The good news: After days of heat and humidity, Redskins Park cooled off with an evening thunderstorm. The bad news: It cut Thursday evening's training camp practice short by an hour.
"We were going to try to go up to 9 p.m., and we did have a lot of work that we wanted to get done," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "The lightning popped up out there, so I figured the best thing for us to do was not go back out there."
The Redskins held a Thursday morning practice as well, so the day was not a lost cause. Still, Coaches and players will try to make up the work, starting on Friday with its 10 a.m. ET practice at Redskins Park. The practice is open to the public.
"We'll try and get some things done in practice, like tomorrow we may try to do a little extra," Gibbs said. "It's kind of hard to make things up with our schedule, though."
The lightning, thunder and rain arrived about one hour into the evening practice. Players had just completed individual drills and were about to begin some 7-on-7 drills when team officials signaled everyone off the field.
En masse, coaches and players left the field. Of course, when there's downtime for an NFL team, it usually means players find innovative ways to amuse themselves.
Sitting underneath an awning in the back of Redskins Park, some players would shout out "Oooh" and "Aaah" every minute, pretending lightning was on the horizon. Of course, it wasn't. They wanted Coach Gibbs to think there was lightning, so that they could get out of practice.
"I've been around 35 years, I'm not falling for that," Gibbs said, laughing.
Other players, Randy Thomas among them, decided it was time for some rookie hazing. They taped undrafted rookie tight end Buck Ortega to a tree in the back, dumped shaving cream on his head and sprayed him with water--all in good fun.
"It's not bad," Ortega said sheepishly after he unwrapped himself. "I guess this is my indoctrination."
Meantime, cornerback Carlos Rogers missed both of Thursday's practice sessions after he suffered back spasms.
Said Gibbs: "We don't think it's anything serious. We'll give him a little rest and we'll take a look at him in the morning."
Wide receiver David Patten was released from the hospital on Thursday and returned home. It is hoped he will be available to return to Redskins Park early next week.
-- INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR
#### -- EYE ON PUNTING COMPETITION
This Saturday's scrimmage against the Baltimore Ravens will be the first opportunity for Redskins coaches to evaluate the team's two young punters, Derrick Frost and David Lonie.
Frost and Lonie are competing for the punting job. Frost, 25, was with the team last year, logging 76 punts for a 40.4-yard average. Lonie, 27, is an undrafted rookie out of Cal.
"We haven't done much right now there--I think the scrimmage will be the first time we really competitively punt to guys," Joe Gibbs said. "They're kind of getting in a groove at this point."
-- SALAVE'A PRACTICES
One day after returning to Redskins Park from American Samoa, defensive tackle Joe Salave'a participated in his first training camp practice. He missed the first two days to attend his mother's funeral.
Salave'a admitted he was not at full speed.
"I had been doing some conditioning work, but there is nothing like football conditioning," he said. "God willing, hopefully by Monday I will be up to speed."
Salave'a said he was fully recovered from the foot injury that plagued him most of last season.