NFL: MAY 20 Washington Redskins OTA

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The Skins are back in Richmond for their 7th year of camp. It’s Jay Gruden’s 6th season.

Could this be the end of a mediocre era? Or the start of something new?

Will this be the last time we get to see the Skins in RVA with any sort of optimism? If they bomb this year and don’t get to the playoffs, it could mean we have a new coach next year and witness a rebuilding attempt in the final contracted season of camp in the 804.

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Enough big-picture questions, let’s get the observations.

5. Jordan Reed Made Big Plays

I’m no cog in the DC hype machine, but I have to say, when Jordan Reed juked Landon Collins and caused him to drop to the turf, it reminded me of a Point Guard crossing over some scrub in an And-1 mixtape.

Reed just turned 29 and has yet to play a full 16 game NFL slate in a single season. He’s never had a 1000 yard receiving season.

Still, he was consistently open in 1v1 drills, which isn’t that impressive, but reminded me of the high caliber playmaker he is capable of being.

Vernon Davis has stepped up big since the team acquired him, but Reed has a higher ceiling. His floor is also way lower. If Paul Richardson and Josh Doctson are going to have big seasons then Reed needs to start 14 games this year and find a way to play in all 16 and finally cross that 1k receiving yard threshold.

4. Josh Norman Plays With No Fear

One of the things Josh has conveyed to the media this offseason is when he hurdled that bull in Pamplona, he looked like Adrian Peterson in his prime leaping over defenders because J.No has no fear.

He had two excellent interceptions, one of rookie Dwayne Haskins, and continues to lead by example.

His reckless abandon is going to be key for this defense, which needs to figure out a way to do more than they did last season.

I still don’t buy a lot about this team’s offense. Therefore, the D can’t just give nine great games, they need to figure out how to stay elite even when the burden of a mediocre offense weighs on them in Week 10, 11, 12, etc.

Norman’s courage and commitment to winning will be infectious. Young names like Jimmy Moreland feed off of it. The JMU product told me that Norman “loves teaching” and “if you don’t see the energy from [Josh], something crazy is going on.”

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3. Ereck Flowers Is In for Trent Williams…For Now

The former NY Giant was brought to DC to fill a TY Nsekhe type role. Be a versatile piece on Bill Callahan’s offensive line.

He was brought in to play guard, but with Trent Williams holding out and missing camp, Flowers is going to be the starter at Left Tackle.

On paper, the left side of the Skins line is a weakness. Wes Martin got the majority of reps at Left Guard and Flowers the bulk of practice plays at LT today.

That’s not good for Washington fans. Flowers left a bad Giants OL that couldn’t protect Eli Manning. Martin has a ton of potential but NFL fans know what that word means. He’s a rookie 4th round pick who could get thrown into the fire. The fact that he is an unknown commodity makes him a huge x-factor, just like Chase Roullier was last season.

Flowers is rolling with the punches. When I chatted with him today he was excited about the idea of playing tackle and seemed willing to do what the team needed him to do in order to prove himself.

The Skins run game could be their strong suit. Derrius Guice looked good and it’s hard to doubt Adrian Peterson after what he did in 2018, with the exception of a few bad games.

Here’s the issue, if Washington starts to lean too much on running the ball to the Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses side, the word is going to get out. Teams will see on tape that all they do is run right. They already did that a lot in practice today.

Keep an eye on the left side of the OL if Trent doesn’t show. The only reason this isn’t number one on my list is I think the Skins front office will resolve this issue and Trent Williams will be back for Week 1.

2. Mason Foster’s Replacement

Shaun Dion Hamilton and Jon Bostic took the first team reps on Defense today.

Bostic comes from Pittsburgh and can be a tackling machine, especially once Running Backs get to the second level. He has similar skills to Mason Foster, who in a 3-4 defense will share the load with Hamilton, Ryan Kerrigan, and Montez Sweat/Ryan Anderson in the Linebacker core.

Hamilton is very intelligent. His pre-snap decision making will be critical. He will need to move guys around in front of him and anticipate where the ball is going while taking command from the coaching staff. Jon Allen, Josh Norman, and Landon Collins will be the leaders of this defense. But Hamilton must be the coach on the field if he and Bostic are going to be able to upgrade the MIKE and WILL linebackers from last year.

1. Keenum, McCoy, Haskins

That is your depth chart based on one day of camp. Small sample size, but it is what it is.

It’s worth noting that in 11 on 11 drills this was the order to which Jay Gruden inserted his Quarterbacks.

Now, in individual drills, Haskins did get second billing behind Case Keenum, and Haskins did get more total reps than McCoy in 11 on 11 drills, but still, this is the order that Jay is starting with.

A lot of this is because Colt has earned that second spot. I would bet that Haskins starts getting more and more second team reps and eventually sees some first team action as we progress.

Keenum & Haskins can really stretch the field. Definitely a big upgrade in that regard over Alex Smith. Both are less mobile and don’t manipulate the pocket as well as Smith. Keenum threw more bad balls than Haskins but threw them all in places that couldn’t be touched by the defense. Haskins clearly has the biggest arm but his placement wasn’t as meticulous as Keenum.

That’s it for today. While the Redskins are in RVA, keep it locked on ESPN Richmond’s exclusive coverage of Skins camp in Richmond!

See Pictures From Redskins Training Camp 2019
Redskins Training Camp 2019
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