Formal wear replaces shoulder pads at football training site | Richmond Free Press


The Bon Secours training center is usually quiet these days and the most likely action to take place is a frilly weekend wedding.

The ‘yes’ of newlyweds replaced the grunts and moans of football players blocking and tackling in the hot summer sun.

From 2014 to 2020, Bon Secours’ facility at 2401 W. Leigh St. was the NFL Washington franchise’s first training camp each year.

The newly appointed commanders (formerly the Washington football team) are staying closer to home this round at their own training facility in the community of Ashburn, Northern Virginia.

The divorce between the NFL team and Richmond was mainly because the two parties could not agree on financial terms.

Led by third-year coach Ron Rivera, camp in Ashburn will run until August 18.

The first exhibition match will be on August 13 against Carolina 13 at FedExField. The regular season begins Sept. 11 with the COs hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Let’s start:

Get well quickly: Two top players — tight end Logan Thomas and setter Chase Young — opened training camp on the PUP/Physically Unable to Play list.

Young, the 2021 Defensive Rookie of the Year, was injured in Week 10 last year and is still recovering from ACL reconstruction.

Thomas is also still on the mend after knee surgery. In 2020, the former Virginia Tech quarterback caught 72 passes for 670 yards and six touchdowns.

New name, old problem: The QB position has been bewitched in DC Starters Robert Griffin III (in 2011), Alex Smith (2018) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (2021) all suffered catastrophic injuries that torpedoed their careers.

Next up is Carson Wentz, who was obtained in a trade with Indianapolis. Wentz offers plenty of upside (No. 2 draft pick in 15), but he’s fallen out of favor with both Philadelphia and the Colts. Few people cried when he left.

Worse, perhaps, is his medical history. Wentz missed considerable time with injuries in 2012, 18 and 20 with the Eagles.

Dual Threat: When it comes to combining running and receiving, few are more capable than Antonio Gibson, in his third season out of Memphis.4

Gibson rushed for 1,037 yards and caught passes for another 294 in 2021. Ten times he found the end zone. In two seasons, he totaled 1,832 yards on the ground and 541 via the airways.

He has a chance to be Washington’s best backfield threat since Clinton Portis (2004-’10).

There is, however, a downside. Suffering from slippery fingers, Gibson fumbled 11 times in two seasons.

At the end of the line : Washington went 7-9 (plus a 2020 playoff loss) and 7-10 in Rivera’s two editions. This year’s team is usually picked third in the NFC East behind Dallas and Philadelphia.

Thanks for the memories: Thousands of fans have visited Bon Secours since 2014 for up-close looks, autographs and photos of their grilling heroes.

No more. These days, visitors to the impressive North Side facility might want to wear their black tie or formal dress, so they don’t feel underdressed.

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