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Practice Notes: 2017 #SkinsCamp, Day 7

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Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda and Jake Kring-Schreifels break down the key plays and highlights from Day 7 of the Washington Redskins' 2017 training camp in Richmond, Va.


Offense:

--During OTAs, quarterback Trent Williams said it was sometimes hard to judge just how fast Terrelle Pryor Sr. was moving because of his long strides. One week into camp, it seems he and Pryor are starting to get a better handle on judging passes that rely on his height and speed, namely deep balls down the sideline and shorter jump balls and fades in the end zone. In 7-on-7 drills, Pryor caught a pretty pass from Cousins that floated into his hands just out of the reach of Quinton Dunbar covering him. Throughout the rest of practice, Cousins found more success with Pryor, hitting on some medium routes between the corners and safeties and later connecting on a deep touchdown just past Bashaud Breeland. Later, Cousins overshot Pryor on a similar play that Breeland helped defend, an indication that this is still a work in progress.

--The team's other big name receiver, Josh Doctson, is also developing his rapport with Cousins and had a nice day catching passes in the open field. During 11-on-11s in the red zone, Doctson, working with the second team, made a sliding touchdown grab just above the turf after quarterback Colt McCoy eluded the pass rush and rolled to his left under pressure. A small confrontation broke out shortly after with the defense, some chippiness that perpetuated throughout the rest of practice. In the two-minute drill to close out practice, Doctson made another nice grab – making the catch a second after turning his head back towards Cousins -- to get the team close to the red zone. "Hell of a catch," head coach Jay Gruden yelled.

--The rest of the two-minute drill worked efficiently. They consisted mostly of short-yardage passes to Ryan Grant, Matt Hazel, Pryor and tight end Vernon Davis, which prompted Gruden to get excited. "Tomsula's scared," he yelled as they got into the red zone. The next play Cousins, on what would have likely been a sack, jumped up with an awkward throw to the middle of the end zone and threw an interception to Josh Norman to conclude what was otherwise a strong drive.

--Running back Rob Kelley remained out of team drills due to a neck injury he's been monitoring, giving Samaje Perine more work with the first team. His willingness to take on contact and rumble through the defensive line continues to be impressive, a bit of a changeup from the speedy Chris Thompson and Mack Brown, who himself made a beautiful cut on a safety blitz and charged up the right side of the defense mostly untouched on a run play, showing off his bursting speed. As the team decides on which running backs to keep, his quickness will certainly be a factor in their process.

--During 1-on-1 drills with the lines, the backup centers Chase Roullier and Ronald Patrick both looked strong in their blocking, taking on some bull rushes from Ondre Pipkins and Colt McCoy. Gruden likes the way Roullier has come along, and said the other day his versatility to play at guard will be a helpful factor in how the depth chart shapes out.

--Injury note: wide receiver Jamison Crowder remained out of pads on Thursday as he deals with his hamstring injury. Gruden wants to continue to take it day by day, but Crowder did seem to be running pretty well during warmups, catching passes on a side field. Reed remains out as well with his toe injury and observed practice in regular clothes again. 

(Jake Kring-Schreifels)


Defense:

--Once again, the defense would bend but not break during the final practice segment, the two-minute drill. With exactly two minutes left on the clock, two timeouts in the pocket and 80 yards to drive for a winning touchdown, quarterback Kirk Cousins got the offense all the way down to inside the 10-yard line. But on the final play of 11-on-11 action, cornerback Josh Norman took advantage of a tipped pass by linebacker Zach Brown for a diving interception in the end zone. On the first play of the drive, meanwhile, fellow cornerback Bashaud Breeland also made a fantastic play when he remained stride for stride with wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. before jumping up for a beautiful pass breakup.

--First-round pick Jonathan Allen continues to get more and more pressure in practice drills as training camp chugs along. In 11-on-11 drills, for example, Allen and linebacker Junior Galette collapsed the pocket to put pressure right in Cousins' face. Then during 1-on-1 pass rush drills, the Alabama product showed a nice combination of strength and quickness off the line.

--Speaking of the entire defensive line, position coach Jim Tomsula reiterated on Thursday that he's not penciling in the rotation yet nor will he until closer to the regular season. That remained the case during practice just a few hours after his comments, as the Redskins tried different defensive line combinations. On this day, it was Stacy McGee, A.J. Francis and Terrell McClain who were the first out for 11-on-11 drills, but all 11 defensive lineman on the 90-man roster got their reps.

--One player that maybe doesn't get talked about a ton during practices due to him being one of the "quiet killers" on the roster but remains as consistent as they come is Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. The 2011 first-round pick is the leader for the outside linebackers during individual drills while he quietly creates pressure on the quarterbacks. During one 11-on-11 rep, Kerrigan got around tackle Morgan Moses rather easily and would have registered a sack. Kerrigan, of course, is already third all-time for sacks in franchise history.

--During the 1-on-1 pass rush drills, the coaches had rookie linebacker Ryan Anderson go against five-time Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams. While Williams ultimately stopped Anderson on both occasions, the rookie showed quite a bit of strength on his reps. Earlier in the day during a podium session with the media, Anderson said his biggest adjustment so far in the NFL has been the competition level. It doesn't get any better than Williams. "I'm not taking no reps against no freshman that are just coming in from high school," Anderson said. "All these guys are good and they've got families to feed, man. So, you have to go hard every play out there. You just try to get your foot in the door and get your feet wet, but you're going to have to earn it."

--It's been talked about quite a bit in Richmond now about safety D.J. Swearinger's vocal leadership, and that was no different on Thursday. Swearinger – who has been flying around whenever he's been out on the field – is pretty confident in his belief that any receiver that comes anywhere near him won't catch the ball. That was the case during the two-minute drill when wide receiver Matt Hazel caught a ball in front of Swearinger, to which the safety yelled out, "Trust me, he's not catching that!"

--With linebacker Martrell Spaight (hamstring) still sidelined, the Redskins rotated some of the inside linebackers in and out with the second-team defense including Nico Marley and Pete Robertson. 

(Stephen Czarda)


Special Teams:

--The Redskins closed out practice with Dustin Hopkins attempt four field goals. He nailed all of his attempts.

(Stephen Czarda)

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