ASHBURN -- With Richmond in the rear view and Friday's preseason game against the New York Jets rapidly approaching, the Washington Redskins returned home and to practice. Here are some notes on what took place.
* Despite another brutally hot day -- shout out to Mother Nature for the occasional breeze, though -- coach Jay Gruden did not cut practice short. The full two-hour session included the regular unit drills, 11-on-11, head-to-head and special teams work. Fair to say this wasn't the sharpest of practices, but as Gruden noted, Washington did little earlier in the week and will only hold a walkthrough Thursday. ""We had a couple days off," Gruden said after practice. "It was a little sloppy out there and had to get it corrected."
* Left tackle Trent Williams (knee) participated in some portions, but watched the 11-on-11 section. Gruden said it was unclear whether the Pro Bowler, who didn't play against Atlanta, would take the field Friday. The head coach revealed next to nothing regarding who would play and how long the starters would go.
* It's always possible to have missed a sequence or two at any point during practice depending on where my head was turned. That said, Spencer Long worked at left guard with the first unit. Shawn Lauvao did not. Gruden said Lauvao is "working himself back into shape, which is understandable considering he missed around 10 months with an ankle injury and underwent several surgeries. That said, the regular season isn't that far away and the ground game simply hasn't been close to potent since that Week 3 injury. The defensive front won the bulk of the battles Wednesday as they have most of camp.
* The only part of the running back battle worth noting is that Robert Kelley worked ahead of Keith Marshall after they order was flipped against Atlanta. Based on what we've seen dating back to OTAs, Kelley has been more impressive. That's not the same as suggesting he's a roster lock. Marshall's 4.31 speed cannot be ignored and he'll get chances against the Jets. Of course, if Kelley looks sharp as he did in the first game and does say against true NFL players...
* If someone is going to make a "wow" catch, good bet it's Jordan Reed. The tight end took a script from the Women's 400 meter Olympic final and went diving in the end zone for a spectacular play. If anyone wants to say Reed has been the best player throughout camp, no argument here. DeSean Jackson also found himself often plenty and Kirk Cousins found him working the sidelines.
* Kedric Golston often lined up with the starters on defense over Stephen Paea. Why that is remains a mystery. Keep Golston on the roster and use him on certain short-yardage packages, cool. Play him base looks, um, that's a problem. Meanwhile Paea was not heavily involved with the main portion of practice. asked Gruden about Paea's role at this point. "That's interesting," is how the coach began his response, which by itself is interesting. Gruden then went on to generally name a bunch of other lineman before circling back to Paea, saying the second-year Redskin is "much improved this year I've noticed as opposed to last year. We're looking for some pass rush on the interior of our defensive line and hopefully Stephen (and others) can provide that.
My spidey sense tells me Gruden wants Paea to take one of the main DT slots when the Redskins are in a 4-3. Other than Baker, there is nobody there that's a must-use player. However, Paea didn't wow anyone last year before his injury. I won't guy so far as to say he's a veteran on the roster borderline like Perry Riley and Logan Paulsen, but he's in the suburbs of that area.
* Speaking of receivers, Josh Doctson (Achilles) wore a long-sleeve gray t-shirt, athletic pants and carried a football around. He also did some work on the side, enough to have Gruden sounding pleased, but not enough for the coach to offer a timeline. "No expectations," was Gruden's line.null