Morning showers at Redskins Park led to a steamy afternoon practice, as the sun brought hot temperatures back to Redskins Training Camp.
Players took the field in full upper-body pads for the fourth practice in a row, setting the tone for a more physical camp than in 2011. Players were coming off a locked-out offseason last year, which led head coach Mike Shanahan to be extra cautious with conditioning and practice.
Shanahan gave linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and London Fletcher a day off from practice today, but both players suited up and stood on the sidelines.
Shanahan explained after practice that both players consistently practice at full-speed, and it was his preference to allow them to rest. Fletcher is 37 years old this training camp, and Kerrigan didn't miss a single snap on defense last year, so the rest was well-deserved.
Shanahan also explained that the linebacker depth on the roster gave him incentive to want to see other options in action.
The pair was joined on the sidelines by former Redskins receiver Antwaan Randle El, who will be part of the Redskins' preseason broadcast team on Comcast SportsNet.
Randle El and company were treated to another strong practice from second-year receiver Aldrick Robinson, who appears to have made big strides in Year Two.
Robinson has been matched up with each of the three quarterbacks so far, and has become a consistent target to stretch the field and make a tough catch in coverage.
Robinson has also been a regular in the special teams return drills, shagging punts from the JUGGS machines with Brandon Banks, Anthony Armstrong and Terrence Austin.
Robinson had a disastrous performance against the Colts in the preseason last year (two muffed punts), but says he has worked closely with special teams coordinator Danny Smith and is confident heading into preseason action next week.
Practice was dominated by full-team down-and-distance drills, called in from Shanahan on the sidelines. Some of the best completion of the afternoon were called back due to retroactive 'sacks,' as the coverage in the secondary continued to hold.
The defensive play of the afternoon likely goes to cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who has frequently been matched up against slot receiver Santana Moss.
In one particular red zone scenario, he intercepted a goal line pass from Robert Griffin III, intended for Moss, and dragged his toes before falling out of bounds.
The offensive play of the day came on the same connection, with Griffin III hitting Santana Moss for a 60-yard touchdown catch and run. Griffin III threw the ball nearly 50 yards through the air.