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Tuesday Training Camp Practice Notes

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Tuesday afternoon was another padded practiceat the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center, as fans witnessed a second scary episode in two days.

A day after cornerback DeAngelo Hall came up limping during 1-on-1 battles, Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams sprained his hand during 11-on-11 drills.

Fortunately, both are expected to be OK. More to come on that later.

Other news coming out of today's practice is that the team continues its search for a veteran linebacker after Joe Mays signed with the Houston Texans earlier today. Former Packers and Bills linebacker Nick Barnett was on hand to tryout.

The team picked up a roster exemption for running back Tristan Davis, who reportedly told head coach Mike Shanahan this morning that his heart was no longer in playing football and that he wished to retire.

All-time Redskins greats Pat Fischer and Roy Jefferson were on-hand to watch training camp, and shared memories of conducting training camp in the hottest part of the summer in Carlisle, Pa.

Before practice began, Fischer, also No. 37, ran out to safety Reed Doughty and told jokingly told him he was there to reclaim his jersey. The two took a photo and Fischer wished him well.

The highlight of practice was again centered around 1-on-1 battles, as the upper body pads have lent themselves to increased physicality in practice.

Dezmon Briscoe, Aldrick Robinson, Lance Lewis, Skye Dawson, Joshua Morgan, Devery Henderson, Santana Moss and Pierre Garcon all succeeded in catching at least one pass during these drills.

A strong defensive play was made by Jerome Murphy, who knocked away a sideline pass intended for Chip Reeves.

Here are some other observations from today's portion of practice that was open to the media:

  • Minnifield continues to impress with his physicality and motor, and appears to have drawn the good-natured attention of his veteran receiver teammates. After a catch in traffic during 1-on-1 drills yesterday, Joshua Morgan stared him down. An ongoing rivalry with third-year receiver Leonard Hankerson continued today, as he fought Minnifield off of a jam at the line and both players ended up missing the ball. If he can remain healthy, No. 25 will be an intriguing player to watch when preseason action begins next week.
  • Veteran receiver Devery Henderson may be a late offseason addition with miles on the odometer, but he still has a gear capable of getting him places in a hurry. During 1-on-1 drills, he blew past Richard Crawford on a go route and had space to slow down for an underthrown pass before making the over-the-shoulder grab and trotting into the end zone.
  • The punt returner battle raged on today, as Santana Moss, Richard Crawford, Nick Williams and Skye Dawson lined up to try their hand. Punter Sav Rocca continued honing his accuracy today, working on both his rocket style and end-over-end punting style.
  • The end-over-end punting allowed the coverage team to work on downing punts inside the 10- and 20-yard lines. Both tight end Niles Paul and cornerback E.J. Biggers got in on the action, batting passes backward at the goal line and saving a touchback. Last season, the Redskins had only four punts downed inside the 20, with Paul registering all four.
  • Robert Griffin III was on-target in 7-on-7 drills, missing only two completions in 10 pass attempted. The first one was a strong defensive play by rookie cornerback David Amerson to break up a sideline pass intended for Briscoe. The second one was caught and dropped by tight end Jordan Reed over the middle.
  • It was a tough day for Jordan Pugh, who had two hands on two different passes, but walked away with zero interceptions. Pugh is currently battling a deep pool of safeties for a roster spot and will need to take advantage of all future opportunities.
  • The Redskins running backs accounted for only 349 receiving yards last season, or approximately 9.5 percent of the team total. Starter Alfred Morris looks much improved as a receiver this training camp, as well as Evan Royster and Keiland Williams. Throw a healthy Roy Helu Jr. back into the mix and the Redskins should have a number of viable targets out of the backfield.
  • When the rest of the team is practicing 7-on-7 drills, the offensive and defensive linemen step off the side to practice 1-on-1 battles in the trenches. These can be dramatic, as two 300-plus pound men crash together in a match of strength, but can also make for some must see drill work. In the limited battles that I could watch, defensive end Chris Baker dominated center Will Montgomery and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan pushed back offensive tackle Jeremy Trueblook.
  • Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan oversaw his squad during the first round of red zone drills today and called in some of the full team drills over the radio to the quarterback's helmet. Late in a contest with the game on the line, the Redskins need to be comfortable with any situation, both calling the plays in on the radio and relaying a series of plays from the sidelines.

Play(s) Of The Day: Offense

The offense got the best of the defense during red zone drills to close out practice. 

On three of the first four plays, the offense found the end zone, with only Alfred Morris' touchdown recalled and placed at the 5-yard line. Kirk Cousins threw a pair of touchdowns to Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss.

Rex Grossman nearly made it three in a row with a pass to tight end Fred Davis in the back of the end zone that sailed just out of reach of his diving grab. He atoned for the throw with his next throw, hitting receiver Aldrick Robinson just inside the goal line.

Play(s) Of The Day: Defense

Safety DeJon Gomes has been a bit of a forgotten man this offseason, counted on the bubble by some pundits and left out of the competition by others.

Gomes doesn't agree with either approach and has set out to make an impression early in camp.

Covering rookie tight end Jordan Reed, Gomes found himself several yards from the big body tight end when Reed turned for the ball. Charging back to the play, Gomes recognized that the pass was coming in high, and punched the ball out of Reed's outstretched hands, forcing an incompletion.

It was a tough readjustment for the third-year safety, but that type of heads up football is why he will be another player to watch this preseason.

What's Next?

The Redskins will be back at it again tomorrow, working every day through Friday in anticipation of Saturday's Fan Appreciation Day. For more information on the event, check out the schedule page

Both practices are available to fans tomorrow, with walkthrough beginning at 10 a.m. and practice scheduled for 3 p.m. As always, fans are encouraged to arrive early and bring your official training camp pass.

An unnamed Redskins player and head coach Mike Shanahan will hold press conferences each day, streamed live on Redskins.com.

For your official source of training camp news, follow along @Redskins.

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