RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC) — The pads came on for the first time at training camp on Saturday, and the Redskins were ready.
Linebacker Brian Orakpo and offensive tackle Trent Williams squared off a few times in one-on-one drills. There was some dispute about which player got the better of the matchups, though Williams won the final battle decisively. It’s all part of the progression toward the regular season.
“There’s not no more tagging off and stuff of that nature. It’s real football with guys popping each other,” Orakpo said. “Not tackling, but wrapping the ball carriers up. It feels good. Get the helmets cracking a little bit, the shoulder pads cracking to where we can get a feel of playing the game.”
How long the Redskins will stay in pads will be a day-to-day decision, according to coach Jay Gruden. That will depend, in part, on the health of his team and how much work the coaches feel is getting done during the morning practice and afternoon walk-through. For now, the plan is to don pads again on Sunday and Monday and then give the players a day off for the first time on Tuesday.
It’s all part of a philosophy that Gruden hopes will foster better competition.
“We can’t do that if we are just muddling around playing buddy football,” Gruden said.
That means getting his players going at full speed to give them the best looks against offensive and defensive schemes.
“We’re maybe a little bit more physical this year. We’re going to be in full pads more often,” nose tackle Barry Cofield said. “It’s just a mindset thing, a mind-state of the coach, what he prefers. So, maybe just putting on the pads everyday will instill a little bit more physicality into the practices. I feel like there’s a lot of competition.”
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