RICHMOND – School is not exactly out for summer.
The Redskins broke training camp in Richmond on Tuesday with a light morning practice. That alone was cause for excitement among players, coaches, staff and reporters after three weeks spent in Virginia’s capital city.
But their work goes on when the team returns to Ashburn to continue its preseason preparations for the Sept. 7 opener against the Houston Texans. Wednesday is an off day followed by three practices in a row. Washington faces Cleveland next Monday night in its second preseason game. The basic structure won’t change much, however, according to coach Jay Gruden, even if training camp itself is done for another year.
“Times of meetings might change, no more night meetings probably,” Gruden said. “But as far as practice and the grind of studying football and practicing football, it’ll be the same.”
Washington practiced 16 days since players reported to camp in Richmond on July 23 and began two-a-day practices on July 24. There were sporadic off days to rest, three days of joint practices with the New England Patriots and a preseason game back home in Landover, Md.
“Training camp’s a grind. That’s what it’s supposed to be,” Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. “We started to build that team chemistry, that team bonding. But I feel like we accomplished it…We’ve still got a long way to go, though.”
Players couldn’t complain about the weather. There were multiple days spent practicing in the rain, but other than a canceled walk through or two in the afternoon, the schedule was never affected. Temperatures were seasonably cool for Richmond in late July and early August and there were no truly scorching, humid days.
“I think it was a great experience for everybody. It was for me and I felt like the team came together like you’d hoped,” Gruden said. “Practices were crisp. I think we got a lot accomplished and I’m excited about the progress that we made.”
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