Redskins scout Louis Riddick will contribute an occasional column for Redskins.com this season.
They're known as the "dog days" of training camp. It's something that's well known in the football world, from Pop Warner all the way to the professional level.
They're best described as those days when the practices seem like they'll never end, when your legs seem dead tired. You're sore, you miss being at home, and you have a short temper.
Like all NFL teams, this is the point where we are at right now at Redskins Park as we prepare for our final two preseason games before the real battles begin in September.
This Friday, we're in St. Louis for a game against the Rams. On Friday, Sept. 3, we play Michael Vick and the Falcons at FedExField.
In the main, this has been a very physical and mentally taxing training camp for the Redskins players. There has been a lot of emphasis by head coach Joe Gibbs and his staff on the fundamentals of the game: blocking, tackling, hitting and running.
It looks to me as though the players have responded well and have taken it upon themselves to do things the way the coaches have taught them.
Of course, there have been some very pleasant surprises along the way: players who were unknown commodities in the spring have come on and made big plays, catching the attention of the coaching staff.
Along with that, the big name free agents who were signed in the offseason have all performed just as we thought they would at this point, and the draft picks all look very good as well.
Against St. Louis, we will have a chance to see how our revamped secondary does against one of the best throwing teams in the NFL.
Torry Holt is as good as it gets when it comes to wide receivers in this league. He runs very good routes, has awesome hands and concentration, and is a veteran of the system that Mike Martz uses.
In addition, 11-year veteran Isaac Bruce has been a tremendous player for the Rams his entire career and still has the speed and athleticism to be a 1,000-yard receiver.
When you combine these two All-Pros with second-year players Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald, as well as last year's surprise Dane Looker, our corners and safeties will have all they can handle when we visit the Edward Jones Domes to take on "The Greatest Show on Turf."
Louis Riddick is in his fourth season as a pro scout with the Redskins. Riddick played safety in the NFL for seven seasons. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1991 after an outstanding college career at the University of Pittsburgh and went on to play for Atlanta, Cleveland and Oakland in the NFL.