By the busload, Redskins players arrived early Monday morning at the team's training facility, ready for the start of the 2004 season. The team held a morning practice, mostly for offensive skill players, linebackers and defensive backs.
"This has the feel of training camp," linebacker LaVar Arrington told reporters at Redskins Park following practice. "Every practice we've had since mini-camp has felt like training camp. It was no different today. It was good--we had some good work out there."
Added quarterback Patrick Ramsey: "It feels like training camp has started. You've had a break and you come back to prepare for the season. That's what we're doing now. It's going to be turned up a notch inherently. I think everyone is ready for it."
On Monday, offensive and defensive linemen were not required to attend the practice session, although many were on hand for regular workouts.
On Tuesday, the Redskins are expected to hold their first two-a-day practice, followed by another day of practice on Wednesday. The team has Thursday off and then all players must report for the official start of training camp on Friday.
The first official training camp practice open to the public is Saturday at 9 a.m. That's when training camp begins in earnest. Complete Training Camp Schedule.
Through three mini-camps and more than a dozen off-season practice sessions, plus an intense off-season workout regimen, many players already feel up to speed.
"The more you work out during the offseason and the more you prepare yourself to play, it seems to give you an opportunity for your body to fully recover," Arrington said. "If you come in here trying to get into shape, you're going to struggle a little bit more.
"I think I've got a good grasp of how to take care of myself and get prepared for what's ahead. It's just mental preparation, giving yourself time to rest mentally and giving yourself a little bit of time after the offseason to rest physically. Then you can come in with a fresh attitude."
Added quarterback Mark Brunell: "The fact that we got spend a lot of time together during the offseason can only help us right now. It's been said that what you do in March, April and May really impacts what you do in November and December. I really believe that."