Every team is a Super Bowl contender during training camp, at least that's what the local media in each NFL town seems to think. Puff pieces about teams/players/coaches often read something like, "[Player X] is poised to have a career year because he's getting over [ailment/personal tragedy/weight issues/immaturity]. He will have a key role in [Team Y] making [playoffs/Super Bowl] after last season's [surprise/disappointment]."
To celebrate the brimming positivity being felt by each of the NFL's 32 fanbases, this month Shutdown Corner will take a team-by-team look at the flowery and buoyant prose being written by local columnists and writers, and the hopeful quotes of players and coaches in our daily feature, Camp Sunshine. Today, the revamped Washington Redskins.
More Marriott and less Jay-Z would have helped the Redskins in 2009:
A year ago, large speakers blared music throughout regular season practices. During Washington Redskins training camp, players slept at their own homes. On the field, the head coach spent the majority of his time with the quarterbacks.
Not that anyone needs any more reminders that there's a new sheriff in town, but it took only a few minutes of Mike Shanahan's first training camp in Washington to appreciate just how different things are. The coach oversees everything from afar, often standing alone on the middle of the field. There's no music. And players all retire each night to a nearby hotel.
The practices themselves, through the first four days at least, haven't lacked in tempo or energy.
Ponce de Leon is on his speed dial:
McNabb says he spends the entire offseason preparing his body for the pounding it will take each fall and winter. He says that same workout program is also designed to preserve his body for years to come.
Did CP not get the Camp Sunshine memo?:
"I really be wanting to give people my [expletive] to kiss. Like, real talk. What I realized is, you can't please people. People will never be satisfied. There's always gonna be a story of negativity. And I think so many people didn't want to see me in a Redskins uniform, so many people wanting to be able to hate me, so many people wanting to be able to write me off, but I'm still here. You know, I'm still here. I've still got a lot left in the tank, and I appreciate them for the motivation that they gave me, and they make it easier."
Are we talking Enron CEO or Oracle CEO?
While former head coach Jim Zorn spent almost the entirety of practice working with the quarterbacks, Shanahan prefers to patrol the field more like a CEO, removed from each group of players but watching all of them. Kyle Shanahan is the one who helps with the quarterbacks.