Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said Thursday he welcomes the move of the team’s summer training camp to Richmond beginning in 2013.
“It gives the players a chance to spend three weeks together,” Shanahan said. “A lot of people ask what the difference is because we spend from 7 o’clock in the morning to pretty close to 10 o’clock at night at the facility anyhow. But when you do have some down time, you get to spend it in a hotel or you spend it in a dormitory. Players just spend more time together. My experience through the years, even though it’s only three weeks, it’s really a great time to bond together and for teammates to get a great chance to know each other.”
Plans for the training camp move were announced Wednesday. The Redskins will hold camp at their regular season training facility in Ashburn this year, then relocate to Richmond next year. A site has not yet been chosen.
“When you go there for three weeks, there is no going home. You do have some down times. There’s some recovery time you get a chance to spend with your teammates,” Shanahan said.
Reaction among players has been mixed.
“It’s going to feel a lot more like work,” said cornerback DeAngelo Hall. “I think a lot of the guys, during some of the breaks, they’d go home, go see their families, go do this, go do that, go pick up their dry cleaning, go to their favorite restaurant. . . . I’ve been a part of going away to training camp a couple times, and it’s a lot different. It’s a lot different than getting out of your own bed.”
Hall said he’s not convinced that home or away training camps are better for a club’s success.
“I don’t know if one way is better versus the other,” Hall said. “It’s a little bit different. It’s kind of ‘to each his own.’ There are definitely pros and cons to each.”
Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen and other team representatives will continue to work with officials in Richmond to ensure the organization has what it needs when the camp moves.
“We’re going to make sure the fields are right and make sure the meeting space we do have is a state-of-the-art facility where we can accomplish everything we want to accomplish, just like we would if we were here,” Shanahan said.
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