WASHINGTON — With one week to go before Redskins Training Camp opens in Richmond, Va., players, coaches and fans alike should beware of the heat awaiting them when practices get underway.
Last Wednesday ushered in 98-degree temperatures at Richmond International Airport, the highest recorded so far this summer. Even if the temperature doesn’t increase, the heat index should make it feel like well into the triple-digits this weekend:
The heat is nothing new for the Redskins, who have battled the elements each year since moving training camp to Richmond in 2013. At their training facility in Ashburn, they have an indoor field that allows them to hide out from sweltering temperatures and inclement weather.
While they have not had consistent problems with storms in Richmond, their options would be limited if they did.
Head coach Jay Gruden seems to prefer the schedule of morning walk-through and afternoon practice, which puts players, coaches and fans on the field during the hottest part of the day. In 2015, Gruden explained why he prefers this schedule.
“When you install [the plays in meetings] in the evening, sometimes guys are so tired and rundown that you don’t get their attention,” he told the media. “We’re hoping that when they wake up bright and early, get a cup of coffee and a good breakfast, we’ll install our stuff, go out to the walkthrough, we walk through what we just installed, and then we practice it.
“I think that transition will be better and more learning-conducive for the players.”
Gruden said he made the change for 2015 because he was concerned about the threat of afternoon rain in 2014, his first season with the team. However, if that happens this year, the team reserves the right to flip-flop the schedule.
“From a learning standpoint, for the players, I think meeting, walk through, practice, watch tape is the best way to do it.”
Then again, it might have something to do with attracting more fans and dollars to Training Camp. Who knows? But either way, prepare to wear deodorant to Training Camp.