskins training camp:
The Redskins learned quite a bit from their one practice with New England and it’ll be interesting to see how they adjust over the next couple of days. The practice was a hit with fans as 21,047 showed up Monday (including the afternoon walk-through when only the Redskins worked). And it was a hit for the players. Washington’s receivers learned that they must improve against press coverage and quarterback Robert Griffin III saw that he needs to make better decisions, coach Jay Gruden said. The first-year coach said, “We have to improve mostly on A, getting off the jam; B, our decision-making at quarterback and then, obviously we always have to work on our protection. But I felt good about where our running game is.”
The Redskins’ defense faced a fast-paced, no-huddle attack for the first time, which will prepare them well for teams such as Philadelphia. Early on it did not go as well as desired and Gruden said he noticed the defensive linemen getting too upright out of their stance -- a sign that the no-huddle was wearing them down. “If we have to get in extra running after practice, we’ll do that,” Gruden said.
Gruden said he did not have an update on defensive lineman Jason Hatcher, who remains on the physically unable to perform list. But Hatcher continues to work out hard on a side field and, Monday, was using a helmet for the first time while he did so. Hatcher is optimistic that he’ll return after Thursday’s preseason game versus New England, but Gruden wasn’t sure exactly when. But, he said, Hatcher is “very, very close.”
Safety Brandon Meriweather faced New England for the first time since playing with them from 2007-10, making two Pro Bowls. But the Patriots cut him in the summer of 2011. But, because it’s been three seasons, Meriweather said there’s no animosity. “Man, it’s work. This is work. I’m a professional. They’re just another team. I’m a Washington Redskin now; that’s all that matters.”
Washington signed defensive lineman Jeremy Towns, who fills the roster spot vacated by injured receiver Jerry Rice Jr. Towns, who played and recently graduated from Samford, nearly missed a chance to join the Redskins. They had called him two weeks ago, but he was in Dominica to help build houses and did not get any messages. “In the NFL, they move on to the next guy,” Towns said. But the Redskins called again and he worked out over the weekend and was signed Sunday. He plays defensive end.
The Redskins and Patriots practice at 1:35 p.m. ET Tuesday, their only workout of the day.