Redskins begin OTAs

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Redskins begin OTAs

Postby 1niksder » Mon May 20, 2013 12:43 pm

Redskins begin OTAs on Monday with familiar faces

For the next three weeks, players will go through full-squad, non-contact practices. This week’s sessions take place on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. The team will practice May 28-30 and June 3-6, and then hold its mandatory full-squad minicamp July 10-12. Thursday’s sessions during OTAs are open to reporters.

After going through the team’s conditioning program, which began on April 15, the players look forward to increasing the level of activity this week.
“We’re going against the defense now, and those guys will be doing the things they usually do, so I’m really excited,” said fullback Eric Kettani, who spent last season on the practice squad and hopes to make the 53-man roster this season.

The Redskins return 21 out of 22 starters on offense and defense and believe that continuity will benefit them as they work to follow up last season’s 10-6 campaign, which included winning the NFC East division and reaching the playoffs, with another strong showing.

“Everyone’s optimistic and has confidence from last year, but we know each year’s a different year, and each team in the division is changing around,” center Will Montgomery said. “They’ve had changes, we’ve had a few changes. Last season doesn’t mean we’re going to have a good year this year. We have to go back to the grind and work for each victory.”
Washington returns all five starting linemen from an offense that ranked fifth in the league, and on defense the team looks to get a boost from the healthy returns of top pass rusher Brian Orakpo, who is expected to be a full participant during OTAs.

The special teams units will feature some changes, as coordinator Danny Smith has departed for the same position with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander signed with Arizona in free agency.

Former Denver Bronco Keith Burns takes over that unit now, and players this week will get a chance to learn more about his philosophies and strategies.

“We’ve gotten some work together. I like him a lot so far,” place kicker Kai Forbath said of Burns. “He’s got some new game plans, that I can’t talk about, but so far so good.”

Forbath’s top focus of the offseason has been improving kickoffs. He shined in the field goal department, making 17 of 18 attempts last season, including a long of 50 yards. But Forbath, who didn’t handle kickoff duties at UCLA, struggled with consistency in that area and recorded only 15 touchbacks in 62 kickoffs. He aims to change that this season.

“That was obviously an issue I wished I could’ve improved upon last year. … I’m working hard on that,” Forbath said. “It’s technique. It’s not a power thing, it’s making the same contact every time. … You’re coming full-speed at the ball, and you’re trying to make solid contact. Sometimes you get out of control and lose balance. I always liken kicking to golf, which is why I golf so much. It’s about making that same swing every time and getting that contact, and you can improve as you go on.”
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Postby SkinsJock » Mon May 20, 2013 1:28 pm

Praise the Lord - Allelujah :D
It's taken years for the Redskins to become as bad as we are - there is no way that the team is going to be consistently competitive soon, we have too many issues to address - we'll win some games but it will take years to be good again

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Postby 1niksder » Mon May 20, 2013 2:20 pm

Who plays free safety?


Indeed, the next 3½ weeks will be critical for the three draft picks, who, given the secondary's struggles last season, should have a decent chance of earning significant playing time – especially if they get off to a strong start.

After this morning’s session, there are OTA practices scheduled for May 22-23, 28-30 and June 3-6. There’s also a mandatory minicamp from June 11-13.

Although there won’t be any hitting – the players will be wearing shorts and helmets – and the intensity of the drills are limited by the CBA, the rookie DBs will be heavily scrutinized by the coaching staff. Who's been studying the playbook? Who hasn't? Does anyone look overwhelmed?

Based on the current depth chart, it appears as though DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson are left and right corners, respectively, with E.J. Biggers pegged as the nickel.

Is it possible that Amerson will overtake Hall, Wilson or Biggers prior to Week 1? Sure. But given the complexities of the position at the pro level, it would seem more likely that he’ll challenge for an increased role during the season and, in a perfect scenario, be ready for a starting role in 2014. Remember, Hall, Wilson and Biggers are all unrestricted free agents after the season.

The safety position is much more complicated -- and it figures to be the bigger storyline throughout the offseason (and perhaps longer).

If Brandon Meriweather returns on schedule from knee surgery, he figures to be the starter at strong safety. He recently said he expects to be medically cleared in time for the start of training camp on July 25.

But it’s pretty much up in the air after that. Last year’s free safety, Madieu Williams, was the only starter not retained. So there's a vacancy that must be filled.

Shanahan has said he likes that Thomas and Rambo can play both strong and free. In rookie minicamp, though, Rambo said he played almost exclusively at free, while Thomas lined up at strong. Could that change? Perhaps. The next few weeks could make decisions such as that one much easier for defensive backs coach Raheem Morris.

And don’t forget about versatile veteran Reed Doughty. Doughty, DeJon Gomes, Jordan Pugh and Jordan Bernstine will also be in the mix.

Right now, there seem to be several possible outcomes at safety. But after next month’s minicamp, the coaching staff should have a much clearer sense of the situation entering camp.

Best-case scenario: The Redskins are able to lean on veteran cornerbacks Hall, Wilson and Biggers, giving Amerson a season to get acclimated at his own pace.

Worst-case scenario: Meriweather’s knee does not allow him to start the season on time and either Thomas and/or Rambo are rushed into the lineup before they’re ready.

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Postby 1niksder » Mon May 20, 2013 2:27 pm

Bruce Allen excited about start of OTAs...


Players will be permitted to be on the field with their coaches, running plays against the opposing unit, but all action is non-contact.

This differs from the previous weeks, where the players went through conditioning drills and team drills, but without helmets and not against the offense or defense.

So now things ramp up a bit.

“They certainly do. It’s football season now!” Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said on Friday just before teeing off at the annual Mickey Steele Celebrity golf tournament hosted by former quarterback Mark Rypien in Queenstown, Md.


Allen said he was happy with how the team’s draft picks did earlier this month at the rookie minicamp, and that he looks forward to seeing them continue to learn as they join their veteran teammates on the field.

“Now we get to blend them in with the rest of the guys,” Allen said.
The Redskins have had strong attendance during the voluntary offseason conditioning program, and the mind-set observed in those players encourages Allen.

“We have strong camaraderie and focus in our locker room,” Allen said.

“The core of our team is young, and the focus is getting that core better.”
Quarterback Robert Griffin III will continue to work with the trainers during OTAs, and not with his practicing teammates as he rehabs from the reconstruction of his right knee.

Various glowing reports of his progress have been provided here and there, but the stages of Griffin’s recovery have been kept under wraps for the most part. On Friday, when asked for the latest update on Griffin, Allen said, “We’re not really thinking about that until July. He’s doing well with the trainers. … Until he takes a physical, he’ll continue to work with them.”
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Postby HTTRRG3ALMO » Mon May 20, 2013 6:51 pm

Forbath getting better at kick offs is awesome news!!

Once (not if) he nails this down, he'll be a perfect kicker...hope he's here for a very long time.

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