In his post-training camp press conference, Redskins President Bruce Allen thanked the city of Richmond and the fans for training camp. He also provided an update on the team's new stadium talks.
The City of Richmond and the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center once again provided great hospitality during the Redskins' stay for training camp this year, the third straight season in which the state's capital has been the team's home for the three-week period.
Redskins team President Bruce Allen said everyone involved – from Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to the thousands of fans and volunteers that came out on a daily basis – once again made training camp a success in 2015.
"I think the mayor and his office have been so gracious and helpful to a lot of our events that we've done here in Richmond. The governor's enthusiasm is still off the chart and he's a fun guy to be around," Allen told reporters Monday morning. "The fans that came out we really appreciated – the players and the coaches working with the kids."
For three weeks, Redskins fans were treated to open practices along with various entertainment and food options from local vendors.
During the middle of camp, the Houston Texans came to town for three days of joint practices, as well. And on Saturday the team hosted its annual Fan Appreciation Day with an attendance of more than 7,000.
While Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va., is a central location for fans in the Washington, D.C., area, the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center is closer to the team's fan base further down south and provides them an up-close-and-personal opportunity to see the team.
"I think the location, being in Richmond, has allowed everybody from Norfolk to Charlottesville to have much easier access and our fans from the Carolinas who come up," Allen said.
Allen also announced Monday that the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation is funding a second Play 60 playground to be built in Richmond.
On Aug. 5, the Charitable Foundation and Bon Secours broke ground on a $150,000 Play 60 playground in Richmond's East End. The second playground, Allen announced, will be built on the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center grounds.
"Our Charitable Foundation will be funding it completely," Allen said of the new playground. "As we said from the beginning, any way that we can impact the kids in this neighborhood, that is one of our primary goals off the field."
Update on stadium talksAs the Redskins continue preliminary plans for a new stadium down the road, Allen reiterated the fact Monday that development for such a large project does not happen overnight. The team has, though, continued to hold discussions with officials in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., about a possible new stadium after FedExField.
"Building a stadium is different than building a house," Allen said. "The 49ers just moved into their stadium and that was a 15-year process that they were in. The San Diego Chargers have been in a 15-year process themselves with nothing on the horizon yet. We wanted to get ahead of it and start doing the preliminary work. It's not going to be a new stadium in the next 48 months, so you don't have to worry about that."
While there are positives about moving the stadium into each of the three jurisdictions, Allen said finding the right situation for the team and the fans is what's most important.
"We've had a lot of interaction with our fans this year and this offseason," he said. "We've listened to them on a number of different issues. We're going to find the right location and build the stadium for the fans. We'll take input from all of them on it, but right now, no, there is not a leading candidate [location-wise]."
McCloughan as advertised
Allen said first-year general manager Scot McCloughan, who is in his first training camp with the Redskins after being named to the spot in January, "is doing exactly what we had hoped for."
"He is a very consistent person in his approach and I think the entire personnel department has done a good job," Allen said. "Now, we're still scrambling to find some players out there right now to fill some of the holes that we have. He has taken the personnel department and done a very good job. How far are we away from winning depends on how we do today on the practice field – we have a lot of work to do. We have three more preseason games to properly evaluate all the players."
One of McCloughan's biggest moves to date was signing free agent linebacker Junior Galette.
The six-year veteran recorded 22 sacks with the Saints over the last two seasons, but New Orleans released him due to off the field problems.
When meeting with the Redskins, Allen, McCloughan and head coach Jay Gruden wanted to hear "where [Galette] thought his life was going to go on and off the field."
"We set out some very clear guidelines for him of what we expect out of Redskin players," Allen said. "He understands what he has done in the past and he'll be held responsible for that. It's very clear on what we expect of him. Is he a good football player? Yeah, he's proven to be a good football player. We really discussed our locker room more than anything and it's one of the reasons we wanted the players to also meet with him to make sure they wanted him in our locker room."