- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 31, 2014

Citizens of Richmond this is not a test of Emergency Action Notification System.

Hide the women and children. Stay in your homes.

The Patriots are coming to town.

The Washington Redskins have invited the New England Patriots to practice with them at their Bon Secours training center in Richmond starting Monday through Wednesday, before their first preseason game Thursday at FedEx Field.

Somebody thought this was a good idea.

“Thanks to the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center we have a facility that has the capabilities to host joint practices of this nature where both teams can come together to prepare for the 2014 season,” Redskins executive vice president/general manager Bruce Allen said when they announced the practices in May.

Come together? Who does Bruce Allen thinks Bill Belichick is, one of the Beatles.

“Watching a consistent playoff team like the Patriots will be a good thing for everyone in the building,” new Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said.

Unless the Redskins have poor television reception, they’ve been watching other teams in the playoffs for more than 20 years. It hasn’t sunk in yet.

Does Gruden really believe that Belichick is going to have his Patriots mentor his Redskins?

This is Mr. Spygate. He may try to sneak Jordan Reeds out of camp with a disguise. After all, he’s short one Pro Bowl tight end, isn’t he?

Bruce Allen should know better. Belichick is his father reincarnated.

George Allen took no prisoners, broke the rules and didn’t play nice with others. It’s well known he traded draft picks he didn’t have, and was fined by the NFL. George Allen said he didn’t intend to trade the same draft picks to different teams, but Commissioner Pete Rozelle said, “It also happened a couple of times when Allen was coach at Los Angeles.”

Allen, as the story goes, believed spies were always watching Redskins practice and actually had a security officer on the payroll to look out for them. He did this because he supposedly had his own spies scouting out opponents.

Belichick whose weekly injury reports are high comedy for their blatant contempt for honesty is the guy who was fined $500,000 for using a video camera to spy on the New York Jets during a 2007 game.

Where was this spirit of cooperation in Richmond that will help the Redskins when the Carolina Panthers put Tyler Gaffney, a sixth-round running back who needed season-ending knee surgery, on waivers, with the idea of having him pass through waivers, untouched by other organizations, and then placed on the Panthers injured reserve list — one of the unwritten NFL rules — Belichick and the Patriots claimed Gaffney. The Panthers — who believed they were protecting him now are out the player and the nearly $100,000 signing bonus that the team gave Gaffney.

This is Belichick’s move. He did it in 2012 with injured New York Giants tight end Jake Ballard.

Yet five years earlier, Belichick actually called Vikings coach Brad Childress and asked him not to claim tight end Garrett Mills, who the Patriots were going to put on waivers and then planned to keep on the practice squad. According to Childress, Belichick offered to avoid picking up a player the Viking cut as a reward.

“He was trying to leverage, but you always find out who is honest and straightforward,” Childress said in a radio interview.

This is who the Redskins hope to come together with to get ready for this year.

By the time Belichick leaves Richmond, he’ll have the Redskins putting the Swinging Gate back in the playbook, convincing Gruden what a great special teams play it is. Jim Zorn just did it wrong, Jay.

Here is what the Redskins could learn from the Patriots. You won’t hear this coming out of their camp:

“This offense is very dangerous and very scary.”

“It’s the most talented secondary I’ve been around.”

“We have the potential to be the best offense ever.”

The Patriots have a sign in their locker room that says, “Ignore the Noise.” The Redskins have lived by the motto, “Create more noise.”

Maybe Belichick can bring that sign to Richmond as a gift or payment for whatever he takes with him.

• Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 radio and espn980.com.

• Thom Loverro can be reached at tloverro@washingtontimes.com.

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