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Fan Appreciation Day Draws Huge Crowd

In one corner, the line of fans for cheerleader autographs stretched past several tents. In another corner, fans like Bill Scheurer of Annapolis, Md., relaxed in the sun beside his wife.

Stationed along the fence of the main practice field was Ryan Van Horn of Washington, D.C., wearing a No. 11 jersey and hoping to get it signed by Patrick Ramsey. Later, Van Horn was among the fans who started chanting "We Want Joe!" shortly before Redskins practice began.

An estimated 25,000 people attended Redskins Training Camp Built by The Home Depot on Saturday. Many came to watch Hall of Fame head coach Joe Gibbs in action for the first time since his return to the team last January. The first group of fans arrived as early as 4:30 in the morning. A line to get in the training camp grounds started at 6 a.m.

Since the team has held training camp at Redskins Park only three times in history, it's safe to say that the attendance number is a record crowd.

"Hopefully we accommodated as many as we could and tried to make it a fun day for them," Gibbs said after signing autographs for more than an hour. "I think it carries over to the players and everybody in the organization. I don't think anybody else has fans like we do."

Added defensive tackle Renaldo Wynn: "They are unbelievable. These are the most fans I have seen in years. It just really shows you how much they love the Redskins."

The day's festivities included an autograph session with Redskins Cheerleaders, performances by the cheerleaders and the marching band

Fan Day festivities officially got underway at noon when the Redskins Cheerleaders held an autograph session in a tent. Later, the cheerleaders and Redskins Marching Band performed for the crowd.

When Gibbs addressed fans just before practice, he was serenaded with rousing applause from fans.

"I want to say that all week, you fans have been great," Gibbs said. "We want to say a big thanks to all of you. We appreciate you all coming out."

The two-hour practice was, as Gibbs called it, a "polish-up" for Denver. Toward the end of practice, the team

Linebacker Mike Barrow sat out practice after being diagnosed Friday with tendonitis in his left knee. His status is day-to-day and he is unlikely to play in Monday's game.

Regarding Clinton Portis and his abdominal injury, Gibbs said: "He practiced. I think he could go on Monday."

Immediately after practice, the team hosted autograph session under tents on the Astroturf field. Fans lined the entire length of the field, waiting in line for autographs. Most players stayed well beyond the allotted 45-minute period.

The Redskins travel to Canton, Ohio on Sunday. The Hall of Fame Game is slated for 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ABC.

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