ASHBURN,Va - On Wednesday morning, the Redskins wrapped up what they hope to be the last morning session where their new acquisitions can't practice, meaning starting tomorrow, we'll get a much better view on what the team will look like in 2011.
This morning once again saw sparse crowds, though the on and off pouring of rain couldn't have helped entice fans want to come out. But bad weather and fan turnouts aside, here are a couple of quick things that stood out from this morning's practice:
John Beck's last day getting all the reps: With the CBA expected to be completed tonight, all free agent signings will be able to practice tomorrow, meaning Rex Grossman will be back in the fold and enter in what should be a fierce quarterback competition. John Beck knows this, and made sure to take advantage of every single rep he could while Grossman was out.
""It was good these last five days to get the majority of the reps, that's what I wanted," Beck said. "I wanted to be able to come out and get the reps, get the experience, make some mistake here or there, chuck the ball down the field and see what we got, and that happened."
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said there will be "without a doubt" an open quarterback competition starting tomorrow. Beck understands with less reps to go around, he'll have to value the reps he does take a little bit more.
"I've been taking every rep as serious as I can, trying to make the most of every single rep I've had. Will [the quarterback competition] limit the reps? Definitely."
Beck has had some issues with arm strength, as some of his passes have seemed to wobble a bit, particularly on deep passes. But he seems to be becoming more comfortable with the system, going through his progressions much quicker and getting the ball out quicker than he was in the early days of camp.
In the last portion of practice, Mike Shanahan had the offense and defense go at it in a game-like situation, with Shanahan calling out down and distances each play, hoping the offense would score a touchdown to end practice. On the last play of the drive, Beck hit Fred Davis on a solid pass over the middle for a practice-ending touchdown. It could be his last throw as the first string quarterback, for all we know.
But now that Beck is going to go back to splitting reps, he's going to go back to abiding by his old motto.
"Don't count your reps, makes your reps count." Beck said. "I'm still going to be the exact same way [going forward]."
Jabar Gaffney making his case: By no means is Jabar Gaffney a number one receiver. In fact, he may not even be a number two on a good team. But his veteran presence is quite clear when you see him line up at receiver, especially compared to some of the other Redskins receivers (sans Santana Moss). Anthony Armstrong is certainly a younger option, and showed what e could do a year ago, but I think Gaffney has a chance to take his job in the early going. Gaffney has shown to be more consistent in each practice so far, which I think makes him a direct threat to Armstrong's job security as the number two receiver. There's still plenty of time to go, but everyone's having trouble trying to figure out which receivers are going to make the final roster at this point.
Chris Cooley not getting as many reps as you would think: I'm not sure if this is going to be a big deal down the road, but the most popular Redskin remaining the roster, tight end Chris Cooley, hasn't gotten as many reps in practice as Fred Davis has.
Does that many anything yet? I'm not sure, but it's clear that Davis will probably be used a lot more this year than in 2010. Davis came into camp pretty slender, changing his diet and looking more like a big wide receiver than a tight end. Kyle Shanahan addressed his depth at tight end after practice.
"We know our guys," he said. "We know which guys we've got to give more to and we know when we've got to take more off. We've got a better understanding of the players"
When asked about Cooley in particular, he didn't offer up much. "Cooley's good," he said. "He's been doing real well."
We'll have to see about that once the games start.