Depending on how the preseason schedule aligns for the Redskins this year, Jay Gruden hopes that another NFL team will join Washington this summer in Richmond.
Ever since Jay Gruden took over as head coach of the Washington Redskins, he has embraced the opportunity of having teams visit the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va. during training camp.
Two of the three seasons he has been the head coach in Washington, a team has traveled for a joint practice in front of the fans in Richmond and he is hopeful that it will happen again. In 2014, the New England Patriots came to town. Then it was the Houston Texans in 2015.
The Washington Redskins and Houston Texans had to be separated after three scrums broke out during their joint practice Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
"I'm going to wait till the schedule comes out," Gruden said this week in Phoenix. "Whoever we play Week 1 and week 2 and with the contract we have with Richmond, I don't know if we can leave for a good amount of time to go somewhere and practice so we have to have someone come here. So hopefully we get that done."
Joint practices are a change of pace since they add a game-like element to training camp that can naturally raise the intensity level for the players after facing teammates for a number of days. Lining up against a new opponent can help the coaches evaluate their players so they can find the best 53-man roster heading into the new season.
The joint practices can give the Redskins' coaches and front office staff an inside look at offseason habits of another NFL franchise. It will also offer the Redskins a chance to practice against a team who runs a completely different scheme that can improve their preparations throughout the NFL season.
"That's the number one objective is A) to continue to implement our system, obviously, and learn what we're doing, but B) see how our players react to the competition and try to get a better gauge on our best 53 — our depth chart moving forward in the first, second, third preseason game," Gruden said of joint practices in 2015.