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The Fan Appreciation Day workout Saturday was one of the most competitive of camp.
Washington Redskins quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur (left) talks with Rex Grossman (8) at training camp in Richmond on Friday.
Redskins quarterbacks Kirk Cousins (left) and Robert Griffin III have each looked sharp in preseason workouts.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
It wasn't quite a game-winning drive against the Philadelphia Eagles, but Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins and the rest of the offense got a chance to show off Saturday afternoon in front of an NFL-sized crowd.
The team's Fan Appreciation Day workout featured some of the most competitive situations thus far in camp, including numerous two-minute drills and other situations invented by coach Mike Shanahan.
Cousins was easily the most effective of the quarterbacking bunch, leading the group of first teamers while starter Robert Griffin III watched and cheered from behind the play.
Later, the defense had its turn making highlight plays with linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Bryan Kehl each stopping a run for a big loss.
"You don't want to lose," Kerrigan said of the controlled scrimmages. "That's not a good feeling, so you treat it just like a game. I think it was pretty evenly split, and that's not good enough. We want to have the advantage."
Griffin got his opportunity to shine earlier in practice. He went 13-for-17 in a 7-on-7 situation, the same as he did Friday.
Shanahan said Griffin had a good week of workouts with no setbacks, and that the team's plan for easing him back from knee surgery extends through Tuesday. He then will be re-evaluated during the three-day training camp break for Thursday night's preseason game.
That has left Cousins to handle the first-team work. His first timed scenario on Saturday was to lead the team to a touchdown with two timeouts and 1:15 on the clock.
With 6 seconds left, the Redskins' starters had advanced the ball to the 14-yard line. Cousins found tight end Logan Paulsen in the middle of the end zone for the winning score, to cheers from teammates.
Quarterback Pat White also tried his hand at the drill, but managed only a three-and-out.
The drills also were an opportunity to practice in front of an NFL officiating crew, which has been in town the last four days for some training of its own.
The offense was dinged for a false start. Defensive lineman Phillip Merling was twice called for offsides. After the first one, he got his revenge by picking up running back Roy Helu Jr. on a designed run, then setting Helu down - tackling is still off limits.
"We're just getting a feel for the pace," linebacker Brian Orakpo said. "That's why you don't see coaches screaming at guys. It's really more for [timing]. We want to do a good job getting up the field quickly, too."
The defense was bested twice more by Cousins and the first team before the day ended.
During a red zone drill, Cousins found Santana Moss in the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown pass.
That was followed by an untimed segment of hurry-up offense, where Cousins had to lead the team to the end zone from his own 30.
He opened with a bootleg pattern to Pierre Garcon for a 21-yard gain, then connected with Garcon for 20 yards later in the drive.
Alfred Morris had a handful of runs, but the touchdown went to tight end Niles Paul, who caught a 10-yard pass in the end zone on a third-and-1 situation.
The offense's success was in contrast to the past couple of days of practice.
Training camp can be a double-edged sword, as one side's success is another's downfall, but through nine workouts, both sides have been mostly evenly matched.
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