The Washington Times - August 6, 2011, 04:46PM

Notes, quotes and observations from Saturday’s practice and Fan Appreciation Day at Redskins Park:

QB John Beck sat out the rest of team drills after his groin tightened up while scrambling on one play.

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P Sav Rocca practiced for the first time since agreeing to a free agent contract with the Redskins. His arrival from his native Australia was delayed by visa issues, but he finally landed in Northern Virginia on Friday evening. His trip from Melbourne was 25 hours, including a three-hour layover in Los Angeles.

“Five days once the petition was lodged to get over here is one of the quickest it’s ever happened,” Rocca said in a totally awesome Australian accent. “Usually it takes two to three weeks.”

Rocca would have been able to take care of his work visa back in the spring if it weren’t for the lockout. On Saturday, he practiced holding for field goals and extra points.

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WR Malcolm Kelly (right foot), TE Chris Cooley (knee), WR Brandon Banks (left knee) and RB Ryan Torain (broken left hand) did not participate in practice.

RT Jammal Brown’s absence was excused to attend a funeral, coach Mike Shanahan said.

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In deflecting the latest question about the progress of the quarterback competition, Shanahan said he intends to keep the identity of his starting quarterback a secret until he sends him out for the first series against the New York Giants on Sept. 11.

“I probably won’t let you know before the first game who’s going to play,” he said.

Shanahan loves keeping depth chart rankings and playing time plans a secret because he believes it gives him a competitive advantage. Of course, the winner of Rex-versus-Beck might be obvious after four preseason games. The suspense is building!!

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The Redskins released ILB Robert Henson. Henson’s roster spot was exempt because he was on the physically-unable-to-perform list following the knee injury that cost him all of last season. Still, he was not in the Redskins’ plans.

Henson, a sixth-round pick in 2009, will best be remembered for using his Twitter account to lash out at Redskins fans who booed the team during a 9-7 win over St. Louis during his rookie season.

Henson, who was inactive for the game, wrote under the username @RedskinsLB51: “All you fake half hearted Skins fan can .. I won’t go there but I dislike you very strongly, don’t come to Fed Ex to boo dim wits!!”

The tweet instigated some fiery online exchanges with fans, during which Henson flaunted his salary, writing: “No I didn’t play but I still made more than you in a year and you’d [gladly] switch spots with me in a second.”

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Former Denver Broncos TE Shannon Sharpe, one of the core contributors on Shanahan’s Super Bowl championship teams in 1997 and 1998, will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

“To see those people inducted, you always feel proud, especially when you know them,” Shanahan said. “But Shannon is extra special because we went through the process of building up a football team and finally being world champs. Shannon was such a big part of that.

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The Redskins chartered 17 buses to bring approximately 1,100 D.C.-area youth football players to Fan Appreciation Day festivities.

The team did not immediately announce an attendance figure, but it was a sizeable crowd. Attendance at the first week of practices has been lower than usual.