Saw a classic Alfred Morris run in which he ran right at a Patriots defender, who was trying to get off his block. Morris forced him to hold his ground then stepped right, creating an opening for him to cut back left into a bigger hole. Also saw Darrel Young light up linebacker Jamie Collins on one run block in the hole.
Aldrick Robinson dropped a pass during individual work and you wondered what sort of day he would have. Turns out it wasn’t bad; Robinson caught a deep ball down the left side against corner Tavon Wilson, getting an inside release and then turning on the speed. Robinson worked back well for one catch in the one-on-one drills against corner Logan Ryan. And then Robinson caught what would have been a 70-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins in full-team work.
It’s a treat to watch a cornerback such as Darrelle Revis work up close. Rarely allowed separation and it wasn’t just because he was too physical. That wasn’t the case at all. Revis operates with no panic, has quick feet and is well-disciplined with his eyes. DeSean Jackson had trouble against him and never pulled away from him downfield. Revis is able to turn and run well, so he can play for some comebacks or hitches without getting beat deep. I saw Jackson run a variety of routes against him: crosses, outs, double moves.
Then there’s Brandon Browner. Not sure I’ve seen a corner up close attack so aggressively with his jams. It’s one thing to see on TV, but up close is a little different. He thrusts himself into the receiver and typically knocks them off stride. It’s what he did in Seattle, too.
What you also notice is that Browner holds an awful lot beyond the five-yard mark. As in most plays. I also wonder about his ability to turn and run at times. We saw him get in trouble doing so in Seattle. Browner did this against Andre Roberts on one play. Browner then gave him a harder shove and Roberts reacted. But after exchanging looks, they slapped hands and walked away before anything escalated.
It was also clear the Patriots have not been briefed by the officials about the new emphasis on calling holding penalties. There would have been a few. But the Redskins receiver also were definitely having some issues against the bump coverage.
In the one-on-one drills, center Kory Lichtensteiger was driven back by defensive end Chris Jones. Just power. One benefit to playing center for Lichtensteiger is that he’ll usually have help in the middle on most plays – or will be helping others.
The Patriots did an excellent job protecting quarterback Tom Brady, giving him a good pocket. You could see him operating with confidence in the pocket because of the protection. It also helps the protection that he gets rid of the ball so fast. Brady and Griffin operate differently in the pocket. Brady gets through his progressions quicker; it’s not about reading defenses, it’s about doing so at a certain speed. It’s where you still see Griffin’s youth.
Brady threw one ball, an intermediate out route to receiver Josh Boyce against corner David Amerson. About a step or so before Boyce broke, the ball already was out -- and it led Boyce to an open area. Amerson never stood a chance and it was a classic example of a quarterback in rhythm playing in an offense he clearly knows well. The ball was out in 2.1 seconds.
I also like watching how the Patriots get players open, clearing areas and sending another player over there in a one-on-one situation.
Ryan Grant’s penchant for coming back for passes helped him against the tight coverage. He had some initial trouble because of the press, but did adjust. But physical corners will give him problems in the run game; one Pats corner, Daxton Swanson, pretty much threw him aside on one run.
The one time I saw rookie Trent Murphy get pressure came when he was able to stay low and duck inside, attacking the left guard’s outside shoulder. It led to a near sack. When Murphy tried to go wide, he did not have success.
The Redskins defense did have Brady stopped on one third and long for what likely would have been a sack (Jarvis Jenkins looked like he was right there).
Rookie Morgan Moses was up and down. The problem is when he gets in trouble he reverts to bad habits and bends at the waist. When he’s in control his base is solid and he can win. Darius Fleming caused Moses to whiff on one outside rush.
There’s rarely any panic by left tackle Trent Williams. In the one-on-one drills he was patient when he needed to be and won because of it. He also can absorb blows to the body and still anchor. Williams appears to be a rare talent. Dont'a Hightower tried to rush inside Williams once, but the tackle stayed patient, slid his feet and used his long arms to knock him off stride.