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Camp Practice Blog: Training Camp, Aug. 2

Redskins.com's training camp reports come to you as action happens on the Redskins Park practice fields.

Day 3 is here, and we're coming to you at night. It was another scorching hot afternoon at Redskins Park. Fortunately, the Redskins moved practice to the the evening, with a 7 p.m. start time. That should cool things off significantly--as much for the fans as for the players. Said Joe Gibbs on Tuesday: "By going at night, we will have a better chance to get all of our work in and get out of the heat. Our night practices are always good for us." 5:52 p.m. ET

Players and coaches are just starting to emerge from Redskins Park. It's offense to the practice fields first. The first coach on the field this evening: wide receivers coach Stan Hixon. First player on the field: wide receiver Taylor Jacobs. 6:20 p.m. ET

Offensive players are conducting a walk-through practice on the field furthest from the fans. (The team will hold most of its practice on the main practice field, in front of fans.) Quarterbacks are practicing drop-backs and running backs are working on getting off the line of scrimmage. On a far field, defensive players are practicing stunts and blitzes. 6:38 p.m. ET

With the temperatures cooled off, it's a workmanlike setting so far. Looks like a strong turnout by fans tonight. Coach Gibbs and a few players stopped to sign autographs on the way to the practice field, but otherwise the team has been all business. Coach Gibbs wasn't kidding when he said he wanted to get a lot of work in tonight. 6:50 p.m. ET

Joe Salave'a is back at practice, but he is not practicing. The defensive tackle missed the first few days of training camp after his mother passed away earlier this week. 7:05 p.m. ET

You would think that pre-practice warm-ups would be mundane. Fans make it interesting, though. One group of fans started chanting Clinton Portis's name, hoping to get the star running back's attention. After a long wait,, Portis waved. Another group of fans shouted to Santana Moss, over and over, until Moss waved. Later, another group of fans chanted "Bubba," referencing director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer. He turned, seemingly surprised his name was called, and waved. 7:10 p.m. ET

Special teams work began with field goal units practicing blocking skills. Keeping an eye on John Hall and Tyler Jones, the two kickers on the Redskins' roster: both appear to be comfortable and confident. They each connected on 10-, 20- and 30-yard field goals. Hall has a leg up on the kicking job, but the 10-year veteran will need to prove this season that his injury woes are behind him. 7:20 p.m. ET

Cone drills! It's Gregg Williams' favorite drill, and he puts his players through it once every couple of days. Here's how it works. Six players do five up-downs, then must run full speed across the field to pick up one of four red cones. Those two players who fail to come up with a cone are penalized 10 push-ups. Usually, it's young players who struggle with the drill, but 10-year veteran cornerback Shawn Springs was caught without a cone one time. 7:32 p.m. ET

Normally, it's the offensive and defensive linemen who are pushing around the blocking sleds. This evening on the far fields, the safeties took their turn at it. Sean Taylor, at 6-2 and 232 pounds, made the blocking sled look diminutive. He pushed it around like it was a toy. 7:35 p.m. ET

Poor Kirk Olivadotti. During a drill in which defensive lineman worked on chasing a scrambling quarterback, the Redskins' assistant defensive line coach was swarmed time and again. The drill tested their agility and foot speed, as well as ball awareness. With no blockers, Olivadotti was an easy target. 7:40 p.m. ET

Who's here? Former Redskins offensive lineman Raleigh McKenzie is watching practice from the sidelines. 7:58 p.m. ET

Time for some 7-on-7 drills:

  • Wide receiver Jimmy Farris, fighting for a roster spot, showed impressive blocking skills when he took an inside route and effectively cut off linebacker Chris Clemons. Running to the outside of Farris and Clemons, in open space, was running back Kerry Carter, who raced down the field for a score.
  • Jason Campbell fumbled a snap by center Mike Pucillo, but quickly pounced on it.
  • Tight end Chris Cooley had a punishing downfield block on linebacker Khary Campbell, freeing up Rock Cartwright to run down the sideline for a score.
  • Fullback Nehemiah Broughton showed the fight and spirit that makes him a favorite of running backs coach Earnest Byrner. He barreled downfield, fought of a tackle by several defenders, and tumbled into the end zone. His helmet was pulled off in the process.
  • Wide receiver Mike Espy split coverage and hauled in a nice 20-yard catch.

The offensive sets have a lot of motion. On one play, five players were in motion before finally getting set. It's almost dizzying, and you understand why Saunders's offenses are so difficult to defend. 8:15 p.m. ET

Now that's a leader. Rookie offensive lineman Jasper Harvey squared off with rookie defensive end Joe Sykes in one-on-one battles between the two groups. Harvey and Sykes went at it for 20 seconds before pulling apart. Three of Harvey's young line-mates began to approach the combatants, to defend their comrade. In a flash, Cornelius Griffin was upon them, waving his finger. The three linemen listened to Giffin, and backed off. 8:25 p.m. ET

Finally, it's time for some 11-on-11 work. Always the best part of practice, it's even better under the lights. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Jason Campbell handed off to Rock Cartwright. Neither saw safety Pierson Prioleau coming in on a safety blitz. Prioleau, entering his second season in Washington, wrapped up Cartwright in the backfield for a tackle.
  • More on Campbell: the second-year quarterback had a tough go of it in one stretch. On several plays, he was blitzed, forcing him to hurry throws that fell incomplete. Later, he tossed a pass toward the right sideline that was intercepted by cornerback Christian Morton.
  • Taylor Jacobs got a step on cornerback Shawn Springs on a downfield route, but Todd Collins's pass was just overthrown.
  • Working in hurry-up mode, Santana Moss caught a pass from Mark Brunell along the sideline, just in front of cornerback Kenny Wright.
  • Another great catch by Mike Espy, the Washington, D.C., native and rookie out of Mississippi. He caught a deep pass from Todd Collins, splitting coverage to beat the defender for the touchdown. Lineman Ikechuku Ndukwe ran downfield to celebrate with Espy.
  • Leave it to Clinton Portis to get the fans riled up. After wide receiver Richard Smith made an impressive over-the-shoulder catch down the right sideline, Portis ran across the field waving his arms. Fans roared with approval.
  • Tight end Robert Johnson ended the evening by breaking several tackles and going in for a touchdown. He spiked the ball, an exclamation point on the evening.

The team will hold two closed practices on Thursday. The next practice open to fans will be Friday morning at 10 a.m. ET. 9:02 p.m. ET

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