RICHMOND, Va. (AP) The Washington Redskins returned to practice Wednesday after a day off, getting one more workout in before the Houston Texans arrive Thursday to begin three days of joint practices.
It's the second year in a row the Redskins will help break up the monotony of training camp by lining up against another team. Last season, the New England Patriots spent three days at Washington's facility before the teams met in a preseason game. The Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl.
''Going against that good of a talent really helps us try and see how far we need to go and how far we've come from OTAs,'' said linebacker Kennan Robinson, the Redskins' leading tackler last season.
Defensive lineman Chris Baker said it was beneficial to see how prepared the Patriots were for every play and how they always worked at full speed, and that the Redskins have tried to bring the same intensity.
The key to the joint drills, however, is what they will find out about the players on their own team.
''You get tired of beating up on each other. To have another team coming in, you can see how good you are or how bad you are. It will be great for the coaches to see who can play and who can't play,'' Baker said.
The Redskins and Texans met in the regular-season opener last year, with the Texans claiming a 17-6 victory. That will give both teams a familiarity with what the other tries to do, Robinson said.
The Redskins have been using mornings for their walk-through and afternoons for practice, but will switch that up for the Texans' visit. Coach Jay Gruden is eager to see how his team measures up against different competition.
''That's the No. 1 objective,'' Gruden said Wednesday. ''A, continue to implement our system and learn what we're doing but B, see how our players react to the competition and try to get a better gauge on our best 53, our depth chart moving forward. ''There's no final judgments to be made out of these three practices but we will learn a lot about our guys and how far we have to go to be ready for Miami'' in the season opener.
The Redskins are in the process of rebuilding their offensive line, and Gruden said the presence of J.J. Watt, perhaps the NFL's premier pass rusher, on the Texans defensive front will be of particular interest to the coaches.
''I want to see who is going to line up first against him in one-on-ones,'' Gruden said. ''It's going to be a fun one, but any time you go against another professional football team, they're going to have good players, obviously, and the Texans are no different. It's going to be a great challenge for any young offensive line.''
Seeing defenders in different uniforms will be especially nice for tight end Jordan Reed, he said, because ''the DBs on our team, they kind of get used to your routes after a while so it's kind of harder to win, but when you're going against fresh guys, you can work on your moves a little bit better.''
NOTES: The Redskins signed veteran cornerback Bryan McCann and rookie cornerback DreQuan Hoskey of Virginia. They waived injured cornerback Tevin Mitchel and safety Phillip Thomas. ... Note tackle Terrance Knighton missed practice because of illness, and safety Jeron Johnson suffered a pulled hamstring.
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