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Spurrier: We've made Excellent Progress


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Spurrier: 'We've Made Excellent Progress'


By Jason Gould

Editor, Redskins.com

The Redskins wrapped up their final mini-camp of the 2002 offseason Wednesday afternoon. The players and coaches alike are getting set to have a lengthy break before training camp convenes in late July.

In all, Washington held three mini-camps and three weeks of coaching sessions over the last few months. Those gatherings totaled 26 practices, which, according to Redskins head coach Steve Spurrier, was ample time for players to gain a familiarity with the new schemes.

"I think we made a lot of progress, with a lot of work left to be done," Spurrier said at the conclusion of Wednesday's morning practice. "There's still a lot of room for improvement. But we have a start. Hopefully, each player knows what he has to work on prior to training camp. We're going to bring them in in the best physical shape we can. And we think we have a chance for a big year."

Spurrier spoke about the team's make-up, noting that Washington will sign a player only if the right situation presents itself. He seemed satisfied with the current group of Redskins.

"I think we've got the best coaching staff I've ever been with and the best players I've ever been with," he said. "So I'm excited."

Players appear to be feeling the excitement as well. Linebacker LaVar Arrington spoke at length about the camaraderie the team already has developed.

"It was evident in the coaching sessions and mini-camps that players and coaches are working together," he said. "We're all on the same page. We all have a common goal in mind. Guys are happy to strive to achieve it.

"With all these practices, it felt like the regular season almost. But to get the type of head start we've gotten, we're already at the stage of fine-tuning the team during training camp. I've been impressed with the offense and the defense."

In anticipation of training camp, which begins in late July at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Spurrier and the coaching staff made the trip up to Dickinson College Wednesday to become familiar with the training camp facilities.

While Spurrier said the team will take part in drills like the "Oklahoma Drill," in which players go one-on-one in pads, he stressed that he believes in keeping players healthy in practice.

"Our practices will be somewhat intense, yet not overly competitive with one side against the other," Spurrier said. "We ask the players to improve individually, which will help your side of the ball, which will help the team. We need to realize we're on the same team. It doesn't make any sense going up there and getting players hurt."

Spurrier's approach clearly seems to have caught on with the Redskins players. The atmosphere at Redskin Park is often times jovial, and the players have verbalized those feelings.

"I think coach Spurrier is bringing a player's approach," Arrington said. "He's probably the closest thing to a player who is a coach. He has the same type of swagger we have. He has the same personality we have. You communicate with him as a coach, but you really see him as a person. And that makes all the difference.

"He's not so old that we can't relate to him. And he's not so young where we can't respect his wisdom."

Smart lad. Decent Picture of Spurrier. Submited this to news section, but simpleton I am, may have screwed that up.

Sigh/yawn. Summer. Softball. Beer. Oh my.

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The Washington Post had a parallel article:


I loved these quotes by Spurrier:

"Obviously my job as the head coach is to try to win the game," Spurrier said. "I don't think we're going to have to try to win 7-3. I've never had to do that. But if we have a team where that's the best way to win, that's what we'll do. We're not going to go out there and look stupid and throw interceptions and get sacks all over the place. But I don't think that's going to happen. It hasn't happened yet."

.. and ...

"We have a whole bunch of new ball plays," he said. "Everybody thinks your offense stays the same. It doesn't. It changes. We have some new little wrinkles that I think are going to help us. . . . Our offense has changed a lot from what we did at Florida, that's for sure."

I think old Stevie is going to shake this league up. Dave Campo, Jim Haslett et al. might be studying Florida tape now, but come the regular season, they won't know what hit them.

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I hope some of the new wrinkles will feature an offense that is more willing to run the ball. Steve's a smart guy, and I assume he'll utilize our strong points, though we won't get far if a guard doesn't emerge from the pack to bring some solid play. Actually, Rod Jones at right guard worries me more than Loverne or Brandt at left guard. I'd love to see Sulfsted prove himself.

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