It was frickin hot, like mid-90s and then some hot. Guess that's why they call this place Ashburn. And that's why you have to give credit to the 2,700 fans who showed up for the first of eight open workouts. Clearly, there's a strong sense of optimism as the crowd was more buoyant than in past seasons.
They cheered a bit louder and even sang ''Hail to the Redskins'' as practice ended. Yes, they're expecting big things.
So, too, are the players.
''Anything short of going all the way would be a disappointment,'' quarterback Mark Brunell said.
...Brunell and the offense did not look sharp. But we'll cut them some slack; it is, after all, just the first day. But Brunell was inaccurate, missing too many receivers. He overthrew Santana Moss on a deep route and was off on numerous other throws.
However, it's a new offense and he's working with two more new receivers. So it'll take time. He did make one nice play when he slid out of the pocket to his left and threw to Brandon Lloyd, who reached high to make a good grab on the sidelines.
...Brunell and Todd Collins received the bulk of the work during nine-on-nine drills, with Jason Campbell getting a little action. Campbell appears to have cut down on his immense windup. It also might stem from being more certain of where he's throwing. Last season, the problem wasn't his windup as much as when he threw the ball, especially on out patterns; too often he didn't throw it until long after the receiver's break.
...Defensive end Phillip Daniels bested right tackle Jon Jansen twice in one-on-one moves. First he knocked him back, then he got inside Jansen. Daniels' power on the left side should come in handy, allowing him to work inside of tackles.
...In the same drill, Andre Carter quickly shot inside Chris Samuels. Carter has a big upper body, but his lower body is not as stout as other linemen.
...Safety Dennard Wilson knocked receiver Jimmy Farris to the ground after a catch. Farris then flipped the ball at Wilson, but nothing more happened. A few more days in this heat and something like that would escalate.
...Defensive lineman Nic Clemons looks more sculpted this season. I'll be curious to see his progress.
... The one person who drew the most crowd reaction: Al Saunders. The new playcaller's sprinting downfield after players excited the fans. Of course, his playbook probably excites them more.
After receiver Taylor Jacobs caught a pass on the sideline, Saunders chased him from behind en route to the end zone.
But here's what I like about Saunders: defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin and corner Kenny Wright tried to catch Jacobs, which Saunders acknowledged by giving them fist bumps.
...Reed Doughty sure flies fast to the ball. In nine-on-nine drills, he quickly plugged holes, twice getting in the ballcarrier's way (he's not allowed to tackle him). Doughty's rep is that he's strong, but does not run well. But if he's decisive -- which he appeared to be a couple times -- then that bodes well for him.
...Mike Sellers got cramps in his right calf. Then in his right hamstring. Then on his left leg, all the way down to his left foot. After all that, it's not surprising that he had to be carted off. Sellers wasn't too happy that he was the first camp casualty.
...Ex-Redskin Jim Lachey visited camp today.
...Who knew Jon Alston was such an athlete? After Todd Collins fumbled an exchange, Alston leapt -- or is it leaped -- over Anthony Montgomery and smothered the ball.
...Receiver David Patten (virus) and defensive tackle Joe Salave'a (mother's death) both missed practice. Salave'a is not expected to return before Wednesday. His mother had battled cancer for a while.
...Santana Moss didn't make any memorable plays, but what was noteworthy was how often they moved him around.
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