Training camp practices aren’t always exciting, especially if you catch the players on a day when they’re not in full pads. (The full pad practices, for the most part, are held during the afternoon.)
You’ll get to see Robert Griffin III and the quarterbacks warming up, throwing to receivers and executing different fakes.
Before the full 11-on-11 work begins, there are two fun drills to watch: the offensive and defensive linemen going one-on-one (which every offensive linemen will say favors the defense), and the cornerbacks and receivers battling one-on-one (corners say it favors the receiver).
But the best part is when the first-team offense and defense face each other, which happens just about every afternoon, in various situations: in two-minute drills and in the scoring zone, for instance. And the players get competitive; just listen for linebacker London Fletcher shouting or secondary coach Raheem Morris taunting the offense.
Don’t go crazy if you see a running back break free; players don’t tackle in these drills, so there’s a good chance the runner would have been tackled had it been allowed.
Any time during camp is a good time to visit camp, but especially before the preseason games start. (The Redskins’ first preseason game is Aug. 8 against Tennessee.) They spend more time installing their plays during the first two weeks. — J.K.
Be polite, know the person’s name and bring your own Sharpie; that strategy works more often than not. Though the best spots to secure an autograph have yet to be determined at the Redskins’ new training facility in Richmond, the players are generally willing to sign when asked, especially fullback Darrel Young and tight end Niles Paul. Even RGIII often signs, although some veterans will skip days.
The afternoon practices are open to the public, so that’s the best time to get autographs. But some walk-through sessions, previously off-limits to fans, will be open, too. Players aren’t as tired after those workouts and the heat isn’t as brutal in the morning, so check the daily schedule to see when these are open. Also, approach the rookies; they’re still thrilled that anyone wants their signature.
The crowds are larger on Fan Appreciation Day (Aug. 3), but everyone will sign for a required amount of time. Occasionally a player will flip a ball into the crowd during practice or even their gloves afterward — but it’s rare.
Know this: The players feed off the crowd’s energy. — J.K.
●Click here for a graphic of Washington Redskins training center
●Admission is free.
●There are no bleachers, so fans should bring lawn chairs or blankets if they want to sit. Fans also can watch practice from a three-tier outdoor amphitheater beyond the end zones of the practice fields.
●Fans are permitted to bring food and beverages to camp; coolers are allowed. Concession stands will sell food and drinks, as well.
●The following items are prohibited: alcoholic beverages, weapons, glass bottles, video cameras and animals (except for certified guide dogs).
●Portable restrooms will be available around the complex.
●There will be special events and activities geared toward children (through the Redskins Kids Club and Play 60, the NFL’s youth fitness initiative) and women (via WOW, the Redskins’ official women’s fan club).
●For more on the Redskins, visit the Football Insider blog at washingtonpost.com/insider
Via Interstate 95 south: Take Exit 78 for Boulevard; head to the right off the exit. Turn left onto Moore Street. Continue onto Leigh Street; the facility will be on the right. There is no public parking at the facility, but there are five lots within walking distance.
Training camp runs July 25 through Aug. 16. Gates to the training facility open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Practices can last up to two hours. Players typically don’t practice in full pads for walk-through sessions.
There are no practices on Sundays, or on the day before, of and after the Redskins’ first preseason game (Aug. 8 at Tennessee).
July 25: 10 a.m. walk-through; 3:20 p.m. practice
July 26: 10 a.m. walk-through; 3:20 p.m. practice
July 27: 10 a.m. walk-through; 3:20 p.m. practice
July 28: No practice
July 29: 10 a.m. walk-through; 3:20 p.m. practice
July 30: 10 a.m. walk-through; 3:20 p.m. practice
July 31: 10 a.m. walk-through; 3:20 p.m. practice
Aug. 1: 10 a.m. walk-through; 3:20 p.m. practice
A ug. 2: 10 a.m. walk-through; 3:20 p.m. practice
Aug. 3: noon, Fan Appreciation Day
Aug. 4: No practice
Aug. 5: 10 a.m. walk-through; 3:20 p.m. practice
Aug. 6: 10 a.m. walk-through; 3:20 p.m. practice
Aug. 7: No practice
Aug. 8: Preseason game
Aug. 9: No practice
Aug. 10: 1 p.m. practice
Aug. 11: No practice
Aug. 12: 10 a.m. walk-through; 3:20 p.m. practice
Aug. 13: 12:40 p.m. practice
Aug. 14: 12:40 p.m. practice
Aug. 15: 12:40 p.m. practice
Aug. 16: 9:45 a.m. practice
Practice times are subject to change or cancellation; for the latest updates, go to www.redskins.com/trainingcamp.