ASHBURN,Va - In the final practice before Friday's preseason opener against the Steelers, the Redskins ran a relatively light practice, with the team not wearing pads and going over situational drills.
Here are some tidbits from Wednesday morning's practice.
- Mike Shahanan was quite vocal today in practice. About twenty minutes into team drills, he saw something he didn't like and called a huddle for the entire team. He apparently didn't like the pace at which the team was performing at on both sides of the ball, and had to give a bit of a pep talk. In the later portion of practice, when the offense was working on the four minute offense, Tim Hightower chose to stay in bounds and fight for extra yards rather than go out of bounds to preserve clock time. Shanahan again stopped the drill, talking to the team about the importance of getting out of bounds in those situations.
- After practice, Shanahan explained the need to stress getting out of bounds: "Sometimes in a four-minute offense you have people standing in bounds. We had to use the [play] clock all the way down to the last seconds...Just different situations that occur in games that you want to refocus your team on."
- Niles Paul might have a lesser draft pedigree than Leonard Hankerson, but he is making the most of his opportunities. From what I've seen, Paul has made nearly every catch thrown his way, and is really making his case for being on this roster come Week 1. He has made the tough catches look routine, in addition to making the routine catches look, well, routine. Hankerson on the other hand? Another drop today. Just saying.
- It's always entertaining watching special teams drills off to the side in the early going of practice. One of the prime reasons is because special teams coach Danny Smith is one of the more entertaining people you'll ever see. Smith was getting to know his new punter, Sav Rocca during the jugs drills. He was asking him plenty of questions regarding his upbringing in Australia, with Rocca filling him and the rest of the specialists in on how he grew up. Smith later went on to bring a young fan onto the field to help with the jugs machine, with longsnapper Nick Sundberg cheering him on as he pumped footballs to Rocca and Gano/Graham. A nice gesture, in my eyes.
- What was the fallout of Rex Grossman's comments about the team's chances this year? There was none, to be honest. The team is lockstep with his beliefs, and that shouldn't be surprising. What are they supposed to say? That they're going to stink? Of course not. There are a number of players on the team that are about as confident as Grossman about their chances. It would have been a bigger story if they had said they thought they were going to win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
- There were a number of players who cramped up during practice, most notably Jarvis Jenkins and Josh Wilson. Both of them were looked at and stretched out by a trainer, but they eventually came back onto the field. Just a part of camp.