The Redskins return to practice as the game preparation begins in earnest. There will be an open locker-room session at 11:15 a.m., followed by a 1 p.m. practice. Finally, we can talk about games. Three areas of interest:
Read Les Carpenter’s piece on Robert Griffin III. It’s a revealing look at Griffin by a talented writer. Griffin told Carpenter that the whole situation with Mike Shanahan was “heartbreaking.” You wonder if he’s stuck too much on that topic, but Griffin certainly derives motivation from a variety of sources. Heck, he still remembers slights from first grade. (In truth, many are driven this way. I recall my eighth grade grammar teacher once saying to me years later, “You’re a writer?” Yes, I still get annoyed by that comment.) There's also talk about Griffin taking some heat off his passes. Not sure that was a huge issue (never heard anyone complain about it), though there have been some drops on shorter throws. However, accuracy has been a bigger issue, which is why it was important for him to work more with Terry Shea.
Lots to check on. How is Jason Hatcher’s conditioning? He was tired in limited duty against Baltimore, his first real action since coming back from knee surgery. How much is reasonable to expect on Sunday? How is Jordan Reed’s thumb injury? How is Tracy Porter’s hamstring injury – and if he can’t play this week, who would be the nickel corner? From what I’ve heard, I’m not sure that Bashaud Breeland is ready to cover in the slot just yet.
When looking at Houston, the No. 1 focus has to be defensive end J.J. Watt. He now has Jadeveon Clowney on the opposite side. I’ll start to piece together more of how to deal with Watt in particular. It’s a tough, tough matchup for the right side of the Redskins’ line.