If youd like to go to Redskins Training Camp, you can get your freepass now at www.csnwashington.comtrainingcamp. We also have an FAQ up that will hopefully answer your questions.When training camp opens on July 26 it appears that the Redskins will be flip-flopping the daily schedule they employed in 2011.Last year was the first under the new CBA regulations that essentially eliminated two-a-day practices. Only one practice each day can be in pads. The other is a walk through (or, as Mike Shanahan called it, a jog-through) during which helmets may not be worn and contact is prohibited.The walkjog throughs are important but they are dreadfully dull to watch. That is why last year they were not open to the public, only to the media. The full camp practices were held in the morning at 8:30 and the review session was in the afternoon.The Redskins announced yesterday that fans are invited to the afternoon practices starting at 2:55. Presumably, these are the full practices in pads meaning that the Redskins have flipped last years schedule.Why would they do this? Since the coaching staff is on vacation right now, we can only speculate. Perhaps they simply didnt like the way it worked last year. Remember that last year they literally had just a few days to plan out the training camp schedule as the CBA wasnt approved until late July. Maybe what seemed like a good idea at the time turned out to be less than ideal in practice.It also is possible that the presence of the practice bubble came into the decision making process. Washington is notorious for having afternoon thunderstorms in the heat of late July and August. Last year, without the indoor practice facility, a practice could get wiped out by a line of thunderstorms rolling through. This year, they have the option of moving an afternoon practice into the bubble if the weather is threatening.Camp will be at Redskins Park in Loudoun County this year. The deal to hold training camp in Richmond doesnt kick in until 2013. The agreement is for eight years so this year is your last chance to see the Redskins train locally until 2021.There will be 13 practices open to fans; thats up from 11 open practices last year. You can see the full schedule here and download your free pass to camp here.
A frequent question Redskins players have had to face this past month is, in some form or another, "What's wrong with the defense, and what's changed?"
Washington's defense was, for the most part, effective and at times dominant during the team's 6-3 start.
But in this losing streak that extended to four games after the disgraceful performance against the Giants, the unit has been a trainwreck on top of a dumpster fire.
DJ Swearinger was the latest 'Skin to be asked the increasingly common question in the FedEx Field locker room postgame. His response was noteworthy.
"We just didn't execute, we just didn't get the job done," he said. "That's the answer they want me to give."
Swearinger attracts some of the largest media crowds when he speaks because he's passionate and never holds back with his quotes.
However, some recent comments from No. 36 about the Redskins' practice habits caught Jay Gruden's attention to the point where the coach explained in one of his weekly pressers he'd prefer the safety keep those thoughts in-house.
So, is Gruden or another coach or front office person the "they" that Swearinger referred to following the Giants blowout? You'd have to assume so.
Regardless, it's obvious that he wanted to say more, but instead, he kept his full, unfiltered opinion to himself — this time. If things continue to trend downward and his frustration continues to trend upward, though, don't expect him to keep giving the answers "they want."
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FEDEX FIELD — A week ago, Josh Johnson was playing in a charity basketball tournament in his hometown of Oakland. Five-on-five, full court, twenty-minute halves and four games, if you want to know the truth. His squad won the title.
That’s a pretty good day. It had been a while since Johnson played that much ball. He couldn’t have realized what the next week had in store. Signed and cut by 11 NFL teams, now 32 years old and with his hopes of another chance remote at best, circumstances changed dramatically for Johnson.
Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy broke his leg in last Monday’s game at Philadelphia. By Tuesday night Johnson was on a red-eye flight to Washington. By Wednesday, he was at practice. By Sunday he was on the field in the second half, replacing ineffective starter Mark Sanchez with Washington down 40-0 to the New York Giants.
“It’s really something I’ve been doing the last six years. I’ve been cut so much, been picked up one time the day of a game,” Johnson said. “The poise was there within myself because I just had to remember what I did before. Everybody probably would have expected me to go out and not do anything so I really had nothing to lose.”
At this point the 6-7 Redskins probably have nothing to lose, either. Their top two quarterbacks (Alex Smith, McCoy) are lost to broken legs, the offensive line is decimated by injuries again, the defense is fading. Johnson’s presence is the perfect metaphor as a once-promising season slips away during a four-game losing streak.
Sanchez, who signed himself just last month after Smith’s gruesome leg injury, struggled in the pocket against New York and doesn’t have the mobility to escape when protection breaks down.
At 5:31 of the third quarter, coach Jay Gruden turned to Johnson. He still has the athleticism to escape trouble and his legs can stress a defense. Gruden used to tease Johnson about his ugly spirals when they were together with the Cincinnati Bengals. Gruden was the offensive coordinator then, Johnson just a reserve.
It’s fair to point out that Johnson was playing during garbage time against a 4-8 team that had long ago gave up on its own season and was ahead 40-0 and ready to kill the clock and get out of Washington with a win. But he did complete 11 of 16 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown. He was not sacked. He ran for 45 yards on seven carries, including a touchdown.
“The guy has been around the league for a while and has been with Jay before. To see him put that on tape was great,” Redskins right tackle Morgan Moses said. “He told us he’d communicate and make sure we’re on the same page - even if we’ve got to go on the same snap count. If we’ve got to dummy it down and make it simple for guys to get the ball out, that’s what it takes.”
That Johnson produced as much as he did was shocking given that he hardly knew anyone’s name other than tight end Vernon Davis, who he played with in San Francisco, running back Adrian Peterson, tight end Jordan Reed and wide receiver Jamison Crowder. Johnson ran scout team reps in practice as the Redskins scrambled to get Sanchez ready to start. He did not get his own package of plays.
Teammates didn’t know much about Johnson, either. He spent all week holed up in meetings trying to learn the playbook as fast as he could. It’s an impossible task. He even took to playing Madden football to learn his own teammates’ names. He laughed that it came to that, but wasn’t surprised. You do what you have to when given an unexpected chance.
“Felt fun. It felt fun. I was just really embracing the opportunity,” Johnson said. “When you don’t get to play this game and you love this game then you really appreciate every opportunity that you get. And so I just wanted to enjoy it. And that’s how I’m taking it every day. Come to work. Practice. Weight room. Whatever. Just enjoy it. I’m 32. I’m 32. Just enjoy it.
And Johnson ultimately gave Gruden what he needed in that moment. The final score was still a brutal 40-16 after a pair of two-point conversions. But Johnson will start next Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars - though it is probably too late for the Redskins who look less and less competitive every week.
"The bright spot we had to today was Josh Johnson,” cornerback Josh Norman said. “The rest of it, it is what it is."
For some players, that’s enough to start thinking about the offseason. For Johnson, cut by the Giants at the end of training camp in 2017, the Houston Texans last December, the Oakland Raiders, his hometown team, in May, every minute in the NFL is a gift. He could be back in Oakland, working with cousin Marshawn Lynch and their Family1st Foundation, which helps provide, mentoring, skills, sports and business opportunities and training to kids in inner-city Oakland and beyond.
Johnson was at a local hospital visiting one of his foundation’s kids, who had a broken leg, when he got the call from the Redskins. He was ready for a chance no one saw coming except himself. Maybe that lesson will stick with the kids back home, too.
“We’re just trying to do what we do for our community and then spread it to other communities,” Johnson said. “We grew up like a lot of these inner-city kids. If we can be an example of how to keep pushing, stay motivated within yourself, be able to take the good with the bad - that’s how life is. It’s overcoming.”
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