The P.M. Camp Report: Day 4

They practiced away from the fans at an undisclosed site. The fans missed a good show, at least at the end.

That's when the Redskins had their most spirited work of training camp in a goal-line drill. And when Clinton Portis rammed it in on the first play, line coach Joe Bugel jumped up and down, then ran over and hugged him.

The defense stopped the run on the next play. But Sultan McCullough ran it over the right side one play later, getting a nice kick-out block from H-back Brian Kozlowski on safety Todd Franz.

On the final play, John Simon tried to dive over the top, leading to a lot of yelling and pointing about whether or not he scored. The officials ruled he didn't.

. . . Mark Brunell will start at quarterback in the preseason opener against Denver on Monday. The Redskins say not to read anything into this start because Patrick Ramsey will get the next start. There's still little doubt in my mind that Brunell will start. Ramsey will have to knock him out (figuratively, of course) to win the job. Brunell's experience and ability to throw on the run will be the difference.

The Redskins have used a lot of half-rollouts in practice, going back to the Joe Theismann days, and that's something Ramsey needs to improve at.

Having said that, it's not as if Brunell has wowed anyone in camp. For a while tonight, one reporter wondered if he had completed any passes. He eventually did.

. . . Coach Joe Gibbs likes practicing away from the regular facility for a couple reasons. One, it's a change of pace. They also get to work under the lights (albeit for only a few minutes since practice ended around 8:20 ET). And it gives the players a long day of rest (though they're in meetings most of the day).

. . . Not practicing today: Randy Thomas (knee), Laveranues Coles (toe) and Mike Barrow (knee)-- all for precautionary measures. Phillip Daniels (abdominal strain) also remains sidelined.

Daryl Terrell subbed for Thomas.

. . . Agent Drew Rosenhaus attended practice tonight, visiting with clients Portis and Jermaine Haley afterward. Couldn't see if he talked at all with ex-client Sean Taylor.

. . . Funny how people forget things. WP writer Tom Boswell singled out George Edwards for putting LaVar Arrington at strongside linebacker. But here's the thing: Arrington has played strongside since his rookie year, but will be more on the weakside this year. So don't blame Edwards. And when Arrington had all those sacks, the majority came when he rushed from left end.

. . . Pity the defensive unit for the conditioning drills they must endure. Once again they had to do up-downs while running downfield. They wound up doing it for 100 yards -- 50 down and 50 back. Gregg Williams is adamant about how he wants them run, too. If a player's chest didn't hit the ground, he'd hear about it: ''Get your ass on the ground! Touch your chest!'' he would shout.

. . . Safety Matt Bowen had his usual annoy-an-offensive-player play. This time, our good pal Bowen ran down rookie H-back Chris Cooley and shoved him from behind. Robert Royal then shoved Bowen, who ran over to Royal and bumped him with his shoulder. After Royal jogged away, Bowen ran alongside him, throwing a little elbow.

Say this about Bowen: the guy never quits on a play in practice.

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