Countdown to Kickoff
Training Camp Tracker
COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF
Days until the Redskins visit the Giants on Sept. 4
When: 8:30 a.m. practice open to the public; 3 p.m. closed practice.
Where: Redskins Park, Ashburn.
Admission, Parking: Free.
FRESH FACE Justin Tryon
He surveyed the Redskins Park practice field minutes after his first training camp practice concluded, turned around and declared what distinguished yesterday from the other 84 days since he became the Redskins' fourth-round pick in April's draft.
"The crowd, the fans," Justin Tryon said. "The fans bring more energy and stuff to it."
Tryon, a rookie cornerback, urged fans to applaud during the morning practice.
"He earned the right," Coach Jim Zorn said. "He made a couple plays. The play before he whooped it up, he picked us off and knocked the ball down so he was feeling real good about himself. He is ready to play and got the crowd excited. There is a long way to go."
Tryon understands how long a way it is, and he also understands the depth chart. The top three cornerbacks are all established -- 12-year veteran Shawn Springs, eight-year veteran Fred Smoot and four-year veteran Carlos Rogers.
"You don't worry about that," Tryon said. "All I know how to do is go hard on the field, have the coaches look at me. I'm not looking at no numbers."
Tryon, who intercepted three passes last season for Arizona State, might need to find alternative ways onto the field. He said he relishes special teams and is eager for special teams-only practices to begin. Tryon returned kicks at ASU, but Rock Cartwright is back as a kickoff returner and the Redskins also drafted accomplished returner Devin Thomas in the second round.
That means Tryon's mark might have to come in the coverage unit, a role he's willing to embrace. It is one step of a timeline Tryon already established in his quest to keep fans applauding.
"I want to make special teams," Tryon said. "After that, play a little nickel. After that, play a little corner."
Jim Zorn introduced Redskins players to "Z Shades" in the first practice of training camp. During seven-on-seven drills, Redskins waiting for reps found shade under a tent-like structure made of pipes covered with an awning. "Z Shades," as Zorn called them, are an authentic Zorn creation.
"I didn't know whether this was going to work or not," Zorn said. "I just thought, let's just have them out there."
Zorn literally drew up the design, advancing an idea the Seattle Seahawks used during games that were "overbearingly hot." The Seahawks made players hold the tubes. Zorn's design allows for the "Z Shades" to stand upright without anyone's assistance.
In a meeting on Saturday night, Zorn revealed the concept to the players. Running back Ladell Betts said the idea was met with skepticism.
"Really, honestly, I didn't think it would work," Betts said. "But as soon as I stepped under it, it makes a difference. There's a difference between standing under the sun and having something over your head."
Zorn joked he tried to patent the structure, then admitted he has not done so. No matter, the second Z Shade is coming to Redskins Park. "I got one more being made so we can have most of the team underneath it," Zorn said. "I think it worked."
DE Phillip Daniels will miss the season with a torn left anterior cruciate ligament. . . . DE Alex Buzbee will miss the season with a ruptured right Achilles' tendon. . . . CB Fred Smoot sprained his left ankle, an injury Zorn said was a "few-day deal." . . . CB Carlos Rogers and DE Erasmus James continue to recover from knee surgery.
"We'll see. It's indefinite growth right now."
-- TE Chris Cooley, on growing his beard
Hall of Fame Game
Redskins vs. Indianapolis Colts
When: 8 p.m., Aug. 3, Canton, Ohio