Monday's practice was noticeable quieter on Monday with the dual absences of Asante Samuel and DeSean Jackson. Samuel, who can always be heard chirping at the offense throughout practice, will not be attending this week's voluntary Organized Team Activities for personal reasons. No official reason was given for Jackson's absence.
With Samuel out and Ellis Hobbs still not participating in team drills, the first-team defense featured Joselio Hanson at right cornerback and Dimitri Patterson at left cornerback. When the first team switched to nickel, Hanson moved inside and the outside cornerbacks were Macho Harris on the right and Geoffrey Pope on the left. Joe Mays took most of the first-team reps at middle linebacker in the base defense in between Ernie Sims and Moise Fokou, and Sims paired with Akeem Jordan in the nickel.
The focus of today's practice was the Washington Redskins, as the offensive and defensive scout teams simulated the looks the coaching staff expects to see from the Redskins this season. On defense, four players donned red jerseys to designate the player they were playing the role of. Defensive tackle Jeff Owens played the role of Albert Haynesworth, Alex Hall was Brian Orakpo, linebacker Keenan Clayton was London Fletcher and Devin Ross was Laron Landry.
"They had me as Albert Haynesworth rushing the passer out of the 3-4, so I was just trying to mix things up a little bit," said Owens, who added that this was the first he's ever practiced with the scout team in his life. "I was rushing outside on the tackles which is something I don't usually do. I do whatever it takes to help this team win.
"Albert Haynesworth is a big name guy, one of the best in the game, so I just want to try to just give the offense a look and no matter what number I'm wearing I'm going to go my hardest to try and make this team."
- One of the drills that new special teams coach Bobby April has implemented is two teams of field goal units practicing at the same time. One group will be attempting a short field goal while the other unit does the same from about 20 yards behind. Today, there was some added intrigue as Ken Parrish was holding for David Akers while Sav Rocca was kicking field goals with the second unit. Rocca shanked his first attempt way left, but got on track after that, though he's no Akers. And in case you were wondering, Jason Avant is the second-team holder and Mike McGlynn has been working as the backup long snapper.
- The offense went through a bout of drops on Monday as Martin Rucker, Brent Celek, Jeremy Maclin, Kevin Jurovich and Riley Cooper each had balls hit their hands and fall to the ground.
- With Jackson out, Avant, Hank Baskett and Riley Cooper each got time with the first team at wide receiver opposite Maclin.
- Omar Gaither continues to progress in his return from last season's Lis Franc injury. Gaither did more work during team drills today than he did all last week, though he did not participate in the seven-on-seven drills.
- The team ended practice working on kickoffs and rotated six returners: Ellis Hobbs, Quintin Demps, Harris, Maclin, Chad Hall and Devin Ross. Joining Hobbs on the first-team return unit were Eldra Buckley, Avant, Baskett, Mays, Fokou, Antonio Dixon, Leonard Weaver, Trevor Laws and Mike Bell.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 2:54 p.m., June 7