Several thousand take in Fan Appreciation Day
Several thousand fans -- more than 29,000, according to the team -- were in attendance at Redskins Park on Saturday afternoon for the team's annual Fan Appreciation Day in Ashburn.
Fans were lined up on the side of the road before 7 a.m. and the crowd began filling in several hours before the noon practice, a sight that didn't escape Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan.
"I walked out of my office at 9:30 and I looked and I couldn't believe all the fans that were out there," Shanahan said. "I'm saying, 'Do these people understand that we have two more hours before practice starts?' So some very loyal fans and it was nice to get a chance to spend some time after practice with them."
Fans lined all four sides of the practice fields and players spent more than 20 minutes signing autographs after practice. Shanahan spent around an hour signing autographs and was the last person off the field.
"These people are out there before 9 o'clock in the morning and all of a sudden they stay to two in the afternoon I felt that was the least I could do," Shanahan said. "Especially since I've given the coaches off and the players off this afternoon, I've got some time to spend some time with the fans as well as [the media] and I've got a lot of hours tonight to look at the film."
Though the team has in the past held an intrasquad scrimmage during Fan Appreciation Day, Shanahan opted not to do so, saying he felt it could increase the chances of a player getting injured. Fans did see the most contact of any practice in training camp thus far, however. During goal line drills, players were hitting each other and the ground often as the offense and defense squared off.
Running back Larry Johnson turned in a strong performance, scoring twice during the goal line drills and later breaking off a big run in 11 vs. 11 drills. Tight end Fred Davis also had one of his stronger days, catching three touchdown passes including a 25-yard corner route from Rex Grossman.
Tight end Chris Cooley had one of the highlight plays when he made a diving catch between two defenders, drawing a loud "Cooley" cheer from the crowd. Cornerback Byron Westbrook also had a standout day, intercepting two passes, including one off Donovan McNabb that he returned for a touchdown. On his second interception, in the end zone on quarterback Richard Bartel, Westbrook returned it up the sideline before the entire group of offensive players charged from behind the line to make the "tackle."
Cornerback Ramzee Robinson (two interceptions) and wide receivers Anthony Armstrong and Shay Hodge also were impressive on the day.
August 7, 2010; 4:18 PM ET
Categories: Chris Cooley , Larry Johnson , Mike Shanahan
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