The Washington Times - June 30, 2011, 09:56AM

Things are slow in Redskins land these days, and that’s OK. That’s how it should be this time of year. If players and owners agree to a new collective bargaining agreement soon, the free agency talk will explode into overdrive. Until then, we wait.

Aside from that, I hope you had the opportunity to read Monday’s news nugget regarding the Redskins’ intention to start training camp on July 28. That’s only four weeks from today(!).

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Meantime, first-round draft pick Ryan Kerrigan and several other Redskins rookies attended the symposium hosted by the decertified NFL Players Association this week near Tampa.

Kerrigan heard former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs’ speech and was impressed.

“It was pretty cool to hear Coach Gibbs speak,” Kerrigan said by phone Wednesday night. “I’ve heard a lot about him since I’ve been drafted by the Redskins. I didn’t get to meet him myself individually, but to hear him speak and get some insight from him was a cool thing.”

Gibbs addressed the assembled rookies about making sound financial choices.

“Just being smart about entering the league and different lifestyle choices such as how you’re going to manage your money and how to deal with people coming into your life and wanting to know you,” Kerrigan said. “It’s going to be a big adjustment, but this definitely helped out.”

The league usually hosts the event and considers it mandatory for all rookies. With the lockout ongoing, however, the NFLPA took over and it was optional. Still, several members of the Redskins’ draft class attended, including receiver Leonard Hankerson, running back Evan Royster, linebacker Markus White and nose tackle Chris Neild, according to Kerrigan.

Kerrigan noted a few other highlights, including how commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith appeared together to address the group.

“I thought that was pretty cool because the media has kind of portrayed them as enemies, but that wasn’t it at all [Wednesday],” he said. “They were talking and just trying to give as much insight to us players as possible. I think they were really informative.”

Neild was good enough to tweet a picture of Goodell and Smith together.

In perhaps the most memorable moment of the two-day event, former New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs coach Herm Edwards gave a rousing speech about conduct and decision-making. (Watch video of the speech here.)

“Heck, I wanted to get up and play some football when I heard him talking, just his passion for the game,” Kerrigan said. “I wanted to run through a wall for him after hearing that speech. However motivating it was on TV, it was that much more in person.”

Kerrigan returned to Purdue after the symposium. He said he’ll continue his training and “keep my fingers crossed that the lockout ends soon.”