Locked-out Redskins hold practice
Locked out of their team's headquarters, about 25 Washington Redskins gathered Tuesday for a two-day, players-only minicamp that was as much about camaraderie as practice.
The players went through calisthenics, did some basic practice routines and ran a 7-on-7 drill in the rain on a high school field in Virginia.
Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said the workout lasted about an hour and 15 minutes. He said more players were expected for Day 2 on Wednesday.
''Somebody brought balls; somebody brought shirts. Everybody kind of did their part,'' Alexander said. ''That was the biggest thing, just trying to get together, catching up, getting our feet wet playing some ball. It was just real cool to get away from all the lockout talk and all that.''
Linebacker London Fletcher was the chief organizer, using text messages and emails to persuade players to travel from as far away as California to take part. The quarterbacks were John Beck and Rex Grossman, even though Grossman isn't under contract for next season.
Donovan McNabb, who was benched at the end of the season and isn't expected to return, did not participate, nor did last season's other major distraction, defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth.
The practices are taking place without coaches, trainers or any other team personnel, who are all forbidden to have contact with the players during the NFL lockout. Given the risk of injury, the workout wasn't strenuous, but players said it was helpful as a refresher course for the play book.
''We were trying to get a little work in,'' receiver Anthony Armstrong said. ''Just trying to knock the rust off, mentally.''
NFL Players Association George Atallah said he was aware of about 10 teams whose players were getting together on their own for practices during the lockout.
Players acknowledged they can't recreate the conditions for a fully organized minicamp practice conducted at Redskins Park, but anything is better than nothing.
''You know what the calls are, but sometimes an adjustment here or a technique here, you may forget,'' Alexander said. ''To get out there, especially with a guy like London who knows the defense inside and out, it really helps.''