- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 8, 2004

Wake up, Sunshine!

We’ll admit to nearly dozing off during special teams drills, so we won’t rip wide receiver John Standeford too much. Still, the undrafted rookie out of Purdue got flattened twice as practice opened with kickoff coverage drills.

Standeford, whom teammates have dubbed “Sunshine,” after Ray “Sunshine” Bass in “Remember the Titans,” was asked to hold a large blocking pad in the drill while a teammate came at him.

First Standeford was bowled over by a wicked hit from linebacker Lemar Marshall. Then, when his attention should have been good and focused, he got absolutely flattened by H-back Mike Sellers.

We’d suggest Standeford drink a little coffee before practice next time. But Darnerien McCants might recommend otherwise …

No privacy

Redskins fans are nothing if not perceptive, so when wide receiver McCants jogged off into the woods surrounding the practice fields at Redskin Park, the assembled masses knew exactly what was going on.

McCants, who apparently has no trouble staying hydrated, strategically positioned himself behind a tree so as not to conduct his business in plain sight. But when he emerged back on the field, the crowd let out a roar, much to McCants’ embarrassment.

Teammate Chad Morton saw what transpired and couldn’t help himself from asking McCants, in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, “Did you wash your hands?”

Still scarred

A year after Washington cornered the market in false starts, fans sound like the memory still haunts them.

Sure, all spectators groan when they see the telltale early movement. But we think there’s a perceptible difference in the griping of fans, the “ugggghhhhh” lasting an extra second or coming with a little extra emphasis. Yesterday the crowd at Fan Appreciation Day apparently didn’t mind arriving at 6 a.m. but seemed unnerved by a flinch on the line.

Apparently a holdover legacy from the Spurrier era.

OVERHEARD

“Oh yeah, that’s not a problem. He knew my name before I introduced myself. He definitely says my name right.”

— Wideout Darnerien McCants, on the difference between Joe Gibbs and former coach Steve (“Darterien”) Spurrier.

“Pull your pants up!”

— Anonymous fan to running back Clinton Portis, who wore his shorts extra-baggy during practice.

BY THE NUMBERS

20,000

Estimated crowd at Fan Appreciation Day.

96

Cars waiting to enter the parking lots at 4:30 a.m.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

The Redskins travel to Canton, Ohio, today for tomorrow night’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Game against the Denver Broncos. The team won’t return to Redskin Park until Wednesday for its final two open practices, 9 to 11 a.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Mark Zuckerman and Jody Foldesy

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