ASHBURN,Va - Another morning, another Redskins practice. We may be getting to that point in training camp where every day is groundhog day. That is, the team is running very similar practice routines each day.
But before practice even began, the team released its unofficial depth chart for this Friday's preseason opener against the Steelers. There aren't really a ton of surprises, but Rex Grossman will be the first team quarterback and Mike Sellers is the fourth team tight end (not a great sign).
The team is clearly working toward Friday's game, as the offense and defense primarily went over goal line and two minute drills this morning.
Here a couple other nuggets from this morning:
Ryan Kerrigan's learning process continues: The Redskins top draft pick had a very interesting day today. For one, this wasjust his second practice back from his knee injury, and his third practice overall in camp. Secondly, it's clear he's still learning the linebacker position.
In the goal line drills, he worked primarily in coverage, going against tight ends Logan Paulsen, Fred Davis and Mike Sellers. Early on, he was fairly solid, forcing pass breakups on Paulsen in the endzone. Fellow linebacker London Fletcher and linebacker coach Lou Spanos cheered on Kerrigan after each deflection.
"Way to go, Ryan!", Fletcher yelled.
But several plays later, Kerrigan showed why he still has plenty of learning to do. Lining up against Davis and Sellers, he was unable to keep up with them, being out of position for two completions made to his side.
Afterward, once special teams drills began, Kerrigan was pulled aside to the far field by Spanos. The LB coach worked personally with Kerrigan to help teach him the nuances of coverage in various situations. The two of them worked off to the side for about twenty minutes, before they went back to rejoin the team. Kerrigan is expected to be a starter in Week 1, and it's clear the coaching staff wants to catch him up to speed as quickly as possible.
"Good job, Ryan." Spanos said after their session. The two then went to the main field for the resumption of goal line drills.
After practice was over, I asked Kerrigan about the one-on-one session with Spanos.
"Just more coaching" he said. "Being a rookie, and making a position change to outside linebacker, I need all the help and pointers I can get. We do that every day whenever I'm not on a certain special team, [we] go to the side and furthers my knowledge of the position."
Fletcher also chimed in on Kerrigan's learning process.
"He looks comfortable in space. He doesn't look unnatural," said the Redskins defensive captain. "The tough part for him will have to be with the communication, understanding ‘Am I a rusher? Or am I a cover guy?', and then being able to compute that stuff very quickly."
Kerrigan is hoping to get some playing time against the Steelers, and will look forward to finally getting a chance to master the outside linebacker position in game situations.
Kicking battle takes shape: Today saw another step towards deciding who the Redskins field goal kicker could be. Graham Gano and Shayne Graham started kicking field goals of 40 plus yards in distance, with both of them looking pretty sharp. In the end, Gano was 6 of 7 on his attempts and Graham was 5 of 7. Does that mean much? It's hard to tell right now. Nothing matters in this competition until either of them can show they can do it consistently in game situations.
Players who didn't participate in today's practice: O.J. Atogwe (hamstring), Malcolm Kelly (foot), Artis Hicks (mild concussion), Ryan Torain (hand)