The Washington Redskins second year under Coach Jay Gruden began today as training camp opened down in Richmond, Virginia. Most of the reports, tweets, and posts on Instagram from reporters were overly optimistic as expected on the first day of any team’s camp. However, there were a few points that stood out from the day that are worth keeping an eye on going forward.
“We’re building, we’re not just learning the offense anymore.” – Robert Griffin III
Lots was said by the Washington signal caller during his presser, but as the quote above suggests, this is a big season for him and the entire offense. This isn’t the first year, the introductory stage is over and there are expectations. It was hard to get a read for Griffin in Gruden’s offense last year due to injuries and a less than stellar offensive line. After three years, Washington still doesn’t quite know what they have in Robert and would like to find out if he’s the guy for the long haul. According to several reporters on twitter, including Albert Breer and Michael Robinson, Griffin looked good and comfortable on the field. There’s not much to be taken from a padless practice, but the timing of his drops, the anticipation on his throws, those things can be noted. Not analyzed, but noted.
“He’s going to be our starting cornerback until somebody knocks him off.” – Jay Gruden on DeAngelo Hall
There’s been a lot of excitement over the offseason about the additions to the Redskins secondary, during that time many seem to have forgotten about DeAngelo Hall after having a second achilles injury. The 31-year old cornerback is appears happy to be back and said he’s ready to “bring it” in regards to fighting to get his position back atop the cornerback depth chart. It may not be as long as he thinks after Gruden’s comments. Per several reporters that were at camp today, it was Hall and Chris Culliver that got the reps as the boundary corners with Breeland getting time inside as the slot corner.
For a Washington defense that has had it’s fair share of gaffes in coverage, this is a great problem to have. Culliver seems to be entrenched as one of the boundary corners barring injury, but all three have had experience at playing both inside and outside. Again, a great problem for Washington. Well actually what may seem like a luxury, the real battle will be to find that fourth corner.
There also seems to be a change of culture, that was apparent the day that they hired Scot McCloughan, But it’s more than just him, the hiring of Bill Callahan and Joe Barry only reaffirm it. Sometimes it’s just the little things, like the defense focusing on creating habits that force turnovers. Or the offensive line being sent to run a lap for missing an assignment, this is how disciplined teams are built. Disciplined teams contend and win championships, it takes time, but this is a pleasant development for Washington.
— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) July 30, 2015