The Mailbag: RGIII and the PUP List, training camp fan experience and more …

Robert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III continues to shoot for a return to action by the start of training camp. (By John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Another week, another edition of The Mailbag, and despite things remaining quiet on the Redskins front with just less than a month remaining before the start of training camp, we still have plenty of questions to tackle.

This week, readers have asked about everything from how the Redskins should handle Robert Griffin III at the start of training camp, to the linebacking unit, the radio broadcast team, the fan experience expected at camp in Richmond, and more.

As always, thanks for taking part. And keep the questions coming for next week’s post. E-mail them to me at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line of, “Mailbag question.”

Here we go.

In my opinion, the Redskins should take the same approach with RGIII, as the Nationals did with Stephen Strasburg, in being cautious with rehab. Could there be a possibility that RGIII is placed on the PUP list although, that would be unpopular w/ fan base, and the league?

– Maurice Manley

It’s always possible that the Redskins could elect to place Robert Griffin III on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list at the start of training camp. A player can open camp on the PUP list and come off at any time. (This is different from the regular season PUP list, where a player must sit out the first six weeks of the season). But, if Griffin is able to pass a physical, they wouldn’t be able to do so. Opening camp on the PUP list is a move that the player would also have to be comfortable with. Two years ago, LaRon Landry (Achilles’ tendon) willingly opened camp on the PUP list, but was doing sprints with ease on Day 1 of camp. He just wanted more time to further strengthen his foot. Meanwhile, last season, Tim Hightower was offered the PUP list option at the start of camp and he declined. (He later said he wished he hadn’t done so). He wasn’t as far along in his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament as Griffin appears to be, however. Although it probably wouldn’t do a bit of harm to have Griffin wait at least a week or two before returning to action, he is very determined to start camp on the practice field and not on the sidelines. You have to believe that Redskins officials are considering every scenario, however. We’ll see how this plays out.

I will be making my way from Tampa this July for the first three days of the Skins training camp in Richmond. I’ve never been to a training camp but have been a fan for 40 years. Are there some “can’t miss” things to see at camp that I should know about?

– Matt Beck

The Redskins are still finalizing the details of the whole fan experience at training camp, but two practice sessions a day are scheduled to be open to fans. In the past, training camp has always featured various NFL Play 60 activities for kids, and players have signed autographs coming off of the field each day. Fan Appreciation Day is slated for Aug. 3.

As far as what attractions the city of Richmond has to offer, I checked in with my buddy, Wes McElroy or Richmond’s Sports Radio 910, and here’s his list of 10 “can’t miss” activities for fans to see and do when visiting:

1) Saturday morning walk or bike ride to Belle Isle (Wes’s favorite spot in Richmond). Enjoy the James River!
2) Go get something “Nutzy” and catch a Flying Squirrels game at The Diamond, which is very close to the training camp site. Go to Squirrelsbaseball.com for details.
3) A pint and some Bangers and Mash at Penny Lane Pub.
4) Breakfast or a milkshake at the Dairy Bar, also not far from camp.
5) Go inside the famous Jefferson Hotel, which was used for part of Gone with the Wind.
6) Check out The Capitol and Monument Ave. Lots of history. Do your homework before you come down.
7) Go to the top of the SunTrust Building and get a bird’s eye view of RVA.
8) A cold one on the deck at Legend Brewing Company, right on the river.
9) Shop or have lunch in Carytown (Wes says his wife, Katie, recommends frozen yogurt at SweetFrog. Wes recommends the meatloaf at Weezy’s Kitchen).
10) Take the kids to the Science Museum of Virginia. Lots of fun. Worth the price of admission.

Editor’s note: The Post’s Weekend section is publishing a Richmond-themed edition on July 19, and the guides to Redskins training camp will be linked online from The Insider for the duration of camp. Also, the editor wonders how Wes can exclude Maymont Park’s Japanese and Italian gardens and free zoo.

Just curious about training camp from the fans’ perspective. Will it be like in the past where fans will be able to sit along the sidelines of the practice fields and watch then get autographs (potentially) afterward? Are they going to have bleachers or something? Will the fans be as close as before? Just curious what you knew about the new “training camp” experience. Thanks!

– Robert McTurnal

There won’t be bleachers, but there will be designated fan spectator areas just as there were in the past for fans to watch practice. And yes, there will be autograph opportunities after the practices. As was the case at Redskins Park, fans are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. And, there will be areas and access set up for fans with handicaps. This map from The Richmond-Times Dispatch will give you an idea of the layout.

