With NFL teams starting training camp in July, often in sweltering heat, hydration has become a league-wide focus. The Redskins have attempted to be proactive in instructing players on recovery nutrition.
During Sunday night's team meeting, nutritionist Ann Litt talked to the players about proper hydration on excessively hot days. On Monday, for the Redskins' first training camp practice, the temperature reached the mid-90s.
"It's always going to be hot, but we just caught a pretty hot day for the first practice," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "Our medical team watches everybody closely and we had a pretty good practice. They're trying to pace themselves. As a coach, you don't want them to pace themselves--you want them to go hard. But we have to be careful because we have a lot of work to get in."
Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer discussed the team's hydration efforts after practice.
"We have a plan for weighing them in and weighing them out, and we monitor their body weights to make sure that they recover [from practice]," Tyer said. If they don't recover, we either pull them out of practice the next day or we'll monitor them closely during practice.
"You'll see us out there--we're icing them down and watering them down. They get water every chance they get."
Two Redskins players were affected by the heat. Tight ends Mike Sellers and Buck Orgeta suffered what the team called "heat cramps." Sellers had to be carted off the field.
Temperatures are expecting to be in the mid-90s for the remainder of the week.
"We'll take each day as it comes," Tyer said. "We do such a good job of getting everybody water. Sometimes at the water breaks, some of the guys will stand there and not drink, so it's just a matter of getting them to do it and staying on them. We'll have water breaks or we'll adjust practice."
After practice, several players sat in ice tubs situated in the back of the Redskins Park facility. The tubs have become a staple of Redskins training camps over the years.
"It's there to help drop their body temperatures a little bit and the players like it," Tyer said.
-- PATTEN, SALAVE'A ABSENT
Wide receiver David Patten sat out Monday's practice due to what team officials called a viral infection. His status is being evaluated day-to-day.
Defensive tackle Joe Salave'a's mother passed away recently and he was excused from practice.
Wide receiver Antwaan Randle El participated in most of Monday's practice, but he suffered some lower back pain and was held out of the last few drills. Randle El's status is listed as day-to-day.
-- FIRST DAY FOR MCINTOSH
One day after signing his rookie contract, Rocky McIntosh was at Redskins Park ready for his first training camp practice.
McIntosh spent parts of the last five weeks at Redskins Park rehabbing from knee surgery, so he has never been far from coaches and team officials. But his contract negotiations dragged on.
Finally, McIntosh forced his agent's hand.
"I just had to back my agent off a little bit," he said. "He's a little aggressive. I told him I wanted to show up on time, so I called him off."
As for his knee, McIntosh said: "The last week, I've been full-go, so I'm all cleared up and ready."
McIntosh is expected to be in the mix for playing time at the weak-side linebacker position.
-- BRUNELL: LESS REPS IN PRESEASON
Joe Gibbs said that quarterback Mark Brunell will probably see less work in preseason games than his two backups, Todd Collins and Jason Campbell.
"He'll still get quite a bit of work here with the first units," Gibbs said. "I don't think that in his career, Mark has been a guy who has to have a whole lot of reps. We'll have him out there some."
Gibbs reiterated that coaches wanted to get a close look at Campbell this preseason. The second-year quarterback and former first-round draft pick is not expected to start any of the Redskins' four preseason games, however.
"Todd knows this system inside and out because he worked with Al Saunders in Kansas City, and you can tell because when he's back there, he's real confident and knows what's going on.
"So we'll have Jason take more work."