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SBNDC: Washington Redskins Training Camp A Place Of Tranquility, For Once


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Aug 2, 2011 - ASHBURN, Va - The Washington Redskins' training camp is only a few days old, but something feels missing.

Sure, there are still plenty of storylines, with there being question marks up and down the team after their deliberate decision to go young and begin a rebuilding process that was long overdue. The fact that a two-time Super Bowl winning coach is willing to stake his reputation on a fifth-year quarterback with just four NFL starts is certainly a something that will be worth following all season.

But there's still a palpable absence of an element to the team that's seem to be present for the better part of a dozen years. Thinking about it for just a moment, it doesn't take long to figure out what that missing ingredient is: drama.

It has been one of the defining traits for this franchise over the last dozen years, with the team usually finding itself navigating from one dramatic episode to the next. But not this year. Mike Shanahan made sure to wash his hands of the organization's two biggest off field distractions from a year ago once he traded both Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb before the players even began practicing last Friday. Shanahan took not one, but two for the team by making sure neither of last season's dramas would linger into this season.

It's a refreshing course of action for an organization that has desperately needed to focus on strictly football issues. Now we're left to ponder answers to on-field issues, like whether Perry Riley can emerge as a starter at inside linebacker, whether Laron Landry will be able to recover from his achilles injury in time for the season opener or even whether Will Montgomery will be an upgrade at center over the now-departed Casey Rabach. Those issues sound a lot more relevant to winning and losing than talking about who has final say on personnel decisions, conditioning tests or cardiovascular endurance, don't they? Redskins players certainly agree.

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