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Practice Notes: 2017 #SkinsCamp, Day 10

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Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda and Jake Kring-Schreifels break down the key plays and highlights from Day 10 of the Washington Redskins' 2017 training camp in Richmond, Va.


Offense:

--The passing game had a much different look to it on Monday than it likely will during the season, as the team's top three wide receivers (Josh Doctson, Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder) all did not participate in unit drills and tight end Jordan Reed, of course, remains on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list with a toe injury. Second-year California product Maurice Harris (knee) also was not a participant during practice. Doctson received an MRI for a hamstring pull and will be "day-to-day" according to Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. Pryor, meanwhile, received an off day and Crowder participated in individual drills but wasn't out on the field for unit drills. The second-year Duke product continued to run routes on the far field when special teams was working on kickoff return.

--With those five on the sidelines, Washington's coaching staff got an extended look at some of the wide receivers competing for playing time and spots on the 53-man roster. Fourth-year Tulane product Ryan Grant and rookie Robert Davis – who Gruden has been impressed with at camp to date – were the first wide receivers out for 11-on-11 drills. Grant is the longest tenured wide receiver on the roster and remains a steady presence during practice sessions, being a reliable target for both Trent Williams and Colt McCoy.

--Free agent signing Brian Quick made arguably the catch of the day when he jumped up to snag a corner end zone pass over rookie cornerback Joshua Holsey. While Pryor has been the more talked about free agent addition at wide receiver, Quick himself brings size (6-foot-3, 218 pounds) and playmaking ability in the red zone. The Appalachian State product is coming off the best season of his career as he recorded 41 receptions for 564 yards and three touchdowns last year with the Los Angeles Rams.  

--Rookie wide receiver James Quick also caught a pair of passes during the third-down period, as the Louisville product tries to make a push for an active roster spot. Quick caught 126 passes for 2,032 yards with 14 receiving touchdowns in four seasons with the Cardinals.

--Tight end Niles Paul was the most targeted played for Cousins on Monday, catching a handful of passes as he split time with Vernon Davis with the first-team offense. Both players caught touchdown passes on fourth-and-goal situations during the last period of the afternoon. Again, while Jordan Reed remains the No. 1 option at tight end, both Paul and Davis have shown why the team has considerable depth at the position.

--Tackle Ty Nsekhe worked some with the first-team offense at right tackle, but Morgan Moses was suited up and did participate in some drills. Nsekhe, of course, has started six games at left tackle over the last two seasons but serves as Washington's primary swing tackle.

--Speaking of the offensive line, the second unit was anchored by a trio of rookies, as Tyler Catalina and Kyle Kalis served as the guards while Chase Roullier was the center. Arie Kouandjio and Isaiah Williams were the third-team guards and Ronald Patrick at center. During his final 1-on-1 rep in pass rush drills, Kalis stood up first-round pick Jonathan Allen. Later in 11-on-11s, the Michigan product did a nice job picking up a corner blitz from Joshua Holsey.

(Stephen Czarda)


Defense:

--One of the questions regarding the safety position is just how well newcomer D.J. Swearinger will communicate and work effectively with Su'a Cravens, adjusting back to where he played the majority of his college career. One play on Monday showed some of their development. During 11-on-11 team drills, Cravens showed blitz on the right side of the defense, forcing Cousins to audible and check to a run play to his right. Swearinger immediately picked this up and sprinted towards box on the left side, motioning for Cravens to take over at free safety and back up his depth. The run play went to the right and Swearinger was in prime position to make a tackle and kept the offense to a small gain.

--After the first unofficial depth chart release, the defensive line got slightly more clarity and it showed on the field. Phil Taylor Sr. began at nose tackle flanked by Stacy McGee and Jonathan Allen with the first team defense, which began the shuffling from there. The linebacker unit remains a revolving door, too, starting with Will Compton and Mason Foster in base formation and rotating in Zach Brown and Martrell Spaight into different subpackages. It was noticeable that Compton and Brown shared the most time on the field together in nickel formation during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 team drills.

--The defense struggled on third down last year and Monday's practice tried to recreate some of those situational experiences. Once again, coaches blasted some music – this time Metallica – and the defense responded well. All but two plays went completed for a first down, and the majority were passes thrown incomplete. To finish out the drill, cornerback Bashaud Breeland grabbed an interception and ran down the sideline, greeting several teammates to celebrate. Later in the practice, during red zone drills, the defense played stout but let up two fourth-down touchdowns inside the 5-yard line.

--Ryan Kerrigan and Josh Norman sat out of practice for some rest. Fuller took Norman's place with the first team and continues to look locked in at outside corner. Meanwhile, Trent Murphy and Junior Galette manned the two outside linebacker spots and got some nice pressure at the beginning of team drills. 

(Jake Kring-Schreifels)


Special Teams:

--The shorter practice resulted in little time for special teams, but running backs coach Randy Jordan instituted a unique drill for his punt returners Monday that worked on their catching. Back to return near the end zone, cornerback Jonathan Allen and wide receiver James Quick clenched a Gatorade towel underneath their armpits while balls were shot out of a jugs machine. It forced them to keep their elbows in while catching as well as make sure their torsos remained square to the ball as they got into receiving position. 

(Jake Kring-Schreifels)

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