RICHMOND, Va. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Washington Redskins training camp:
Redskins coach Jay Gruden said he’s the one who picked the three captains for the preseason: tackle Trent Williams, special teamer Adam Hawyard and defensive back DeAngelo Hall. Not that I disagree with any of them, but some could wonder why Robert Griffin III wasn’t one of them. However, Williams has been an offensive leader for the past two seasons. He’s a good choice. It doesn’t have to be a knock against anyone else. “Those are the most seasoned guys with the best performances,” Gruden said. “The body of work, I think, has been proven on the field and they’re natural leaders.”
I know Patriots beat writer and colleague Mike Reiss had an item in his notebook Sunday morning that some Patriots’ players thought Kirk Cousins looked better in practice last week than Griffin. Cousins hasn’t had a tremendous camp necessarily. He’s decisive at times and forces passes other times. It’s what he does. A stronger finish last season would have helped him. This is more about Griffin and where he’s at in his development as a pocket passer. It’s never been about his ability to read defenses as much as going through his progressions at a better pace. Griffin is the one who can change people’s opinions. It will take time -- and we need to see his legs more involved, as they will be during the regular season. How patient is Gruden willing to be? We’re not at that point -- Gruden was hired in part to get a lot out of Griffin and his ceiling is much higher. But if other teams have a certain opinion then at some point it bears asking.
One thing you don’t really see during the two-minute situations with Griffin is the ability to extend plays. The coaches want the ball out quick of course. But Griffin helped the offense in the two-minute situations as a rookie with his ability to make big plays with his legs, whether it was extending one against the Giants or taking off on runs downfield in other times. During the two-minute drills Sunday, Griffin stayed in the pocket.
I’ll have more on this Monday, but Gruden is right when he says that running back Chris Thompson needs to find a way to stay on the field. Though Gruden did not draft Thompson, he apparently liked him before the 2013 draft. But the knock on Thompson is durability and if he continues to miss time, then he will be in trouble. Running backs Lache Seastrunk and Silas Redd both have a lot to prove in the pass game, especially in protection. Seastrunk has had some rough moments in this area. But Thompson’s lack of durability opens the door for others.
The Redskins practice Monday at 8:30 a.m. ET and again at 4:10 p.m. ET (a walk-through). It’s the last day training camp will be open to the public. Washington ends camp with a walk-through closed to the public Tuesday morning.