Redskins Training Camp Opens Shanahan-Style

ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 10:  Head Coach Mike Shanahan of the Denver Borncos reacts during the game with the St. Louis Rams on September 10, 2006 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. The St. Louis Rams won 18-10. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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There are only two seasons: football, and waiting for football. The waiting season ends today.

The Washington Redskins open training camp at 4:00 PM. Most players reported to Redskins Park yesterday. That includes Albert Haynesworth, the focus of 99 percent of media attention coming out of Washington.  Big Al met with head coach Mike Shanahan who described himself pleased with the outcome.

Shanahan said that Haynesworth must pass a physical and would start with the second team. Fans will see that as payback time for the defiance shown by Haynesworth upon Shanahan’s arrival. Lets give Shanny more credit for professionalism.

The Redskins need to see–actually see–Haynesworth’s fitness before risking his health, or trade value, in hard practice. After making an issue of the Skins’ intended use of him on defense, the coach wants to see cooperation and a little faith from Big Al on team strategy. And Shanahan owes something to the players who put in the time.

Fairness dictates they not lose their spot just because the absent guy (finally) showed up. That approach hasn’t been seen around here since Marty Schottenheimer in 2001. That’s reason to hope that the cultural shift the Redskins need is happening. Haynesworth’s talent should get him elevated to the first team in no time.

Former Redskin-former Bronco Mark Schlereth offers a few insights on Shanahan’s practice methods. Rich Campbell of the Free-Lance Star reported a lengthy interview with Schlereth who played under Joe Gibbs, Norv Turner and Shanahan (I call him the Hog who got away).

Shanahan’s practices should be crisp, up tempo, “full go” without a lot of hitting. Good. That suits the NFL’s oldest team.

Campbell’s article is a good read. Go take a look. We’ll be here when you get back.

Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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