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Practice Notes 8/25: Washington's Pass-Catchers Make Plays In The Red Zone

Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team
Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team

After three straight padded practices, the Washington Football Team took the field in helmets and shells Tuesday morning for a 135-minute practice at the Inova Sports Performance Center.

There were plenty of positive developments Tuesday, but head coach Ron Rivera also saw some fatigue that led to mental mistakes, such as not having enough people in the offensive huddle. After two solid practices, Rivera preached about being mentally tough and pushing through the tiredness. Washington will have an off day Wednesday and then will practice at FedExField on Thursday afternoon.

Here's what we learned from Tuesday's practice:

OFFENSE:

-- Following back-to-back quality performances, Dwayne Haskins Jr. was on fire to start Tuesday's session. Starting with the first 11-on-11 period, he completed 13 consecutive passes and threw three touchdowns. Steven Sims Jr. caught Haskins' first score near the goal line during 9-on-9 drills, and on the next play, Haskins floated a pass over Landon Collins and into the hands of Logan Thomas near the left goal post.

Dontrelle Inman caught the third touchdown during 11-on-11 red zone drills. Haskins threw the pass into double coverage where only Inman could catch it, and Inman rewarded him with an acrobatic grab in the back of the end zone.

The only period in which Haskins struggled was during the final session when they moved the ball. Haskins' first drive lasted three plays and ended with an interception from Collins, who streaked down the left sideline for a would-be touchdown. On his next possession, Haskins threw multiple incompletions before ending practice with a short touchdown to Sims.

After practice, Haskins and running back J.D. McKissic stayed on the field to work on the play that ended with Collins' interception. Rivera told Haskins that while he made a good decision, he made a late, poor throw. The pass needed to be more outside so that McKissic would be the only player who could make the catch.

"This is a guy that is learning and growing," Rivera said of Haskins. "I appreciate the fact that they stayed after to try and figure out what happened and why it was wrong."

-- Adrian Peterson has been the starting running back for the duration of training camp, but third-round rookie Antonio Gibson has also received a fair amount of first-team reps. Despite having just 33 career carries at Memphis, Gibson looks like a natural runner with a solid combination of speed and power. He also made a few receptions during Tuesday's session.

Peyton Barber has been receiving a lot of the second-team reps, while Bryce Love has also worked in with the twos as well as the threes. McKissic has worked with the starters and the reserves depending on formation.

-- Cam Sims ignited the loudest ovation of practice with a leaping grab in the back of the end zone during 11-on-11 drills. Once he snagged the ball out of the air, he had the presence of mind to get both feet in bounds to secure the touchdown from Kyle Allen. Sims, who has primarily worked with the second team, has had one of the better training camps among wide receivers.

-- After a quiet couple of practices, Inman's difficult touchdown grab served as the highlight of a productive day. Inman, who signed with the team Aug. 3, has worked with the starters since the first day of padded practice Aug. 18.

-- Slot receiver Trey Quinn has quickly become one of Allen's favorite targets with the second team. Quinn caught several passes from Allen on Tuesday.

-- Haskins and Thomas have been very in sync recently. Haskins completed at least five passes to Thomas on Tuesday, one of which resulted in a touchdown during the 9-on-9 red zone period. It marked Thomas' fourth score from Haskins in the past three days.

-- For the first time since padded practices began, Washington switched up the left side of its offensive line with Keith Ismael playing left guard and Cornelius Lucas lining up at left tackle. Wes Martin, who has been the starting left guard, played right guard with the second team. Geron Christian Sr., who has been the starting left tackle, played the same position with the twos.

"One of the things we talked about when I first got here was position flex," Rivera said of Ismael, who has primarily been the second-team center. "If he makes our 53 [man roster], that means he'll have to play not just center but guard. And if he's a gameday active, he's got to play more than one position. We also have to see how he fits playing with the ones."

DEFENSE:

-- Chase Young continues to work his way back after suffering a hip flexor injury on Wednesday. He played opposite Ryan Kerrigan with the second team during the first 11-on-11 period on Tuesday. Young told reporters afterwards that he feels his hip is close to being 100%.

"It's unfortunate he missed a couple of days with his [hip flexor], but he's had a good couple of days." Rivera said. "We've been trying to gradually reintroduce him to practice, and he seems to be handling that very well."

-- If tackling were allowed, Montez Sweat and Ryan Kerrigan would have both had tackles for loss. Sweat likely would have added a sack when he nearly pushed Lucas into Haskins.

-- Linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton again received a lot of work with the ones. He was out there with Jon Bostic and Kevin Pierre-Louis when Washington was in its 4-3 defense during team drills.

-- With Kendall Fuller and Fabian Moreau out Tuesday, Jimmy Moreland and Ronald Darby were the outside cornerbacks and Aaron Colvin was in the slot. Moreland added another pass breakup after making two yesterday. "There's something about Jimmy," Rivera said with a smile. "He has a knack for being around the ball, so he's been fun to watch."

-- Collins make his first interception of training camp by baiting Haskins into making throw. Once Haskins released the ball, Collins jumped the route, corralled the ball and took off the other way.

-- Seventh-round rookie Kamren Curl secured his second interception of camp Tuesday. He made a nice break on a deep ball to corral the interception on the right side. As Curl began running downfield, defensive backs coach Chris Harris was right behind him yelling, "You do like nice things, huh?" That has been Harris' catchphrase throughout training camp, and he got to use it again Tuesday.

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