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Redskins resume practices Monday -- stealth training camp commences


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I was surprised to read on redskins.com that the Redskins are about to embark on a "voluntary" training camp starting Monday and running through mid-June. I'm pleased by this move. Interestingly, the press release is almost tortured in its attempt to downplay the significance of what's going on.

The press release calls this traning camp voluntary "coaching sessions, which consist mostly of a meeting and a practice" and suggests that there will be only three of them running "sporadically" between now and mid-June. Then you read that this first session starts Monday and runs for two weeks through May 23. If that's just the first of three "sessions", that doesn't sound sporadic to me. It sounds like low-intensity training camp with some time off to see the family. Oh, and the camp is closed to the public.

The press release notes that the sessions "are not mandatory" but that "the Redskins expect most of the veterans on the team to attend this first session", which sounds like it's essentially mandatory if the veterans want to make the team. It then notes that rookies whose graduation dates have passed can also attend. Since most colleges have graduations in mid-May, this means that the rookies will be attending these sessions soon and will continue to do so until the sessions end later in June.

I'm actually thrilled by this news -- it's exactly what I'd hoped Spurrier would be doing. It sounds like the team is pushing the boundaries of what's allowed by the NFL and the players association in terms of off-season training camps -- and thus the tortured press release. But again, I'm thrilled. I think the team needs loads of time to train the players mentally for the new offensive and defensive systems, and also needs time to make intelligent decisions about cuts and signings before and after June 1. On the other hand, it doesn't sound like these are going to be brutal Marty-camp style drills in the heat -- the emphasis is on coaching (teaching). So I toast the team on its approach and bravery in pushing the limit of the rules.

Here's the release:

http://www.redskins.com/story.asp?ContentID=10950

Redskins Set to Start Coaching Sessions

05/09/2002

By Jason Gould

Editor, Redskins.com

The Redskins Monday will embark on their first set of spring coaching sessions that sporadically run through mid-June. The team is scheduled to have three sets of coaching sessions, which consist mostly of a meeting and a practice, in the next six weeks. The sessions are closed to the public.

While the upcoming practices are not mandatory, the Redskins expect most of the veterans on the team to attend this first session, which is slated to run through Thursday, May 23. Some rookies will also come to the two-week practice session, though players may participate only if the graduation date at their college has passed.

Washington has held two mini-camps so far this offseason. The team was permitted an extra mini-camp because head coach Steve Spurrier is in his first season with the team. After this set of coaching sessions, the Redskins are scheduled for two additional sessions in June.

The three sets of meetings and practices will allow the coaches to gain a greater familiarity with the Redskins personnel. The quarterback position will attract much of the focus over the next couple of weeks, as Washington has four quarterbacks competing for the starting job. Veteran quarterback Shane Matthews, who was recently signed as a free agent, will have his first opportunity to practice in a Redskins uniform. He'll join quarterbacks Danny Wuerffel, Sage Rosenfels and first-round draft pick Patrick Ramsey.

The Redskins' 2002 training camp is scheduled to begin in late July at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

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Great news. Unlike Marty and his staff last year, it looks like SS is going to be extra prepared for the first game this year. Those first five games under Marty were like pre-season. Granted, George sucked and Banks was still learning, and sucked. But I put full blame for those five atrocities on the shoulders of Marty. He was completely, totally and thouroughly unprepared for those games. Dumba$$!!:doh:

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Thanks ASF,

I feel that there may be certain league verbage, that is causing these somewhat strange and complicated explainations as to why it is not just straight out Training Camp or similar.

It is more like "meetings, one on ones, advise and followup, but not enforced with a league iron hand, on any team. The result is something just short of training camp :D :cool:

Some huge benficiaries of this in the past:

Peyton Manning-Marvin Harrison-Edgerrin James combo that got in more, uh hum, "advisory" sessions to sharpen their very first season together as a group. Result, combined yardage total, second only the Rams.

Baltimore Ravens with their newly hired veteran acquisitions, sprinkled with able rookies, and core players, quickly jelled together (Sam Adams, Woodson, etc) and the next year that

parlayed into a SB trip and victory.

Green Bay Packers, with Brett Favre coming off of two hard luck seasons, the regrouping of all the holdovers from their back to back SB days, with new players and coaches, allowed them to make a good showing last year and attempt a run at the SB. Not bad for a team that wasn't really figured to have more than 8-8 or 9-7 season

Chicago. Well now, lesson on trusting what works with the right components on a team and instilling your will. Allowing for these sessions of one on ones was a key to accelerating certain players performance.

The ultimate workout - New England - nuff said or better yet how to maximus the gluteus, Belichik got the most out of everybody and it all started with those little sessions.

Sh8t Works!

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