After a Sunday practice, we introduce another weekly feature to this blog. It’s the first edition of “Three Things.”
The concept of three things is simple. It’s three things I’m looking for during the week. They could be something I want to see. It could be a storyline that I want to see play out. It’s essentially where my attention will be. I’m thinking this will be a Wednesday column as we start the week of practice on the regular season schedule. This week’s schedule had practice today in front of the fans and then it resumes Tuesday. Without further ado, this week’s three things:
1) Hello, Robert!
Robert Griffin made an unexpected appearance today. We expected him to be on the side throwing. Instead he was a full participant in practice in his yellow, non-contact QB jersey. Jay Gruden specified after practice that he’s been cleared for non-contact drills, but not yet for the game. He must see a neurosurgeon first.
The most interesting thing Gruden said about Griffin though, were his plans for him on Thursday. While many questioned the decision to play him the fateful fourth and final series, Gruden said he would’ve put RGIII and the first team out there again if Griffin wasn’t hurt! I followed up to make sure I heard him correctly, and he said “yeah, probably.”
That tells you how desperately the coaching staff thinks Griffin needs the work. Griffin was up and down today. He had a couple of nice runs, including a score. There was also a play where he eluded pressure as a deep breaking route developed. He stood in the pocket, stepped up, anticipated the throw and promptly lead Pierre Garcon by a few too many feet for an incompletion. We’d all be shocked if he doesn’t get cleared. He must simply be sharper and then take that to Baltimore for the dressed rehearsal Saturday (7:30 kickoff, 3:30 pregame on ESPN 980).
2) Here they come!!!
The reinforcements are coming and there are more of them than we thought. Jay Gruden said Desean Jackson and Jordan Reed were close to coming back. Jackson even went through individual drills today. Jamison Crowder was back. Trent Williams was back. Ryan Kerrigan was in the mix on the other side of the ball, as was corner Bashaud Breeland. Gruden seemed shocked at Breeland’s recovery but he was able to do some work today. Remember, his target for a miraculous comeback is week 2, as he’s suspended for the opener.
Look at all the names I just mentioned. That’s a whole lot of talent. The Redskins haven’t been overly impressive with their top units on either side of the ball so far this preseason, but not having your top players isn’t an excuse for that. It’s a reason. Trent Williams and Desean Jackson might be the two most important offensive players on the roster.
This week we’ll see how they perform and if they can continue progressing towards 100%. Everybody playing Saturday is imperative to any chance of success early in the season. Even with “injuries are part of the game” being understood, the Redskins are really behind. This week is enormous.
3) Don’t forget Galette
Redskins fans can’t wait to see Junior Galette on the field. The practice reports have been outstanding and I could definitely see the explosion the little bit I was honed in on him today. With that said, we’re also waiting to hear on a suspension from the NFL and you’d have to think that’s coming soon. There’s no guarantee he’ll miss time following a domestic violence incident that surfaced, but we haven’t heard he won’t be yet either. Something to keep in the back of your head as to not be surprised. This is purely me speculating that it could come this week by looking at a calendar, not from any sources or information. It’s simply getting to now or never time and I wouldn’t be surprised at either.