''The fans shocked me,'' he said. ''I haven't been here when we've had this kind of get together. For some reason there were more people and it was more intense. I guess because we're in Washington.''
Or it could be because Gibbs came back.
. . . One player who impressed during OL vs. DL drills was free agent signee Cornelius Griffin. On one play, he threw guard Randy Thomas to the ground. Another time he shoved him backward. Griffin is a very strong player and if he plays like that the line can be a help rather than a problem.
Of course, we're not sure what it says about Thomas. Then again, we remember last summer that he didn't look great all the time. Except when the games started. But considering what Griffin could add it was a nice debut.
. . . Here's a guy whose personality I think I underestimated: Clinton Portis. After seeing him in the first minicamp with his pants halfway down his rear end, I started to wonder about him. It wasn't just that; there were other hints of immaturity. But I haven't seen any since and to listen to him is to enjoy him.
Portis talked after practice about wanting to be more of a leader and one of the guys he plans to help is fellow ex-Hurricane Sean Taylor. Let's just say Taylor is off to a rocky start with the media. Not that it matters much, but it's a real difficult relationship to screw up. Be cooperative and people love you; blow people off and be surly and it's a different story.
And that's just part of Taylor's story right now. Everyone knows the other stuff that's happened.
''I've gotta work on him,'' Portis said. ''It's gonna take some time, but he's coming around. He's starting to understand his role. He's had some negative publicity, but he's a rookie. You've got to learn the system. Once you learn the system you can get away with some of those things. But until you learn the system and make plays and show they got what they bargained for, you can't do silly stuff. He'll pick up from that. He'll be great for the organization.''
. . . Portis also said he wants to catch 101 passes this year.
''I told Laveranues that he might not make it to the Pro Bowl,'' Portis said, laughing. ''And Rod Gardner . . . they can hang it up. I'm going to do everything around here.''
. . . Left-footed punter Kevin Stemke boomed a few long punts this afternoon, drawing ooohs and aaaahs from the crowd. I doubt he has a shot to make the roster, but he has a real chance of impressing another team. Tom Tupa hasn't exactly punted poorly, either.
. . . Linebacker Marcus Washington showed that he can cover. He ran step for step with tight end Robert Royal down the left sideline and broke up a pass from Mark Brunell.
. . . After one Brunell pass was knocked away, quarterback Patrick Ramsey patted him on the helmet. Call it a show of unity.
. . . Receiver Darnerien McCants made a nice leaping catch of a Tim Hasselbeck pass, going high over the defender.
. . . Ex-Redskin Doc Walker spoke to the players Friday night, telling them what it means to be a Redskin and what they mean to the area. Walker passed up a chance to see the Mike Tyson fight to address the players.
So when someone asked linebacker LaVar Arrington what ''the Redskins way'' is, that's what Arrington talked about -- after first joking that he didn't the Redskins way is.
When it came to Walker, Arrington said, ''that's the Redskins way. That's what we're rebuilding here. . . . The Redskins way is winning and we haven't done that since I've been here. It has been forcefed to us since Joe Gibbs returned, which is a beautiful thing.''
. . . Injuries: H-back Mike Sellers (ankle) is day to day and walking around in a boot; Kenyatta Jones (sprained ankle) also is day to day; safety Sean Taylor (knee) is day to day -- there's a chance he might do limited work in practice Sunday afternoon; tackle Brandon Winey (ankle) will miss a couple more days.
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