What I'm watching in the Redskins' OTAs
June, 11, 2014
By John Keim | ESPN.com
While counting down the days until they're in pads when we can really learn something, these are the things I’ll try to watch for during Wednesday’s OTA session open to the media:
- Receiver DeSean Jackson. Is he practicing? You need to be cautious with players this time of year, but this is also valuable time.
- The different ways players are being used. The Redskins worked their outside linebackers at different spots last week. They clearly plan to tap into the versatility of their top three outside linebackers. Sometimes things that are planned in May and June fall apart during the season. This one, I think, will stick.
- Guard Shawn Lauvao. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time watching the free-agent pickup. Just want to see how he moves around, how he uses his hands. And then we’ll wait until the pads come on in August to learn a lot more.
- Robert Griffin III’s passing. It was fine a couple weeks ago, but sporadic when we could watch last week. I’ve seen changes to his mechanics, how he’s consistently holding the ball higher to cut down the length of his delivery for example. Now we need to see some consistency in his accuracy. (Again, he was inconsistent in practices as a rookie, too. Just for point of reference. Last summer when we saw him he looked more off than on.) Griffin’s had a good offseason in terms of getting work done and tweaking his game. I do expect a bounce-back season, but to what extent?
- David Amerson. Haven’t spent enough time watching him, just to see what sort of progression there is in his game. I do know he’s working a lot on press coverage, something he did not do in college and improved at throughout his rookie season.
- The emphasis during practice. When we watched last week, they worked a lot on red zone situations from various spots. Griffin also dumped a lot of passes off to running back Roy Helu last week. Sometimes those are by design. In watching his games again from last season, Griffin needs to get to those checkdowns sooner; would have avoided more sacks. So if it’s a point of emphasis now, that’s a good thing, just to get in the mindset. I wouldn’t worry about him doing a reincarnation of John Beck versus San Francisco.
- Rookie progression. Have to give them time, but what sort of steps have they taken? It’s tough to focus on everything, but is Morgan Moses doing a better job at all of staying lower and not bending at his waist? Is Bashaud Breeland cutting down on the holding/pass interference plays? That sort of stuff. Again, this will be a long process for all of them.
- Haven’t seen a whole lot of Jason Hatcher this spring. He missed the session we watched last week for personal reasons. So I’m curious to see how he moves off the line, etc.
- If any focus groups show up. OK, I doubt that will be the case. But apparently they used another focus group to gauge the feelings of various aspects of the organization – how fans think about owner Dan Snyder or president Bruce Allen, for example. I know this: They’ll like them a lot more if they win. No focus group needs to be used to determine that logic.