A little rain wasn’t about to dampen the spirits of 90 antsy football players ready to begin their season Thursday morning.
The Washington Redskins officially opened up training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., with a morning practice in front of a dedicated group of fans who braved the elements to see their favorite team in action for the first time in 2014.
“It’s fun, man,” Griffin III said. “Football is fun. That’s what it’s supposed to be about. So I think everybody stepped on the field today with excitement, knowing that football games that are going to be played against other teams are right around the corner.”
The Redskins – participating in training camp in Richmond for a second year – were greeted by soggy, rainy conditions Thursday morning as the special teams units initially took the field.
The rain continued throughout most of the morning session, giving the team an early opportunity to practice game situations under less-than-ideal conditions.
“It’s a good thing to have to work through the rain and have to throw those wet footballs and have to catch those wet footballs and have to work on the quarterback-center exchange – all those things,” Griffin III said. “I think today’s practice we got better as a football team just having to go through the rough practice.”
Thursday’s practice was also the first training camp session led by first-year head coach Jay Gruden, who was hired in January after spending the past three years as the Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive coordinator.
Gruden said Wednesday he wanted to see “great energy and great tempo” from his team for each and every practice.
“We want to get in and out of the huddle. We want to have great tempo and try to simulate game fashion as best we can,” he said. “It’s going to be hot. Practices, sometimes they roll into period after period after period. They can be mundane, but it’s important for us as coaches to motivate and keep the tempo moving at a quick pace and make sure we’re learning and coaching and the players are getting needed work – running to the football, pursuit, discipline.”
Gruden said “all that coachspeak you hear, it’s what training camp is all about.”
“Fundamentals of football need to be taught every play, every day,” he said. “The tempo needs to be taught and worked on. The pursuit angles, the pursuit drills need to be practiced and worked on, and we strive for perfection.”
Thursday’s action continues with an afternoon walkthrough session at 4:10 p.m.