RICHMOND — The three days of joint practices between New England and Washington were a success, according to those who were on the fields.
The teams wrapped up their work together Wednesday morning with a half-speed workout that saw heavy doses of backups — the players who are most likely to play the most in Thursday night’s exhibition game.
First-year Washington coach Jay Gruden is in favor of doing more in the future.
“I wouldn’t mind doing it again, it just depends on the situation,” said Gruden. “Obviously I’d like to keep it here; I wouldn’t really want to travel, but if we had to, we had to.
“But we’ll look at it again, [general manager] Bruce [Allen] and I and the coaching staff, and see how it fits logistically.
“But I thought it was a great experience. It exposed some things we really have to work on as a staff and it exposed some things that we have to work on as players. Overall we competed really well. I’m excited the way we came off the ball and competed in all the drills, but moving forward we know we have a long way to go but we’re not as far as we think.”
Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo said, “I think it’s been good. It breaks up the monotony of camp but also working against a different group of guys, a different scheme, it’s been good for us. It’s fun. It’s always good to compete.”
Patriots receiver Danny Amendola, who was a frequent target of Tom Brady’s over the first two days of practices, said of the combined workouts, “I like it. It gives you a chance to go against some other guys.
“Very talented group they’ve got here in Washington, so it’s about getting good work in, and that’s what we got.”
“I was a little nervous at first,” said Washington fullback Darrel Young, “because you hear rumors about guys getting hurt all the time because you’re going against teams, it’s going to be competitive. But I kind of liked it, I enjoyed it. It’s something different, see where you are.
“It’s kind of like a game-like atmosphere, so I just went out there and had some fun. I think we got better as a team.”
Gruden said his starters will play about 8-10 snaps in Thursday night’s game. Bill Belichick did not talk to reporters Wednesday, but in recent years, Brady has played around 15-20 snaps in the preseason opener.
Patriots rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has had his share of struggles in camp, and it was no different against Washington.
With him likely to come into the game after Ryan Mallett, he knows he has to make the most of the snaps he gets.
“It’s the thing that we’ve been working towards and you get a couple of them, and you have to take advantage of your opportunities,” said Garoppolo. “I’m trying to go out there and perform my best tomorrow and see what happens.”
On Tuesday, Belichick spoke of Brady’s leadership, and how it was evident even during Brady’s rookie season that he was a strong leader, in charge of his fellow rookies and the scout-team players he worked with.
Garoppolo, similarly, has been leading his fellow rookies.
“It’s the nature of the beast,” he said. “That’s how all quarterbacks are, at least the successful ones, so it’s something that just comes natural. You can’t really force it, and if you don’t have that trait, it’s hard to bring out.
“It’s something that’s always come natural to me, so I think I’ve been doing an all right job with that.”
Washington receiver DeSean Jackson left the field with his left ankle wrapped in ice. Gruden said Jackson had been cleated and rolled his ankle a bit, though it wasn’t serious. Jackson is questionable for Thursday night. Fellow receiver Pierre Garcon (hamstring) will not play . . . The Patriots had just three healthy tight ends Wednesday, as D.J. Williams sat out the session. Williams has had some good days in training camp, but was rolled up on during Tuesday’s practice. James Develin and rookies Justin Jones and Asa Watson will likely be the only tight ends in uniform Thursday . . . Defensive tackle Sealver Siliga was added to the list of non-practicing Patriots. He left the field Tuesday holding his left hand, and returned to the sideline with it in a cast. A league source told the Globe the outlook for Siliga is “not good.”