The Redskins received a little break today as the weather was cooler Friday than Thursday. The fields were a little slick as heavy rains soaked Richmond overnight. Fortunately, there were no major injuries despite a few slips from players. Without further adieu, my "Fun Bunch" of thoughts from Day 2.
- Preston Smith missed practice today because of a funeral. My thoughts and prayers are with him. That left a void in the Redskins starting defense and an opportunity for someone to get some key snaps with the starters. The Redskins decided to fill this void with Trent Murphy. Houston Bates did get a few reps with the first team, but I found this odd as Murphy has spent the offseason trying to add a mass amount of weight and learn a new position. I know coach Jay Gruden mentioned Murphy as a possible option but at 290 lbs, it doesn't make sense at this moment. Plus, this would have been a great opportunity to give reps to Houston Bates, Lynden Trail, and Willie Jefferson to see if any of them can materialize into that third rusher to alleviate some of the loss of Junior Galette.
- Will Blackmon has spent both days of training camp returning punts. This is probably for emergency situations but it's definitely a thing. Blackmon has worked with Chris Thompson, Rashad Ross, and Jamison Crowder. Coaches were getting creative with returners today. At one point they were catching punts one handed, with a ball already in their hands, and with a coach spraying water in their face to distract them.
- Gruden has a little breathing room now that he has won the division. His energy on the field is infectious. Players are joking with him as he rags on them. Gruden also gets involved in the drills. He covers receivers, he throws, and he was catching Kirk Cousins' passes. His stutter step needs work.
- I'm excited to see Chris Thompson if he stays healthy this year. This is such a fun offense for a utility player like him. I'm going to make an effort to talk to him about this during the week. He's taking hand-offs, catching screens, lining up wide and the defense is having a hard time covering him.
- The tight end rotation is exciting as well. Jordan Reed, Niles Paul, and Vernon Davis all took advantage of opportunities today. Davis schooled young blood Su'a Cravens on a deeper route although Cravens caught back up and punched the ball out.
- DeSean Jackson is the only player I've seen get any kind of positive production against Bashaud Breeland but it hasn't been often. Breeland has been suffocating receivers. He jammed up Dez Stewart so badly today that they just had to stop the play.
- Rashad Ross had a few drops today. He has always had the speed but his hands are questionable. He needs to continue to mold this part of his game. You can't be a threat to stretch the field if your hands aren't on point.
- I can't wait for the pads to be put on. I can't tell if the defensive line isn't going 100% or if Matt Jones is really primed for a huge year. Yesterday and today, Jones broke several big runs up the middle and on cutbacks. Need to see the trenches when the warriors are suited for war.
- Second-string quarterback Colt McCoy had a rough day. He threw two interceptions in afternoon practices. He forced a deep pass that was picked off by Jeremy Harris. Later, he was under duress and just sky-hooked a ball in the air to a releasing running back and Su'a Cravens intercepted it.
- Nate Sudfeld was playing really safe today. He primarily dumped it off to running backs out of the backfield. On one play, I could tell once his first read was taken away he went straight to the running back. On another play, his first read wasn't open so he tucked it and ran. I want to see him press a little more and go through progressions. Completions are great but if they are all to running backs they're hard to evaluate.
- Cornerback Greg Toler didn't stand out as much today but on one play he was beat off the snap and used recovery speed to break up a pass that should have been a touchdown. My eye has been on him.
- It was good to see inside linebacker Perry Riley back on the field. I didn't see a ton of reps from him but he looked good getting back up to speed with the team.
- The defensive line got a little more mix in it today. Stephen Paea, Trent Murphy, and Ziggy Hood were on the field for the backups during scout team walkthroughs but during live session, they all got mixed in with the first team during live reps. Team is still trying to find homes for everyone. Most players were playing defensive end and nose tackle.
Paul Conner is the Film Analyst and Draft Evaluator at Breaking Burgundy. You can follow him on Twitter @P_ConnerJr
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