CARLISLE, PA., JULY 24 -- Joe Gibbs promised to go "hard and fast" in this training camp and he's fulfilling that promise by busing his 61 players to Latrobe, Pa., Wednesday morning for a day of work against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Two days into training camp, the Redskins will practice against the Steelers at noon, then scrimmage against them Wednesday night. Gibbs believes his team is ready to scrimmage this soon because the new 80-man roster limits have given him fewer players to work with and because the summer school skull sessions that follow minicamp have allowed the players to learn the offensive and defensive sets before they come to camp.

"We've had a lot to get in and I'm worried about {the scrimmage}," he said. "But I'd rather come in late and start the {regular} season fresher. I think the players like it, too. They're excited about the scrimmage. You go a week and a half with two-a-days and they'd be bored to tears."

Many of the veteran players, including quarterback Mark Rypien, will work only in the morning practice, then be free to return to Carlisle. Backup Stan Humphries, rookie Cary Conklin and veteran Jeff Rutledge will quarterback the scrimmage.

It's the organization's first chance to see Conklin in a game environment and Gibbs said: "Sure, it's important. I can still remember Mark Rypien's first scrimmage. The line did a terrible job and he got popped in the mouth twice. His reaction was to get mad and get more competitive. I said, 'Boy, we've got a tough guy here.' The thing about quarterbacks is that you never know until they get in there in front of 70,000 people and move the team down the field to win a game."On the Contract Front

Both sides are being secretive, which is a good indication that the Redskins are moving closer to reaching an agreement with running back Gerald Riggs. General Manager Charley Casserly and Riggs's agents speak almost daily toward resolving the split.

Riggs apparently wants a four-year deal worth about $5 million and the Redskins are offering a package to bring him close to that only if he stays healthy.

Casserly also said he continues to work on the other five unsigned veterans. All are due in camp on Sunday and the toughest signing appears to be defensive tackle Darryl Grant, who is believed to be seeking a three-year, $3 million deal. He made $357,500 last season.

Other unsigned veterans are Todd Bowles, Markus Koch, Ravin Caldwell and Monte Coleman.