- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 3, 2006

Last night’s two-hour practice concluded three days and four practices of training camp — or what Washington Redskins assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams calls the most difficult stretch of August.

“The first week is a week of getting back to basics — you have to get back to things fundamentally, and it’s a law of survival for them,” he said. “The first three days are the toughest three days of camp. You’ll start to see them rebound on the fourth day and then on the 10th and 12th day of camp.

“They’re going to lose their legs — they know that. It’s important to work them hard early so we can have them strong and fresh later in camp.”

The Redskins moved yesterday’s late afternoon practice to the evening because of steamy temperatures.

Williams embraced coach Joe Gibbs’ decision to have only three two-a-day sessions during the first two weeks of training camp. The first was Tuesday; the second is today at 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. And the Redskins’ opening drills are far different than those in San Diego, where Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer started practice Monday with the physical “Oklahoma” drill in which a defensive player tries to plow through a lineman and tackle the running back.

“[Gibbs] has done a tremendous job of how he scheduled this camp because the guys paid the price for us in the offseason, so we brought them in late so we don’t wear them out,” Williams said. “We’re in the third year of a system that’s pretty flexible and pretty adaptable. I have to see the young guys; I pretty much know the older guys.”

Weak-side linebacker — the most visible starting job competition in camp — features an older guy (Warrick Holdman) and a younger guy (Rocky McIntosh).

“Warrick’s done very well, and Rocky’s improving daily,” Williams said. “Physically, Rocky can do some things the other linebackers can’t do. He has to get some of the verbal and scheme things down.

“Warrick and Rocky have a good, heated battle going on. Khary [Campbell] is in the mix, and Chris [Clemons] is in the mix. The guy playing the best will play the most, but we have packages for every guy.”

Extra measures

To prevent infections from spreading throughout the Redskins locker room and training room this season, the team became the first in the NFL to use SportsAide, “an antimicrobial treatment for sports equipment and facilities that controls the growth of a very broad spectrum of all known bacteria, mold, fungi and algae.”

Virginia Tech’s athletic program also has used SportsAide — which is part of the Coatings Specialist Group in suburban Detroit — on its football and wrestling equipment and facilities.

The Redskins have had five cases of MRSA, a serious infection that has become prevalent outside of a hospital setting. There have been several cases in football and wrestling. Last year, defensive tackle Brandon Noble had a serious infection.

“I researched the issue during the offseason to do whatever I could do to make this place safer,” director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said.

The bottom floor of Redskin Park has new carpet, new paint and a new Jacuzzi, and the benches in the locker room were replaced with individual stools. The entire floor also was sprayed.

Wendy Orthman from Coatings Specialist said the company is talking with 10 NFL teams and nearly 50 colleges about using SportsAide.

Tyer said center Casey Rabach, who sustained cuts and abrasions in an off-the-field accident during the offseason, made it through rehabilitation without contracting an infection.

No Kennedy

Gibbs said the Redskins declined to work out Lincoln Kennedy because of the former Oakland offensive tackle’s poor physical condition and medical issues.

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