All because of Fan Appreciation Day. The Redskins estimated the crowd at around 20,000. We have to agree with the figure. Regardless, there were a lot.
One fan, Mark Anthony of Knoxville, Tenn., drove all night and arrived at Redskins Park at 4:45 a.m.
''I'm a lifelong Redskins fan,'' said Anthony, a morning disc jockey/talk show host. ''I'm so excited about [Joe] Gibbs. I wanted to be the first here.''
We'll take his word that he was.
The crowd saved its loudest ovations for Gibbs, who addressed the crowd before practice started. Chants of ''Joe! Joe! Joe!'' turned into ''We Want Dallas!''
''We hear ya,'' Gibbs told them. He also said "You've been great the last 2 weeks, we've had tremendous crowds, sometimes it's been burning hot, but you are out here twenty deep, we know we have the best fans in the world."
The players were impressed. A couple young players would turn around once in a while and point to thousands of fans lining up for autographs, minutes after practice had started. But receiver Darnerien McCants wasn't surprised.
''They're Redskins fans,'' he said. ''That's how they're supposed to be.''
. . . Running back Clinton Portis said he'll play Monday against Denver. He did practice this afternoon.
. . . Barry Wilburn attended practice. He's now a commercial real estate agent on Capitol Hill.
. . . McCants knows of one big difference between Gibbs and Steve Spurrier. The former actually knows how to pronounce his name. Spurrier butchered his first name, calling him anything from Dartenien to Darterien.
''[Gibbs] knew who I was before I introduced myself,'' McCants said.
. . . Chad Morton was spotted wearing a Run, Clinton, Run T-shirt under his pads. Portis, of course, had the same shirt.
. . . The running backs continue to work on blocking. Running backs coach Earnest Byner had them perform one drill in which the players stood in a circle, with three holding blocking bags and another in the middle. The player would block one of the players, focusing on his arm thrust, making sure to get underneath the pads.
. . . McCants took a break to, um, relieve himself in the woods during practice. As he returned the crowd cheered. And Morton shouted to him, ''Did you wash your hands?''
. . . Lemar Marshall intercepted a pass this afternoon.
. . . The Redskins once again ran a lot of scout team stuff. It was funny to hear the crowd cheer when a member of the Redskins' scout offense, posing as a Denver player, would break off a nice play.
. . . Safety Ifeanyi Ohalete stepped in front of tight end Fred Baxter to intercept a Patrick Ramsey pass. Ohalete often seems to be in the right spot. Just wish he had more speed.
. . . There's a big emphasis on keeping players upright. After one play, when the linemen got tangled up and some fell to the ground, players on the sideline shouted, ''Stay up! Stay up!'' The more players who fall to the ground, the greater the chance there is of one getting hurt.
The P.M. Camp Report: Day 8
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