Redskins wake-up call
August, 4, 2014
By John Keim | ESPN.com
RICHMOND, Va. -- The Redskins return to practice with two sessions on Monday: 8:35 a.m. and a walk-through at 4:10 p.m. The forecast calls for temperatures in the mid- to upper-80s with a small chance of rain. Here are three areas I’ll be monitoring:
- Everything will be looked at now that they’re practicing against New England for the next three days. When you’re watching teammates go at one another sometimes, it’s hard to know if a guy looks good is it because of him, or because the player he’s facing is struggling? If Jarvis Jenkins beats Shawn Lauvao a few times, who does that say more about? And did the defensive back or linebacker break up a certain pass because they’ve seen it 100 times since the spring? Or because he made a good play. Don’t always know. How does quarterback Robert Griffin III handle another defense, one that likes to change its looks. So many questions still about this team. But these three days will help reveal more answers.
- I want to see a couple players who are off to good starts, linebacker Keenan Robinson in particular. Does he play fast against another offense? Or is he playing that way because he’s familiar with Washington’s? Where is he filling the hole and taking on blockers? He’s a pivotal part of the defense yet there are unanswered questions about him. This will provide another gauge of his progress. The same is true of Jenkins, who is having a good camp.
- How the Patriots conduct their business in practice. Is it just about precision? What sort of energy is there? How much do they focus on individual drills (the Redskins have done so more this summer)? How accurate is Tom Brady during practice? You also have to keep in mind that the Patriots are running the same offensive system while the Redskins have changed their offense (though it’s not a severe change; Kyle Shanahan learned from Jon Gruden and incorporated a lot of his philosophies so there are similarities between this offense and the previous one). Still, I’m curious to see how sharp they are just as a barometer.