For the Washington Redskins, Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland are the cornerback headliners. That's not going to change. Still, the group behind them, including possible slot starter Dashaun Phillips and veteran Greg Toler, keeps making enough noise.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden was asked about the Phillips and Toler specifically during his Sunday press conference in Richmond along with several other training camp topics.
On CBs Dashaun Phillips and Greg Toler:
“Yeah, it's interesting. Toler and Phillips… [Quinton] Dunbar had a couple rough plays, quite frankly they weren’t all on Dunbar. He’s done well obviously. Did I say [Kendall] Fuller? We’ve got an exciting group back there. Toler has really shown up in a big way. He really has. We signed him because of his coverage skills. Indianapolis, Greg Manusky had him as the defensive coordinator there and had a lot of great things to say about him. We’re glad we have him. He adds depth to the cornerback room, and great, tight man-to-man coverage skills. At the end of the day, if you can play tight, good man-to-man coverage, it gives your defensive line time to get home against the quarterback, and good things will happen. He’s proven to be a very good pickup for us, him and Phillips, and Phillips is learning. He was practice squad a lot last year. We activated him, did some things on special teams, but now he feels really comfortable playing nickel. He’s competing with Fuller, and whichever one steps up and earns that right, we have two very good nickels.”
* The BB take: Something majorly must occur within this group or elsewhere on the roster for all six not to make the Week 1 roster. How Quinton Dunbarresponds have some struggles against the Falcons is something to watch. As good as he was last season, Dunbar is still just a year removed from playing wide receiver. Also, don't forget GM Scot McCloughan said on draft day he thinks Kendall Fuller would help more in 2016 than any other of their picks.
On if he has an update on WR Josh Doctson:
“Nope, I’ve got nothing for you. Same as yesterday. No update.”
The BB take: Actually, there was an outside update earlier in the day, though essentially a status quo version.
On the pros and cons of offensive coordinator Sean McVay being in the booth:
“The pros are he can kind of spread out, get comfortable and have his worksheets in front of him, really think about the next series. There’s a lot to that. He can see better – the coverage and all that stuff – upstairs. The cons are he doesn’t get to talk to Kirk [Cousins] in person, in between series, settle the offense down if they need it, talk to me without the headsets if there’s some things we need to talk about. So, I think the negative will probably outweigh the positives as far as he’s concerned. I don’t care either way. I think it went pretty smooth in the game against Atlanta. But I think he feels strongly about the ability to talk to Kirk and go over the plays next to him as opposed to on the telephone. It’s just… whatever you prefer.”
The BB take: Gruden and crew are still sorting this out. That's what preseason is for, of course. Yet, when he says "the negative will probably outweigh the positives" of McVay being in the booth leads us to think he won't when the games turn real.
On DE Ricky Jean Francois providing free ice cream to children at camp today:
“He is that type of guy. That’s an awesome thing – I hope he doesn’t give the leftovers to [Chris] Baker [laughter]. He’s a heck of a guy, man. It just shows you what type of person he is. He’s got a great personality out here. We’re lucky to have him, man. He brings a lot of energy to practice and he obviously brings a lot of energy to the fans and kids. That’s a heck of a deal for him.”
The BB take: RJF is cool to the point that perhaps he's earned a new nickname: Ricky Ice. After the Washington's defense shut down Atlanta's starters, Matt Ryan shouldn't take issue.
* The Redskins will practice early Monday AM in Richmond, resume Wednesday in Ashburn and then host the New York Jets Friday.
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