Apparently displeased by the number of questions about quarterback Brad Johnson's mobility during Monday's opening practice of training camp, Coach Norv Turner banned television reporters from shooting footage of this morning's walk-through.
According to the member of Washington's public relations staff who informed reporters of the policy change, Turner felt footage of a walk-through, in which players go through plays at roughly 50-75 percent of full speed, conveyed a misleading impression of the Redskins' fitness and intensity.
Sports anchor Rene Knott of WJLA-TV called it one of the most frustrating things he had experienced in seven seasons covering the team. "We can't shoot morning practice -- all because we talked yesterday about a quarterback who was limping?" Knott asked a public relations staffer, incredulous.
Johnson underwent arthroscopic knee surgery May 5, missed the summer minicamps and participated in his first full practice Monday.
Turner said he would reevaluate his decision to ban TV cameras in walk-throughs after several print and broadcast journalists complained. "I made the decision yesterday," Turner said. "We're going three-quarter speed in a teaching session. I just didn't think it would be of that big interest to have guys in that session taped."
Asked if perceptions that Johnson was favoring his knee had played a part in his decision, Turner said: "If someone's ability is being portrayed based on what they're doing half-speed or three-quarter-speed, yeah, that concerns me. If someone perceives it that way, they're evaluating someone going half- or three-quarter speed. Any guy -- you watch him going, and he's not going fast -- if you want to perceive something a certain way, you certainly can."
Johnson said he felt more confident with both his reads and his mobility after the second day of camp. "There might be a limp," Johnson said, "but if it doesn't affect my throwing or the way I get around or make plays, there should be no worries."
The NFL leaves decisions about media access during training camp to each team and head coach. Still, most permit broad access.
Said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello: "We don't mandate that practices be open. The overall league interest is to ensure there is reasonable access to players and coaches during the week to speak about the team. We encourage the team to grant some access to the media, but we still leave it under their control."
For Hicks, No Charges
Second-year running back Skip Hicks was among the current and former UCLA players identified as having obtained handicapped parking placards while he played for the Bruins, but Hicks is not among those entering guilty pleas this week. Hicks has not been charged with any wrongdoing, according to his agent, who does not anticipate his being charged given the time lapse.
"The only charges that are being filed are against the present student-athletes because it's timely," said Hicks's agent, Howard F. Silber. "Skip never parked in a handicapped spot, and part of the time he had a placard he was recovering from surgery." . . .
Fullback Kevin Pesak is being converted to tight end. . . . Wide receiver Junior Lord, a member of last season's practice squad, has been cut to accommodate rookie Champ Bailey's contract.