- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 5, 2001

CARLISLE, Pa. The Washington Redskins are getting what amounts to a full day off, with yesterday's afternoon practice rained out and this morning's schedule allowing them to sleep in for the first time in a week.
They certainly appreciate it.
"I'm sleeping until p.p.m.," center Cory Raymer said. "If someone knocks on my door, they better be prepared to get blown up. The duct tape is going on blankets for the windows, and there won't be an ounce of light coming through."
The morning marks their first scheduled half-day off since training camp began Monday. Nine of 11 practices were in pads, with heat indexes usually in the 80s and low 90s. It was a fairly rigorous stretch under new coach Marty Schottenheimer, and it starts up again this afternoon.
"It's been mentally and physically challenging," defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson said. "We've been working out all offseason, so we're an in-shape team. But training camp two-a-days, especially in this type of weather environment, are going to be tough."
Under Norv Turner, players would have had at least two sessions a week reserved for weightlifting and walkthroughs. But Schottenheimer has squeezed in weight work after practices, which themselves have had a more physical nature.
"This was different in the fact that we really got at it on the field in practices each day," safety Sam Shade said. "And at the same time, we had some weightlifting thrown in that wasn't just do some curls for the girls. We've been working at it."
A number of players have suffered minor injuries, but Schottenheimer said he actually expected more setbacks based on his experiences with this regimen in past years.
"Generally, we'd have 20 names on that list about this time," Schottenheimer said. "This is hard. We're not going to deny that it's hard. [But] I think it might have been [fullback] Donnell Bennett [who] said he thinks this might be the easiest camp he's ever been in with us. It's all your perspective."
The schedule is supposed to lighten this week, with morning sessions pushed back from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and only one practice a day in pads. The players' next live contact doesn't come until the Aug. 12 preseason opener at Kansas City.

George throws harder

Quarterback Jeff George, still bothered by a sore arm, did a bit of heavier throwing with a trainer before the afternoon practice was rained out. He hasn't done any real throwing in workouts since Tuesday morning, but he seems unfazed.
"I just feel confident [I'll be healthy soon]," George said after the morning practice. "I don't know until I get out there and throw the ball around, zing it a little bit, but it felt pretty good [Friday]."
Lessening his concern is the extra work he and Todd Husak put in this summer at Redskin Park while learning Schottenheimer's offense.
"You don't want to miss time," George said. "I need to be out there; I want to be out there. But, yeah, it's good that we did all that work in the offseason. The offense, I know it. At this point, I'm getting mental reps more than physical reps."
One of camp's most promising players, rookie wide receiver Darnerien McCants, sat out after spraining an ankle in Friday's morning session. McCants' sprain isn't considered serious, and he expects to play against Kansas City, but the setback is disappointing because he is being considered for punt returns and perhaps the No. 4 wideout spot.
"Once I get back on top with my ankle, everything should be fine," said McCants, a fifth-round pick out of Delaware State. "I should pick up where I left off."

Extra points

Schottenheimer hopes to settle on his starting offensive line by the third preseason game Aug. 24 against the Cleveland Browns. The key competition is at guard, where veterans Ben Coleman and Matt Campbell are battling young Mookie Moore and Derrick Fletcher. Also, Schottenheimer complimented backup center Mark Fischer, who started in place of injured Raymer last year. Raymer is the starter, Schottenheimer said, but there is competition at that spot… .
Husak rebounded from a rough Friday morning. Said Schottenheimer: "[Friday] he had a very good afternoon. I find it interesting that in a four- or five-hour period, he could go from struggling to just looking like he had everything in [his] command. What's going on, quite honestly, is the volume of information these guys have to deal with, it's difficult. What they need to make sure is that they don't get caught up in the frustration of the moment." …
About 70 percent of the schemes have been installed, Schottenheimer said. He is targeting about 90 percent by the end of camp… . Rain canceled what would have been the Fan Appreciation Day practice.

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