RICHMOND — As Redskins players sauntered onto the field Tuesday morning for the final day of training camp in Richmond, workers disassembled fences and pulled down signage.
With a couple snips, large posters of players’ faces fell to the sidewalk. A giant white tent that doubled as the pro shop was removed. Volunteers and media were the only ones watching practice in the rain.
The Redskins head north for a day off Wednesday after 16 practices in Richmond. They enter Redskins Park for the second part of training camp beginning Thursday.
Wrapping up the satellite portion of camp, team president and general manager Bruce Allen provided a plethora of thank yous before shifting to football.
One takeaway for Allen from the second year for the Redskins in Richmond was the benefit of having a joint camp with the New England Patriots. The Patriots were in Richmond for three practices prior to playing the Redskins in the preseason opener for each. Allen is interested in bringing another team in next year.
“That work was invaluable for us from an evaluation standpoint,” Allen said.
There was more tape of players against alternate competition than the standard four preseason games will allow. Allen was asked if he would be open to replacing a preseason game with more joint practice. The roundabout answer was no.
“I think there’s a great value in the preseason games,” Allen said. “I say that not just on behalf of the team, I see it for the players.”
Allen alluded to the running back competition among Lache Seastrunk, Silas Redd, Chris Thompson and Evan Royster. Battles likes that are why he feels the preseason games hold weight, particularly the final one when the game will be filled with backups throughout.
With Hall of Fame Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Willie Lanier at practice — Lanier was born in central Virginia and went to high school in Richmond — Allen was unsympathetic to the plight of four preseason games.
“I was talking to Willie Lanier out there — we remember seven preseason games,” Allen said. “Willie said that they played the starters for the Chiefs all the way into the fourth quarter in each one of them.”
One thing that has changed since then is the salary cap. The Redskins don’t have many pennies left in their pockets with just $1,839,143 remaining in cap space. Only one team in the league, the St. Louis Rams, has less space, according to the NFLPA’s public salary cap report.
“That is close,” Allen said. “Obviously, we’re going to have some injuries during the year that will eat that up. We’re going to make those adjustments and look at different options after the third preseason game.”
That’s when the cuts will begin. By 4 p.m. Aug. 26 the team has to be down to 75 active players. By Aug. 30 at 4 p.m. the final 53-man roster had to be determined.
“I don’t have any doubt we got better in camp,” Allen said. “The key is to keep getting better when we get back up to Redskins Park.”