Redskins coaches dialed up the intensity at training camp practice today, going off script with the offense and calling in most plays from the sidelines.
The results were mixed, but the defense shined at times, creating turnovers and forcing confusion in the backfield.
Head coach Mike Shanahan explained to the media after practice that a lot of the mistakes seen on offense today were a product of youthful inexperience on offense.
Shanahan expects his offense to adjust to this style in preparation for next week's first preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.
One of the standout performers today was rookie defensive back Richard Crawford, who has quietly inserted himself into the competition in the Redskins' secondary.
Crawford flashes impressive speed--which could make him an asset in the return game--and is unafraid to cover receivers or tight ends.
Crawford made an uncontested interception during one-on-one drills, staying with a play even after receiver Samuel Kirkland fell down on his route.
Later in practice, receiver Brandon Banks caught a pass in the flats and burned through a crease up the sidelines. As he raced toward the end zone, Crawford appeared out of nowhere to knock him out of bounds just short of the goal line.
Another player that looked good in the secondary was recently-activated safety Tanard Jackson, who played sideline-to-sideline breaking up passes in 11-on-11 drills.
While he probably should have had a pair of interceptions to his name, he showed that his left calf had no lingering concerns as he flew around the ball.
On offense, the play of the day likely went to running back Roy Helu Jr., who streaked up the sidelines out of the backfield. He caught a Kirk Cousins pass after a modest gain, and flashed past Jackson into the open field for the score.
Redskins players Darrel Young, Lance Lewis and Joshua Morgan were present, but did not suit up due to injury. Offensive tackle Jammal Brown was back at camp today to begin rehab on his troublesome hip.
Defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer is still missing in action and has not been in contact with the team. Shanahan expressed his concern for Balmer's well-being, but said the team would need to make contingency plans soon.
Fan Appreciation Day is tomorrow at Redskins Park, and practice will be conducted at noon in front of what is expected to be record numbers.
Parking lots open at 8 a.m., gates open at 9 a.m., and activities for fans will be conducted throughout the day. See you there!