With veterans and rookies side by side, the Redskins held their first practice of their post-draft mini-camp Friday afternoon. It wasn't always the most efficient of practices, as far as the players' performance on the field was concerned. But football was back at Redskins Park.
"It was good to get everybody together--that's the good news," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "The bad news is: It was rough out there. Obviously we got quite a bit in and some of the young first-year guys had a tough time today. We had a good attitude-it just seemed we were off on a bunch of stuff."
Added quarterback Mark Brunell: "What you want right now is a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm, great attitude and hard work. We've got that in place."
It was the first NFL mini-camp for about 15 rookies, including first-round draft pick Sean Taylor and third-round draft pick Chris Cooley. Late-round picks Mark Wilson and Jim Molinaro, a pair of offensive tackles, made a quick first impression with their 6-6, 300-pound frames, not to mention their long hair.
Most of the players arrived at Redskins Park for the mini-camp on Thursday evening for a team dinner. On Friday morning, the team held a walk-through practice. After a series of position meetings, the team held a full-scale practice in the late afternoon.
Some other observations on the first day of Redskins mini-camp:
-- With Derrick Dockery, Randy Thomas and Kenyatta Jones each sitting out the scrimmages, Molinaro, Wilson and Bill Ferrario seemed to get a lot of work.
-- Veterans were already instructing the newcomers on the way of the NFL. After Cooley hauled in a pass, he turned upfield and sprinted five yards before stopping in his tracks. On the sidelines, a group of veterans led by Rock Cartwright chided Cooley, telling him to continue running upfield and finish the play.
-- Running back Clinton Portis crossed everyone up with his uniform number. He was expected to wear jersey No. 35, albeit temporarily, but instead he wore No. 6. At the last mini-camp, he wore No. 3.
-- Taylor saw most of his action on the third team defense. He did not get as many reps during the scrimmage, instead working closely with defensive backs coaches DeWayne Walker and Steve Jackson.
Said Gibbs: "It's hard for the rookies because right now we have quite a bit in place. They were thrown into the fire."
Regarding Cooley, Gibbs said: "I know he's extremely bright. First impressions are, he's going to get thrown into the mix and he's going to have to fight. I think from what we know about him, he's going to do well with that. He's quick. He's got good hands. But from the first workout, it's hard to tell."