Redskins Football

Washington Redskins quarterbacks Josh Woodrum, left, and Dwayne Haskins Jr. pass during the NFL football team's minicamp at Redskins Park in Ashburn, on Tuesday.

ASHBURN - The good news for Redskins fans: Tuesday's minicamp, the first of the week's mandatory sessions, featured lots of deep passing, something fans have been clamoring for.

The better news: New offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell said he's committed to stretching the field this season.

The bad news: It wasn't very effective, at least on Tuesday.

A big portion of that was a patchwork offensive line going against the team's elite defensive starters, which resulted in rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins getting a day-long lesson in how to take a sack.

When the quarterbacks did get their long passes off, Case Keenum had more success on the day, though Haskins, as he has for the past month, turned heads with the zip he puts on the ball.

Haskins' accuracy wasn't as good as the coaches would have hoped for, but there's clearly high upside there, and the potential for the kind of big plays the Redskins have been lacking.

It also helped that receivers Terry McLaurin and Paul Richardson Jr. were in uniform. The two will provide the field-stretching threats that Washington desperately needs.

That is, of course, when there's enough time to throw. Jay Gruden's desperate plea to the defense midway through Tuesday's session: "Stay off the quarterback!"

It didn't work.

Other minicamp observations:

--The day ended with a 2-minute drill, and Keenum's group had the best play of the day - a 50-yard bomb from Keenum to second-year Alabama receiver Cam Sims, who hauled it in for a touchdown.

--The lone misstep? Sims attempted a layup on the field goal posts to celebrate, but it was on the goalpost that is equipped with a net to catch footballs when the kickers do their drills, and his layup was rejected.

--Haskins also tried to go long in the 2-minute drill. On his first attempt, McLaurin was well covered by Troy Apke, who should have had an interception but instead tipped the ball away. On his second attempt, Haskins overthrew tight end Manasseh Garner.

--Learning moment for the young quarterback: With 20 seconds remaining in the drill and no time outs, Haskins saw all his receivers covered and pulled the ball down to scramble with it. O'Connell was there to provide the counsel - it was the right call in the first quarter, but a game-ending decision in that moment.

--The Montez Sweat bandwagon continues to swell. Quinton Dunbar on the electric rookie outside linebacker: "He reminds me of a young Julius Peppers."

--It's possible nobody is having a worse minicamp than Ereck Flowers. After getting manhandled by Sweat last week, Flowers, playing at the left tackle position, was picked up and moved around like a piece of unwanted furniture throughout Tuesday's drills. Ryan Anderson will look like a Pro Bowler in the film room when the tape is reviewed. The Redskins, hopefully, are coming up with starting five combinations that don't involve counting on Flowers.

--If I were Trent Williams, and I saw what was happening on the practice field, I'd hold out too. He's an essential piece of this year's team.

--At the same time, the Redskins would be crazy to give him an extension. Williams has two years left, and then would have one manageable season on the franchise tag. Paying Trent Williams top dollar now for what he might provide you in 2022? Not a good idea.

--Good practice competition between Josh Norman and receiver Cam Sims. The two got after it on multiple occasions, but in a healthy way.

--Most intriguing thing I saw: Jay Gruden and Josh Norman chatting for the full 10-minute special teams period. Getting those two on the same page will be essential for success this season.

​mphillips@timesdispatch.com    (804) 649-6546     

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