Lightning and an energy surge at ‘Skins training camp

Fans leave Redskins Park early after lightning ends outdoor practice in Ashburn, Va., at July 31, 2012. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

Megan Cloherty, wtop.com

ASHBURN, Va. – Day seven of Redskins training camp proved to be a disappointing one for fans after a thunderstorm rolled through Redskins Park, producing lightning that forced the team to move practice into the bubble and fans to go home.

Going indoors is a new option for the team as the construction of the indoor practice facility concluded a few months ago. But the air-conditioned bubble was lacking a main motivator that comes with training camp.

“We lose the energy missing the fans,” says newly-acquired wide receiver Pierre Garcon.

Inside the bubble, the players’ screams and grunts echoed off the white walls. As the kickers took aim from the 50-yard line, the players hooted as Robert Griffin III slid into the end zone with ease. A couple picks and some hard hits made for a good practice.

Fans who witnessed the first half of practice outside liked what they saw. William Edwards Jr. and his son Alex Edwards got a great vantage point and say they are impressed with Griffin’s quick looks and the depth of the defensive line.

Fans seem to feel the team has a different energy this year. Maybe it’s because of its highly-acclaimed quarterback. Maybe it’s because the running game is looking stronger, at least in practice. It could also be how the defensive line is settling in, approaching drills with the confidence similar to trying on a favorite pair of jeans, they know how they fit.

“The [coaches] expect great things from our defense and our outside backs in general,” says linebacker Brian Orakpo.

“They expect a lot. We expect a lot. I don’t want to put it out there, but this is going to be a good season for us because we really worked very had to get to this point.”

From Redskins veteran Orakpo, to the new guy, Garcon is taking the change in stride. He says there’s no extra pressure beyond what comes with the job.

“Nah, no pressure. Well, every time you step out on an NFL field you know there’s some kind of pressure, some nervousness and stuff like that. It’s football at the end of the day. You know what you have to do, you have to run and catch. It’s what makes the team win really,” Garcon says.

The former Colt is settling into Washington and says he’s ready to take D.C.’s team to new heights.

“Washington is great. I’m trying to win some games. That’s the ultimate goal in the end of the day just winning games just getting some wins. That makes everything better,” Garcon says.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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