RICHMOND — Here is what you need to know on Tuesday, July 31, nine days before the Washington Redskins open up their preseason at New England.

Talking points

The Redskins were not scheduled to practice yesterday. That’s a good thing, because the weather may have caused some issues. 

It rained hard here overnight and into the morning. It stopped by the time the Redskins would have been practicing but it resumed off and on throughout the day. They do keep the fields covered when there is a threat of rain so perhaps they would have been able to conduct practice. The afternoon walkthrough, however, would have been in jeopardy. 

Today, there is a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms when practice is scheduled to start that increases to 50 percent by noon, which is around when practice ends. And even if a thunderstorm not directly over the Bon Secours training center, it could disrupt practice. If lightning is spotted anywhere near the facility, practice will get shut down. 

The weather issues are unlikely to end today. The Capital Weather Gang is forecasting about 2.5 inches of rain for the Richmond area this week. That’s a lot and the effect is worse because the ground is saturated from all of the rainfall over the past few weeks. 

Any training camp time lost to the weather is gone. The NFL is not going to push back the season opener in Arizona a few days because the Redskins lost some training camp practices to the weather. 


Of course, all NFL teams have to deal with weather. Most have indoor practice facilities. The Redskins have one but, of course, it’s in Ashburn, not in Richmond. The sheer logistics of going up to Redskins Park for a practice and then returning to the Bon Secours Center make it impractical. Not to mention that the Redskins’ contract with the City of Richmond likely prohibits that. 

Speaking of that contract, which has two years to run, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney recently said that the city would like to have the Redskins back in the future, but he doesn’t want the city to pay the $500,000 per year that the current contract requires. 

Could the money on one side and the lack of a place to practice when the weather is bad on the other perhaps bring the deal between the city and the team to an end? And could it happen sooner than the contracted two years? 

Watercooler wisdom

With Alex Smith at quarterback, the Chiefs were 30th in the league in each of the past two years in red zone touchdown conversion percentage. In Smith’s first three years in Kansas City, from 2013-2015, they were eighth, eighth, and 14th.

On the Record 

Preston Smith on building chemistry with the rest of the defense: When guys are playing together they get in a rhythm. We’re getting together, we talk a lot more, and guys are more comfortable . . . So we’re familiar with each other. Guys know what each guy is capable of. We hit the field, I look to my left and I see Anthony Lanier or I see Matt Ioannidis, I know what that guy next to me is capable of, they know what I’m capable of. It’s a lot easier to play, a lot less thinking.

Comment: Chemistry is important and if the Redskins’ defense plays well there will be a lot of talk about. But talent is king and that will determine how good the defense is. 

Josh Harvey-Clemons on transitioning from being a college safety one season to an NFL linebacker the next: Last year, my head was spinning. It’s just the little things that you don’t realize like shortening your steps and not overrunning your plays. From safety, I was able to come downhill full speed. At linebacker you have to kind of slow play a little bit and do different things.

Comment: Harvey-Clemons has a very good outlook on things. He knew he had to work hard coming out of college whereas other rookies who are staying in the same position don’t realize what it takes. You’ll hear from him this season. 

The Agenda​​​​​​​

Today: Jay Gruden press conference 9:30; Training camp practice 9:45; Walkthrough 4:40; players available after both practices

Upcoming: Preseason opener Redskins @ Patriots (Aug. 9) 10 days; Final cut (Sept. 1) 33 days; Season opener @ Cardinals (Sept. 9) 40 days


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In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler