Redskins practice report

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
4:30
PM ET
RICHMOND, Va. -- Some of the highlights from Thursday morning's workout:
  • Watched the tight ends during individual drills Thursday morning, just because they're working an awful lot on blocking, probably more than in the past. It's a nod to coach Wes Phillips' time in Dallas helping coach the offensive line. The guy to watch: Logan Paulsen. His technique is just better than everyone else's and he's the blueprint for how Phillips wants it done; he wants his players to "maximize your legs" and Paulsen does so. Has the best strike-and-drive: The initial blow into the defender's chest and then driving his legs.
  • Also liked Jordan Reed's hands while getting away from the line. Phillips wore dummies on both arms and the players had to swat away one side, do a little swim move and release. Reed's hands were the quickest.
  • Reed gets open plenty with his feet. Thursday, in his first 1-on-1 attempt against safety Trenton Robinson, Reed simply ran right into him and created separation just with his size. It worked. As Robinson stumbled back, Reed cut across the middle for a completion.
  • Rookie corner Bashaud Breeland had nice coverage against Santana Moss, who cut out and then back inside and caught a pass as Breeland reached in front with his right arm. A strong throw by Kirk Cousins.
  • Chase Minnifield drove Nick Williams back several yards and to the ground with an aggressive jam. Minnifield would have been called later for holding on a go route.
  • Corner Tracy Porter defended a pass to Cody Hoffman, sitting on an out route. As one corner shouted out, "He can't go deep!" So Porter played for the quick out and deflected the ball.
  • Love watching Ryan Grant run routes, but I have wonders about him against press coverage. Sure enough Thursday morning, DeAngelo Hall jammed him hard off the line and bumped him off balance. Grant recovered to catch what likely would have been a 3-yard pass. However, after such a bump in a game, a quarterback would have looked elsewhere. Grant later had Richard Crawford beat, but Crawford recovered nicely on a go route to deflect the pass.
  • And, finally, Breeland was involved in a play that ticked off secondary coach Raheem Morris. Breeland and Andre Roberts were engaged in a physical battle as the receiver cut across the middle. But Breeland was called for holding (officials are in camp); Morris argued that Roberts pushed him and initiated the contact. It was an argument he would not win. Some definite iffy calls by the officials against the defense, calls that would not have been made this past season. For those wondering: Breeland has cut way down on his grabbing. In fact, not sure I've seen it other than in a situation where he's beat. In the spring he did it almost every snap.
  • Really enjoy watching left tackle Trent Williams work in space on the reverses or on screens to DeSean Jackson. Both situations arose Thursday. The reverse, though, wouldn't have worked because Brian Orakpo stayed home and forced Jackson wide (Williams was leading the run). But the screen to Jackson would have worked. The combination of Williams' ability to start inside and then sprint wide for a block and Jackson's patience would have worked. Jackson paused for a split second, allowing Williams to race over and bump Crawford, creating an inside lane for Jackson.
  • Receiver Santana Moss beat Crawford to the inside from the slot in 11-on-11 work. Moss is a good route runner.
  • Will Compton and Darryl Sharpton were the second-team inside linebackers. Sharpton had one strong fill, ending with a good pop of the pads. He also later engaged in a shoving match with tight end Niles Paul that broke up in a hurry.
  • Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan worked Tom Compton a little more Thursday. Compton did stop him once when Kerrigan started into his pads. But Kerrigan in the 11-on-11 work drove Compton back, then worked inside and would have sacked Griffin. Next play: Jarvis Jenkins drove Chris Chester into the backfield. The coaches have been pleased with how Chester has fared, however.
  • Tackle Morgan Moses remains inconsistent with his base and it impacts his play noticeably. When he drops with a good base and is bent at the knees then he's fine. Saw that against fellow rookie Trent Murphy on an outside rush and Moses looked good in 11-on-11 (Murphy drove into him earlier with success). But also saw him at the line lose that base, become too narrow and therefore lose his ability to play with any power or slide his feet.
  • The Redskins' linemen worked in 2-on-2 situations, with stunts and games -- and basic rushes. Rookie Spencer Long had trouble, getting swatted out of the way twice (by Chris Baker and Barry Cofield). The problem? Reading the play and getting off-balance; he was suckered inside and then got knocked aside. Long also was slow to react to a Rob Jackson stunt to the inside. Long has had a good camp, but he's still learning. It's really not a race at right guard for a starting job at this point.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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