I had the opportunity to drive to Richmond yesterday and see the Redskins new training camp facility. Like Paul Connor (aka P_Hazard), I had the great fortune of receiving a VIP pass through a contest in which you can tweet a picture of yourself at the facility to @Redskins and win. Unlike Paul, I was unable to attend the morning session and arrived just in time for the afternoon session. Here are my observations:
- The team had used a helicopter to dry the field the morning of and it looked like it was in good shape. However, it was still quite soggy around the field. Fans did not seem to mind though, and many were just walking around in muddy bare feet like they were at a Dave Matthews concert.
- The energy is palpable when Griffin steps on to the field. He also does a fantastic job of playing to the crowd and interacts with them quite a bit. Griffin was very comfortable in the offense and the knee brace did not look to bother him at all. He threw crisp balls and did not seem shy about planting his back foot during throwing drills. At the end of the practice, he did a running sprint across the field while a holding a ball. Then after stopping, he threw the ball into the crowd to their delight.
- During the one-on-one wide receiver drills, Santana Moss, Aldrick Robinson, and Skye Dawson ran precise routes and each caught deep touchdown throws. After the touchdown strike to Moss, Griffin ran to meet him in the end zone and they jumped into each other in celebration.
- Kirk Cousins has a definite command of the offense. I saw him take the majority of the snaps in team play and he was mostly on point. He did a great job with the hard counts and drew the defense offsides at least twice.
- Rex Grossman and Pat White each had long runs on option plays during the seven-on-sevens.
- Helu got the majority of the snaps at running back on the team drills and looked very fast and confident. Royster also had a good day and was cutting well. It was good to see Helu running and receiving the way he was, and he seems to be in prime position to be the back up to Alfred Morris.
- Skye Dawson also spent a lot of time on the kick return drills. He looks very quick and I believe the Redskins are going to give him every opportunity to make this squad.
- Bacarri Rambo and Reed Doughty started at the safety positions, with Rambo playing centerfield and Doughty often up in the box. Up to this point, it appears evident that Rambo is on track to start the season as the starter at free safety. Phillip Thomas ran with second and third team. Brandon Meriweather did not partake in the team drills I saw.
- London Fletcher goes hard the entire practice and has a look of determination on his face the whole time. His eyes are always focused and intense, even when he is on the sidelines watching the second and third team.
- At one point towards the end of practice, an NFL Network crew who happened to be standing next to me noticed a camera that had been placed atop an adjacent building that did not seem to belong there. Several phone calls were made and they seemed to still be trying to figure out who the camera belonged to when I left. I thought we could be looking at another Spygate case but never heard anything else about it and have not since.
If it seems like I focused a lot on the offense, it is because my view from the side allowed me to see them better. I was very impressed with the new training camp facility and the condition of the field. I also felt the team has done a fantastic job of incorporating the fans and allowing them access to the players. Overall, it was a great day and I would like to thank @RedskinsRVA for the VIP passes and first class accommodations.