The Washington Redskins held an hour long special teams’ only practice today, while a lot of the veterans had the day off and the big guys were doing some conditioning work off to the side.
With the focus on special teams, I was able to get a good look at kicker Dustin Hopkins and his leg strength. While practicing his field-goal kicking, making 9 out of 10 attempts, Hopkins drilled a 63 yard field goal that ignited a cheer from his teammates. Who knew watching a kicker could be so exciting.
With the new 25-yard line touchback rule in affect this season, today’s practice provided strategy on how the Redskins will handle kickoffs as well.
“You know, we’re going to try some of the pooch stuff and try to pin them back. You know, we don’t want to just succumb to the 25-yard line,” Head Coach Jay Gruden said.
Also today, wide receiver Rashad Ross and running back Chris Thompson worked on fielding kickoffs and punts, alongside second year receiver Jamison Crowder and safety Will Blackmon. It looks like Crowder will be the main guy returning punts and the coaching staff wants to find better ways to utilize Crowder’s punt returning ability this season.
“We’ve got to give Crowder some better looks; that’s our No. 1 goal. He’s too of a punt returner to average—I think it was three-point whatever yards per return—so I think that’s something we’re really working hard on,” Gruden said.
In non-special teams related news, rookie wide receiver Josh Doctson was seen in a walking boot during practice, but nothing Redskins’ fans should be worried about.
“Really, they’re trying to work him [Doctson] hard one day and then let him rest the next day and keeping him in the boot is the best option we feel like right now,” Gruden said.
Other News and Notes from Training Camp:
- Nose tackle Jerrell Powe is having a heart arrhythmia procedure done and will miss about 7-10 days
- Linebacker Trent Murphy was back on the practice field after missing yesterday’s practice with strep throat