ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor offers Kirk Cousins something the quarerback hasn’t had in the past: a big receiver who can run fast. That can lead to an adjustment period, something Pryor said is taking place.
During the practice open to the media last week, there were a couple of times Pryor had separated a little down the field and the pass was slightly underthrown, leading to a breakup. But that’s what the spring is about: adapting to new players or schemes.
Last season, Cousins was throwing downfield to 5-foot-10 DeSean Jackson. Now it’s the 6-foot-4 Pryor. Jackson once ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds; Pryor once ran it in 4.38 seconds.
“I’m bigger and my body movement is different than guys he’s played with,” Pryor said. “So the movement and how I run, it’s deceptive. It doesn’t look like I’m really flying, but I’m flying. Different things like that he has to feel out, and he will. I have to keep getting better with the offense and the nuance of the routes, and I will.”
Cousins and Pryor started working together in Florida two months ago, but the OTAs enable them to find a rhythm against defenders. Their progress, of course, will be monitored now and throughout the summer.
“I feel good about the raw ability that they have,” Cousins said of Pryor and fellow receiver Josh Doctson, “and now it’s just a matter of getting to understand one another and getting to learn the offense as well as we can so that we can execute at a high level and there is no drop-off. If anything, we take another step forward as an offense.”
Here are four other areas I’ll be paying attention to during Wednesday’s practice open to the media:
Rotations: When we watched last week, first-round pick Jonathan Allen was working as the No. 3 defensive end. Obviously that won’t continue for too long, but when will it change? Last week, Joey Mbu worked with the starting line as the nose tackle. Until the pads go on, it’ll be hard to fully gauge anyone’s effectiveness, but will this continue? The same is true at linebacker, especially on the inside. Last week, Will Compton and Mason Foster took most, if not all, of the work with the first unit in the base defense, with Zach Brown entering in nickel situations. This will be an interesting position throughout the summer.
Josh Doctson: He stood out last week, but I also want to see more of him against press coverage. There was one snap in which Quinton Dunbar jammed Doctson last week and it was highly effective. What did that mean? One snap doesn’t reveal enough, of course. It was simply information to file away for future observation, just to see how he fares. For Doctson to be a big-time receiving threat, he’ll have to consistently beat press coverage. And one strength of Washington’s receivers in the past was the ability to quickly win against that coverage. I’m not saying Doctson won’t do so, but just that it’s important to his development.
Junior Galette: He was not expected to work last week, yet he was on the field. He should not be fully himself at this point — not in terms of health, but rather in his game. So it’s just about monitoring progress, and even that will be tough until we see live one-on-one situations this summer against the offensive line — and tackle Trent Williams in particular. But the more Galette works on the field now, the better off he’ll be later.
Progress: The spring practices allow players to work into football shape or try to fine-tune aspects of their game. Corner Josh Norman said he’s working more on off-man coverage than he usually would, anticipating more of that look for him this season. Will other corners be doing the same? The rookies’ progress clearly matters, but so does that of Su’a Cravens at safety. It might be his natural spot and one he excelled at as a freshman in college, but it will still take time and work.