Something about being under the lights, on a high school field, must bring out the intensity in football players. The Redskins conducted what Joe Gibbs called a "full-go" practice at an area high school Tuesday night--and it showed as players walked off the field with dirt and grass stains on their uniforms.
"We had some real good work," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "It always fires things up a little bit at night.
"It was the first time we've gone full-go, so the players were all fired up out there. I told them last night, so they had probably been thinking about it for a while."
The intensity was particularly evident near the close of practice, when the team worked on red zone and goal-line situations.
When Ladell Betts scooted into the end zone for a score, it brought a roar from the players on offense; even assistant head coach-offense Joe Bugel pumped his fist in the air.
On the next play, the defense stuffed the goal-line play and cornerback Fred Smoot yelled, "There it is! There it is!" as he waved his towel at the offense assembled across the field.
On the final play of the practice, another goal-line run play appeared to be stopped just short, but offensive players led by Jon Jansen rushed over to a referee to argue the call. Replay was not available.
With the Redskins scheduled to host three regular-season night games at FedExField this season, Gibbs wanted to get players some work under the lights. Redskins Park, the team's year-round practice facility does not have any lights above any of its four practice fields.
"This was a change of pace," Gibbs said. "I do like to have a little work under the lights. More than anything, it gives us a long break in the day for some real rest."
The practice was closed to the public and only print reporters were allowed to attend. Video and still photographers were barred from the practice.
Laveranues Coles sat out practice to give his sore right toe some rest. Mike Barrow and Randy Thomas also sat out practice to rest sore knees.