Redskins End Richmond Camp With Fun And Shenanigans
It has become the norm for the various NFL teams to use training camp as an opportunity to cement the various situational drills that are most likely to arise, primarily for the benefit of new players. You do not need to understand the NFL picks against the spread to know what Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden had on his mind during the last three weeks of training camp.
Important as red-zone scoring and two-minute drills might be, the 300-pound defensive linemen fielding punts took center stage, particularly during the short Monday session. It wasn’t until a punt from the JUGs machine was successfully fielded by one of the defensive linemen that the training camp was officially named a success.
Following the earlier failures of Chris Baker, it fell upon the shoulders of Ricky Jean Francois to save the team from the humidity in Richmond by finally fielding a punt from the machine.
While quickly admitting that he was hardly the best player for such a task, Francois said that Jay Gruden could count on him whenever he needed an emergency punt returner; Francois sounded fairly confident in his abilities in this area.
He was also more than happy to brag to everyone on social media that he was responsible for catching the pass that finally sent his team home; otherwise, there is no telling how much longer they would have been out there, running drills.
Monday wasn’t the first time Francois had come through for his team. The player was also responsible for buying every child at the training camp an ice snow cone. Gruden praised Francois’ spirit, saying that his personality perfectly complemented his generosity and the team was definitely lucky to have him in place.
Everyone agrees that there is so much more energy on the field whenever Francois comes into play, exciting fans and children alike. Of course, that can sometimes make him a little harder to deal with.
Chris Baker was a little defensive about his problems during the practice sessions on Monday, complaining that the JUGs machine was rigged and had been programmed to a very high setting.
This meant that it went in all manner of unpredictable directions. None the less, Baker expressed support for Francois, whose abilities saved them that day. Everything seems to suggest that Gruden and his team are quite happy with the events of the training camp.
The fact that there were no injuries to report is probably a big relief for them. The heat forced Gruden to make adjustments to the schedule, cutting back on some of the sessions.
The team was still able to construct a solid foundation for the coming season; Francois thinks camp this year exceeded that of the previous year. The Redskins are already preparing to face the New York Jets on Friday.
Gruden wants them to clean up the fundamentals and keep the number of penalties to a minimum where possible. He admitted on Sunday that they still had a lot of corrections to make and that he would continue pushing his players to meet a higher standard.