Griffin Improves Pocket Presence, Redskins Focus On Red Zone
The Washington Redskins finished the summer’s on-field program with the completion of minicamp Tuesday and Wednesday.
Here's a list of takeaways:
Robert Griffin III showed signs of improvement, which is what the Redskins want to see. The focus is on his pocket presence. Head Coach Jay Gruden said the coaches are watching Griffin’s footwork, an area in need of work. They also want to see him throw the ball with anticipation. Both John Keim of ESPN and Mike Jones of The Washington Post reported that Griffin was holding the ball too long. Consequently, RGIII’s results were mixed. He threw a third-and-10 completion from his own goal line to Pierre Garcon, and on another play, he connected with Andre Roberts for a touchdown. Griffin would’ve had another completion to Desean Jackson in the back of the end zone, but Jackson let it slip through his hands. RGIII also overthrew the ball a few times and attempted some scrambles, though he kept his head up and eyes on the defense. At the end of practice Tuesday, Griffin told the media this is the best he's felt in years.
Colt McCoy practiced with the second-team offense, while Kirk Cousins worked with the third team. According to Keim and Jones, neither QB had any standout plays. Naming a No. 2 QB is a more important story line than some realize - if Griffin's season ends early like it has twice before, McCoy or Cousins is the next leader. Gruden won't name the backup until preseason games start.
Rookie Matt Jones, not Alfred Morris, received most of the first-team reps during the red zone drills. Gruden said not to read into the switch - it's about providing learning opportunities for Jones. Gruden also praised Morris for his work this offseason. Silas Redd Jr. sprained his ankle Tuesday and did not practice Wednesday.
Red zone production is a focal point for the Redskins' offseason. In the 2014-15 season, Washington had a red zone efficiency of 47.9%, which ranked 26th in the league. They worked in this area quite a bit this week, both in 11-on-11 and seven-on-seven drills.
- DeAngelo Hall (Achilles' tendon) participated in individual drills on Tuesday for the first time since the first round of OTAs in May. Hall remained on the sideline for the rest of the day, practicing changing directions and catching passes from assistant strength coach Chad Englehart. He did not practice Wednesday and is scheduled to return by training camp.
- Duke Ihenacho played as the first-team strong safety Tuesday, while Jeron Johnson played with second team. On Wednesday, they switched roles. Sixth-round draft pick Tevin Mitchel put in work at corner, breaking up passes to Jamison Crowder and picking off McCoy.
- Trent Murphy's pass rushing is solid, and he reached the quarterback on a straight line twice. On one play, he blew by first-round offensive tackle Brandon Scherff for what would've been a sack.
The Redskins have a six-week break until the start of training camp on July 30.