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Now hear this: Fake noise gives Redskins feel for road game

- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's a common scene on NFL practice fields — speakers blaring fake noise on the sidelines to simulate a road environment. The Washington Redskins having that setup Wednesday was particularly interesting because their preseason game Friday against the Indianapolis Colts is at Lucas Oil Stadium, a place with a reputation for piped-in crowd noise.

Real football games that count — and real noise — doesn't get under way until September, but practicing with the speakers now could help Friday and into the season.

"It makes you focus on the ball and the snap count," wide receiver Anthony Armstrong said. "The one advantage the offense has is the snap count, but when you're on the road and it's loud like that, we can't really hear it. You just have to focus in on the movement of the ball, and it helps simulate hostile road conditions."

The NFL competition committee reviewed the policy regarding club-controlled video on scoreboards and video boards and recommended to eliminate the 2010 requirement that video cease when the play clock reaches 15 seconds.

It also clarified its position that noise of any kind (music, horns, gongs, drums, etc.) under club control is prohibited when the play clock is running and the visiting team has the ball, regardless of whether it is accompanied by an approved message on the video board.

Playing time for Colts

John Beck will start at quarterback, and the plan is for the starters to play about all of the first half Friday. But that's not a precise measurement.

"Somewhere in the area of [a half]," coach Mike Shanahan said. "People don't realize you take people out — you take them out after maybe 10-15 plays and certainly other positions, guys that haven't been with the system, you want them to feel better about it and get used to the system."

Shanahan said he was approaching this game similar to last week's against Pittsburgh, but there are a few changes because the Redskins have "a few guys banged up a little bit more this week."

That includes the secondary, where three of the four projected starters (cornerback Josh Wilson and safeties LaRon Landry and Oshiomogho Atogwe) will not play.

Not Manning up

The biggest star in Indianapolis sports — and arguably in the NFL — is Peyton Manning, but offseason neck surgery continues to keep him out of the lineup. He won't play against the Redskins, but Shanahan isn't concerned about injuries on the other side.

"Everybody's got a way to get their football team ready," he said. "There's a lot of different philosophies on which way to do it, especially now with the lockout and people coming in at different times. I think you got to judge your football team."

The impact of Manning's absence is simple - less demand. As of Thursday, tickets were available on StubHub for as low as $2.

• Rich Campbell contributed to this report.

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