The A.M. Camp Report: Day 1

When Joe Bugel arrived at Redskins Park early this morning, he saw an unusual sight. Fans already were in the parking lot tossing footballs around. They couldn't wait for practice to start. Some fans were here before dawn. ''It was like a gameday,'' Bugel said.

And it was also like a reunion. And a celebration. For when Joe Gibbs walked onto the field the several thousand fans gave him a standing ovation, an equal nod to the past and to the future.

Gibbs was quiet, but always in command and always teaching. Few plays, if any, ended without a teaching tip. He and other members of the offensive staff served as defensive players during some drills, just to provide a look. Let's just say Don Breaux has lost a step in the backfield.

The practice overall was a bit ragged and not to Gibbs' liking. Blame it on first day nerves and being in pads for the first time in a while.

But what Gibbs liked most was the crowd.

''I don't know of any sports franchise where there are fans that can match ours,'' he said. ''If you want to coach football it's great to do it in a place where football really matters.''

. . . Gibbs said the practice was a bit off, partly because it was the first day in pads. Threw off some of the timing, etc.

. . . Left tackle Chris Samuels is determined not to repeat last year. He refuses to blame his problems on the coaches, saying he got a little lazy. He also said he lost confidence and was a bit frazzled with all the blitzing. And he vows to play with a chip on his shoulder.

''I am pissed,'' he said.

Those three words could make a world of difference this season.

. . . Fullback Mike Sellers left Redskins Park with his right foot in a walking boot. Not sure yet what his injury is, but he could miss a couple days. By the way, Sellers buried linebacker Billy Strother on a punt return block, then hustled downfield and got in his way as the ball was coming back upfield.

. . . Sellers lined up with the first team at H-back.

. . . The building has turned into an advertising billboard. Toyota,, FedEx, WJFK 106.7, Mastercard, Chevrolet and Comcast all had banners lined around the building.

. . . Lennie Friedman lined up at center with the first unit and clearly has an edge or so it seems. Every time Bugel mentions the line, he includes Friedman among the starters. Though he only weighs about 285 pounds, Friedman's quickness and leverage have impressed Bugel. Remember, he played with a small center the first time around in Jeff Bostic (though they often tried to replace him).

. . . A couple fans yelled to James Thrash, welcoming him back. They got a kick out of his response, a nod and a finger point.

. . . Special teams coach Danny Smith has the most energy of the coaches. Or at least the most visible energy. He got on linebacker Chris Clemons during a punt coverage drill for getting out of his lane. ''Where are you supposed to be!'' he shouted a few times. ''Look at him and attack him! . . . We shouldn't be making that some correction!''

. . . Fox analyst, and ex-Redskin, Trevor Matich thinks the Redskins line could be one of the best in the league.

. . . Ex-Redskin Kurt Gouveia attended practice.

. . . Not practicing: safety Sean Taylor, corner Walt Harris, tackles Brandon Winey and Kenyatta Jones.

. . . Why I like Brandon Noble: watch him when he rushes; he gets under his opponent's pads better than anyone. Won't be an all-star, but he's fundamentally sound.

. . . Running back Clinton Portis showed a great cutback ability during run drills.

. . . Quarterback Mark Brunell does not throw the long ball as well as Patrick Ramsey. But Brunell does well on underneath throws. He made two perfect throws to backs, one to Portis on the left sideline, delivering the ball to his outside shoulder as linebacker Mike Barrow was on the inside.

. . . Ramsey threw the first interception, getting picked by safety Matt Bowen.

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