Tidbits from Redskins training camp in Richmond

RICHMOND – Triangle NFL fans, even if not Redskins fans, can easily get to Richmond to watch training camp through Aug. 11. Fan Appreciation Day is Saturday, Aug. 3. It’s about two and a half hours to Richmond from the Triangle. If you want to see the Panthers’ training camp, you’ll have to drive an extra hour to get to Spartanburg, S.C. The Redskins’ camp has been a huge success, team president Bruce Allen told me, because there have been no injuries. The only real downer has been the absence of Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams, who is mad […]

RICHMOND – Triangle NFL fans, even if not Redskins fans, can easily get to Richmond to watch training camp through Aug. 11.

Fan Appreciation Day is Saturday, Aug. 3. It’s about two and a half hours to Richmond from the Triangle. If you want to see the Panthers’ training camp, you’ll have to drive an extra hour to get to Spartanburg, S.C.

The Redskins’ camp has been a huge success, team president Bruce Allen told me, because there have been no injuries.

The only real downer has been the absence of Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams, who is mad at the medical staff for what he believes was a botched treatment for a cancerous lesion on his head. Skins’ lineman Morgan Moses thinks Williams will come back.

With the release of linebacker Mason Foster, it appears the Redskins are happy with the young linebackers including Cole Holcomb, drafted out of UNC. He looked good at practice this past weekend.

The top rookie at camp has been Terry McLaurin, the receiver out of Ohio State. He has faked out Josh Norman and Troy Apke for easy touchdowns at practice.

Those TD throws didn’t come from former teammate Dwayne Haskins, who is clearly third in the race for the starting spot. It looked like the Redskins are serious about the possibility of Haskins starting – at least at some point this season. Head coach Jay Gruden spent a good bit of time with the second team, coaching up Haskins over the weekend.

Long-time QB backup Colt McCoy looks the most comfortable but Case Keenum is taking a lot of first-team snaps and is likely to start the season. McCoy, a super sub, hasn’t done that well when starting so the Redskins will most likely want to keep him as a super sub.

The Redskins won’t make the same mistake of having only two QBs on the roster. If Alex Smith were even halfway healthy, he would be one of the three. Under contract and recovering from a devastating leg injury that some thought would (or will) end his career, Smith is not giving up on his career and Bruce Allen is not giving up on Smith.

Allen told me that Smith is looking good and he believes he can come back from the injury. Allen also loves Smith’s character and told me a couple of stories from KC coach Andy Reid, who spoke highly of Smith as a mentor, a player and a person. I didn’t ask if I could share those stories.

Tight end Matt Flanagan looked impressive over the weekend.The Redskins are three-deep at tight end though (Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Jeremy Sprinkle if they stay healthy) and Samaje Perine has looked sharp at running back. The Redskins will probably not keep them both.
No inside information, just a prediction about the number of non-linemen that the team will keep.

I can’t imagine cutting Adrian Peterson but Derrius Guice will cut into his playing time. Chris Thompson is safe as the receiving back. Coaches still like Byron Marshall so he possibly could stay. But I’d bet on Perine between the two. The Skins picked up former Duke RB Shaun Wilson last week but he’s unlikely to stick.

The defense is expected to be better this year especially with the addition of DB Landon Collins. But I was surprised at how well the first team offense did against the first team defense. One would think the defense would be ahead of the offense. Hopefully for the Skins, that shows how good the offense will be and not how bad the defense will be.

If you do go to a Redskins practice, you’ll likely get an autograph from Dwayne Haskins, who twice I’ve seen stay and sign autographs for as long as there are people asking.