Redskins Roundup: Peeking into the secondary & the future

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Updated: August 7, 2013
Rambo & DBs

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The Redskins will hold a closed practice walk-through this morning and then head to Nashville, Tennessee for tomorrow night’s game against the Titans. Starters are expected to go 12-15 plays in the first preseason game.

RB Coach Bobby Turner ran the practice yesterday because Head Coach Mike Shanahan was attending the funeral of a close friend. Turner read a brief statement after practice, but took no questions. The players worked in shells yesterday, not pads, so there was no real hitting and it is rather difficult to draw a lot of conclusions from it. Obviously, though, the team is trying to save the players ahead of the first preseason game.

Rookie TE Jordan Reed [bruised foot], FB Eric Kettani [knee], G Josh LiRibeus [hyperextended knee] and G/T Maurice Hurt [knee] all sat out Tuesday’s practice.

Don’t be surprised if rookie defensive backs David Amerson [2nd round], Phillip Thomas [4th round] and Baccari Rambo [6th round] all start against the Titans on Thursday. Starters are supposed to go only for 12-15 plays, but since these three are not starters in the traditional sense — Amerson and Thomas would be replacing the ailing DeAngelo Hall and Brandon Meriweather and Rambo is still a rookie trying to learn the pro game — they might play longer than the rest of the players in the starting lineup. Obviously, the more work the rookies get, the better.

Secondary Coach Raheem Morris is constantly yelling at his players — and trying to get them to yell at each other. It’s all about communication and how the rookies, especially, can become better players and help each other improve.

LT Trent Williams is playing with a cast on his hand after severely spraining his wrist and I find it hard to imagine he will play much, if at all, on Thursday night.

Kickoffs in yesterday’s practice were handled by TE Niles Paul, rookies Skye Dawson and Nick Williams and RB Evan Royster. Paul is the incumbent and favorite to keep the job.

WR Aldrick Robinson is impressing people at training camp and, therefore, getting more reps.

QB Robert Griffin III didn’t do any seven-on-seven drills yesterday, focusing instead on read option fakes and play-action passes. Those drills test his ability to pivot his knee and whole body. He also impressed some people by running wind sprints after practice.

Speaking of quarterbacks, don’t be surprised if Kirk Cousins, still the starter, gets a lot more work than usual this preseason. With RG3 out until September 9, Cousins will shoulder the preseason load for both of them.

RB Alfred Morris says there is no way he will be a one-year wonder. The thought never crossed my mind, Alfred.

Roy Helu‘s pass-blocking has improved this summer, strengthening his case to be the third down back once the season begins.

OL Tom Compton has been backing up Trent Williams at left tackle, but he slid inside to left guard when Josh LiRibeus hyperextended his knee in practice. A 6th round pick out of South Dakota in 2012, Compton started the final preseason game in 2012 and was called up from the practice squad late in the year. Head Coach Mike Shanahan says Compton, who can play either tackle position, has “a big-time future for us” and his versatility along the line is valuable to the team. Expect him to make the active 53-man roster this year.

The Post has a profile of DL Kedric Golston, the do-anything guy the Skins just can’t seem to live without:

The re-signing of Golston was the last piece in retaining the entire defensive line rotation from 2012, and last year he showed the durability that had been missing the past two seasons. Golston has started in 43 career games in seven previous seasons for the Redskins, recording 117 tackles and seven sacks. Overall, he has played in 98, all with Washington. A sixth-round pick out of Georgia in 2006, he has spanned three eras, so to speak — Joe Gibbs, Jim Zorn and now Mike Shanahan — which naturally demands respect from his teammates.

“He brings a sort of a blue-collar type of mentality,” defensive end Brian Orakpo said. “He’s a guy that has been through so many changes, a guy who’s weathered the storm, a guy who works hard each and every day to make the coaches notice him. It’s really rare to see a guy last that long, coming from where he’s came from.”

Remember WR Devin Thomas, the first of those three 2008 second round draft picks? He did nothing with the Redskins and he hasn’t done much with the New York Giants or Carolina Panthers either. And yesterday, the Detroit Lions cut him. Seems a bit early to be cutting players, but I guess Thomas really did not impress. He’s been doing that for a while now.