How are linebackers Keenan Robinson and Brandon Jenkins coming along? At this point who would you say are the backups for each of the starting four: Orakpo – Riley – Fletcher – Kerrigan?

– Don Crehan

The Redskins are hoping that Keenan Robinson, who missed the final five games of the regular season with a torn pectoral muscle, will be ready to go at the start of training camp. Robinson, a fourth-round pick out of Texas last spring, will be competing with Bryan Kehl and Roddrick Muckelroy for backup duties at inside linebacker. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said at the conclusion of the minicamp earlier this month that Muckelroy has been working as London Fletcher’s backup, and that Robinson would probably compete to backup Perry Riley. Rob Jackson is Brian Orakpo’s primary backup. Darryl Tapp signed with the Redskins over the offseason and is competing for a spot at outside linebacker behind Ryan Kerrigan. But Haslett made it known that he is very high on the athleticism and pass-rushing skills that rookie Brandon Jenkins has to offer. He is learning the linebacker position after playing primarily as a defensive end in college, but he has done a good job soaking up the position thus far. Haslett said he’s going to have to find a way to get Orakpo, Kerrigan, Jackson and Jenkins on the field at the same time.

With Sam Huff retired and Chris Cooley’s lifelong love of the Redskins publicly declared many times over, what are the chances of Captain Chaos taking over for Huff full-time starting this season? I think the move would make tons of sense on numerous levels, and I think Cooley would excel at the gig.

– Johnny Buck

Cooley’s name is often mentioned as a possible replacement for Sam Huff, but for now, it appears to simply be speculation. Dan Steinberg reported last week that the Redskins aren’t looking to add a fourth full-time person to the team, which currently includes Larry Michael, Sonny Jurgensen and sideline reporter Doc Walker. That’s not to say things couldn’t change down the road.

Chris Cooley or Joe Theismann? Both have the personality to keep it interesting.

– Tim Witten

We know that Theismann would be interested in joining the broadcast team, but … see above. If Red Zebra Broadcasting, which owns flagship station ESPN 980, were to add another member to the booth, the only question I’d have would be about the absence of a defensive voice. Sonny always would offer analysis of the offense, and Sam (a former linebacker) would give the perspective from the opposite side of the ball. Although both have the personality required, Cooley and Theismann both are offensive-minded guys. Would much be lost by not having a defensive guy in there?

I have been hearing more good things about the two rookie safeties then I have about David Amerson. Do the coaches seem to be happy with him with what they have seen so far or do you sense that he might not be everything they thought he would be as the first pick in 2013?

– Kerry Triplett

The Redskins’ coaches are very happy with what they’ve seen out of Amerson so far. Jim Haslett talked about how well Amerson is doing and how he and safeties Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas, could see a lot of playing time this season. This is what Haslett had to say about Amerson specifically, and what he likes about the second-round pick: “[Amerson is] a guy that has great ball skills, great length, has the ability to play to play man or zone. I think that’s the biggest thing about him, is he’s a playmaker. He had 13 interceptions as a sophomore, [five] as a junior. … I just think his ball and playmaking skills are off the chart.” Amerson is at a more crowded position than are the two safeties. The Redskins know their starting corners are DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson, but then they have E.J. Biggers, Richard Crawford and Amerson competing for time behind them.

Who is the Redskins’ most notoriously dirty player (current and all time)? Do we have a Hines Ward, Rodney Harrison, Cortland Finnegan type player that’s hated by opposing players and loved for it by the hometown fans?

– Eric Brichto

This is a tough one. When I think of a dirty player, I think of a guy that’s a headhunter, and a guy that repeatedly does things after the play that crosses the line, intentionally hurts or upsets an opposing player, or one that levels cheap shots. There’s not really a Redskins player like that that comes to my mind (and I picked the brain of some other writers as well). The Redskins had safety Mark Carrier, who came to Washington in 2000 from Detroit with the rep of being somewhat of a dirty player, and he received some fines as a Redskin for helmet-to-helmet hits. Carrier wasn’t really beloved by Redskins fans in his short stint in Washington, however. If you’re talking about a guy that is both feared by opponents and loved by fans, then Sean Taylor is someone that played with a violent approach, but not in a dirty way. He was everything you’d want in a safety – great speed, range, big hitter, played with a chip on his shoulder. There aren’t really any dirty players on this Redskins team. Trent Williams is a fiery guy that’s not afraid to mix it up with an opponent and rush to the defense of a teammate. And DeAngelo Hall is a scrappy guy that can get riled up. But neither are guilty of the kind of antics that you see or hear of Ward, Harrison or Finnegan being accused of.

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

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