Among the young veterans and rookies at today's opening session of Redskin training camp was a surprise: cornerback Joe Lavender, starting his 10th year in the National Football League.
Lavender wasn't required to report until July 31, with the rest of the veterans. But he said he decided last week "that I really didn't have anything else I wanted to do and that this would be a good place for me to come. So here I am."
Lavender admitted this is in contrast with his past training camp habits, which frequently included missing the required reporting date by a day or two.
"Usually I'm getting here after I'm supposed to," he said, laughing. "I'm just going to take my time and get used to this humidity and get myself into good shape. It'll be to my benefit in the long run."
Rich Caster, the veteran tight end who has had knee problems, failed his physical and did not practice. Coach Joe Gibbs said a decision will be made soon about Caster's future with the team . . . Ramona Sevier, wife of the Redskins' special teams coach, died Sunday of cancer. Memorial services were held Tuesday in Washington and Wednesday in St. Louis . . . Larry Kubin has a Marine Corps haircut as he begins his quest for the starting middle linebacker job . . . Running back Clarence Harmon, who spent most of last season on injured reserve, was sent home by Gibbs after reporting to camp. "Clarence was in such good shape we decided he didn't need to come in so early," Gibbs said . . .Running back John Riggins, who was in poor shape during a May minicamp, is expected to report early here . . . Season ticket holders must pick up their tickets by noon Saturday at RFK Stadium . . . Karl Lorch, who was released in the offseason, is being given a tryout by Green Bay . . . Running back Otis Wonsley is still undergoing rehabilitation for knee problems but should be ready to practice in another week.