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Still Making Adjustments, Paul Richardson Jr. Offers The Redskins A Deep-Ball Threat

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With new additions to the offense, the Washington Redskins are looking for their identity.

Adding seven wide receivers, including the signing of Paul Richardson Jr. previously from the Seattle Seahawks, the Redskins look to use the five-year veteran's speed and quickness as a weapon for the passing game.

"I feel like this year is going to be an explosive year for us because of the players that we have," tight end Vernon Davis said. "We just have to put it all together. It starts right here and right now throughout training camp. Once we get that momentum, we carry it into the season and figure out who we are and find our identity."

So far, Richardson has sparked the Redskins during OTAs at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park, utilizing his speed that gives the passing game an effective deep-ball option. During Wednesday's practice, Richardson was the primary target for a long pass play and came down with a catch that was out of reach for rookie cornerback Greg Stroman.

The defense stopped Richardson from catching the second long ball thrown at him, but he knows that there are more of those to come.

"The second deep ball they made a good play," Richardson said. "We are all out here trying to stay off the ground, competing but not tackling and everything else that comes in-game. The defense made a good play on the second one. The first one, just a go ball...that's why I'm here."

After having a career-best 44 receptions for 703 yards with the Seahawks in 2017, Richardson signed a multi-year contract with the Redskins during the offseason. Seattle mostly used Richardson, who was second on the team in receptions over 20 yards with 13, in deep-ball situations.

With the Redskins having the task of finding a replacement for Terrelle Pryor Sr. during the offseason, head coach Jay Gruden believes the addition of Richardson, as well as the rookies and younger receivers stepping up, will fill those roles.

"Paul has done an excellent job. You could see his speed out there [Wednesday]," Gruden said. "We got some young guys stepping up. So it's fun to watch these guys compete. We've got a lot of good guys to choose from."

What's helped Richardson adjust to life with the Redskins is that he has been thrown in with the first team offense immediately. Chirping from safety D.J. Swearinger helped the new wide receiver respond to game-like situations. After Swearinger got in Richardson's face during Wednesday's session, the Colorado product caught his lone long-ball.

While Swearinger's talk and the intensity of Wednesday's practice "woke him up", Richardson said that "the competitive spirit" is only going to benefit him and his teammates as they prepare for the 2018 campaign.

"We got guys with their first time in this offense and in this defense running with the first group. Everybody got to learn, get comfortable," Richardson said. "The more you understand and the more you know, the faster you can play. [Wednesday] the speed was picked up, the intensity was picked up, guys chirping. That's the competitive spirit. At the end of the day, we all got on Redskins jerseys. We're preparing each other for Sundays."

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