Archive of our daily coverage of the Washington Redskins' 2003-2007 Training Camps.
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Passing Offense Is Focus At 2nd Practice
By Gary Fitzgerald
July 31, 2004
The Redskins wrapped up their first day of training camp focusing on the passing game--which means the afternoon session was the unofficial beginning of the quarterback competition between Mark Brunell and Patrick Ramsey.
Both Brunell and Ramsey continue to downplay the quarterback competition.
Patrick Ramsey drops back to pass during the afternoon practice. (Photo by Gary Fitzgerald)
"I just want to play well," Ramsey said. "I want to do the best I can for this team. That's what I'm concerned about-just go out there and lead the team, complete passes, and see what happens."
Added Brunell: "Competition breeds success-it's not just at the quarterback position, it's at every position. Patrick's a great guy and we've become great friends. I anticipate our relationship will only get better."
Head coach Joe Gibbs termed both practices on Saturday as "rough," although he said it appeared the passing game was crisper than the rushing attack.
"In the morning we emphasized the running game and that was a little rougher," Gibbs said. "The passing game is where we have been spending more of our time, so that's probably ahead of where we are running game."
During the second practice, several deep passes drew "oohs" and "aahs" from the fans, estimated to be about 5,000. The morning practice also drew a crowd of about 5,000.
Tight end Mike Sellers watched the afternoon practice from the sidelines wearing a protective boot on his right foot. He sprained his ankle during a pile-up on a run play during the morning practice. His status is day-to-day.
After practice, rookie safety Sean Taylor worked one-on-one with head trainer John Burrell to gauge how much his sprained knee had improved. Burrell will reevaluate the knee again on Sunday morning to determine if Taylor can participate in the Sunday practice scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Here are some of the highlights from Saturday afternoon's practice:
Player: Marcus Washington flashed his athleticism during 11-on-11 drills. On a pass play, the 6-3, 247-pound linebacker dropped back into coverage and leaped high in the air to tip a Mark Brunell pass. He lunged for the ball and narrowly missed an interception.
Play: Fans gave Darnerien McCants the loudest ovation of practice after the lanky receiver leaped high in the air for a reception, deftly maneuvered past a defender and raced down the sideline for a score.
Quote: "I think the most impressive thing of the day was our fans. I haven't been here when we've had this kind of get-together. It was kind of amazing, to think that they would stand out there in the heat like that. I really appreciate them. I wish we could spend more time and sign all the autographs, but it's hard right now because we're on such a tight schedule. Hopefully on Fan Appreciation Day we'll get a lot more of that done. I really appreciate them." Joe Gibbs, discussing the 10,000 fans who turned out on the first day of training camp.
Atmosphere: The afternoon practice heated up and players were visibly sweating. No matter--fans were still energized by seeing Gibbs and the Redskins. After the second practice, LaVar Arrington signed autographs for those groups of fans who yelled the loudest. The commotion caused Shawn Springs to stop an interview with reporters and go over to watch Arrington's interaction with fans.
-- As Matt Bowen walked off the field, he was handed a news report of the blockbuster baseball trade in which the Chicago Cubs acquired shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. Bowen, a huge Cubs fan, said: "Wow, they did it."
-- Defensive tackle Brandon Noble did not participate in either Saturday practice. The plan for Noble, who suffered a major knee injury last preseason, is to have him skip all two-a-day practices and participate only on days when the team practices once.
-- Offensive linemen Kenyatta Jones and Brandon Winey sat out practices on Saturday with ankle sprains.
-- Former Redskins tight end Rick 'Doc' Walker was among the speakers during a team meeting on Friday night at the National Conference Center. Several Redskins, including Arrington, said the speech made an impression on them.
-- Arrington on Gibbs' practice methods: "I think Coach is a master at managing practices. He manages how you hit, he manages how much you hit. And I think you get a lot accomplished during his two-hour practices."
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