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News & Notes: Redskins Still Battling Heat

Doesn't matter if the temperature is 99 degrees or 29 degrees, Fred Smoot is going to be a chatterbox on the football field.

As is his custom, Smoot was yelping out assignments and audibles on Tuesday as the team practiced in sweltering heat and humidity.

"That's the only thing that keeps a lot of people going out here," Smoot said. "The sun is on our backs, so we need to talk each other through it."

Temperatures soared into the upper 90s on Tuesday. It was the second day in a row of intense heat in the Washington, D.C., region.

Zorn said the heat and humidity mostly takes a toll on the younger players, particularly the team's rookie crop of receivers.

"I thought the guys pushed hard, but it affected us a bit mentally, especially with the younger guys," Zorn said. "Playing at the wide receiver spot is one of the hardest things because you have to get your splits, accelerate, explode and then come back and do it again. That's hard to do in this heat.

"They're figuring out what real pro football is all about, especially in Virginia and with the Redskins."

Zorn said he cut Tuesday's practice one play short since the previous play was a deep pass that required players to expend extra energy.

"You can't call me merciful, but I had a little mercy," Zorn said.

Added Chris Samuels: "Overall, guys probably want to be relaxing by the pool. But this is our job, we're happy to be here. We know that we have to get out here and learn a new system with a new coach coming in."

Clinton Portis and Cornelius Griffin remained excused from this week's voluntary OTA practices.

Shawn Springs was not in attendance. Smoot said he spoke recently with Springs, who is working out on his own in Arizona.

"He always comes back as one of the best conditioned guys on the team, so [his absence is] nothing to worry about," Smoot said.


#### -- MCINTOSH CLOSING IN

Rocky McIntosh participated in the walk-through portion of practice on Tuesday, in addition to working through individual drills.

McIntosh continues to be on pace to return for the start of training camp.

"I think he is getting very close, especially in his drill work," Jim Zorn said. "We don't have any contact during practice, which allows him to participate even more.

"Each day is a real help, and I think he is gaining confidence as the offseason progresses."


#### -- JANSEN'S GIANT MATCHUP?

When the Redskins open the regular season against the New York Giants on Sept. 4, Jon Jansen could find himself lining up against a familiar face.

Former Redskins defensive lineman Renaldo Wynn signed with the Giants earlier this offseason. Wynn played five seasons with the Redskins, emerging as a team leader.

Said Jansen: "I saw that he signed up there, so I look forward to seeing him and getting reunited--one way or another."

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