D.C. athletes take in Redskins practice

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Redskins Confidential,Penalty Kicks,Sports,Pick and Roll,Craig Stouffer

The last chance to catch an open Redskins practice before things close up for the remainder of training camp and the season brought a selection of current and former Washington-area athlete to Redskins Park on Tuesday.

Six D.C. United players stood on the sidelines – Bill Hamid, Danny Cruz, Nick DeLeon, Brandon McDonald, Perry Kitchen and Joe Willis – just down from NBA center Etan Thomas. Even former D.C. United goalkeeper coach Mark Simpson, who works in the mortgage industry in Northern Virginia, was in attendance.

The former Wizards big man, who still lives in the area, couldn’t miss out on the chance for his son, wearing a Robert Griffin III jersey, to get a picture with the real thing.

“I’m working out,” Thomas said. “We’re going to see. Trying to make it do what it do.”

The steamy midday setting was a bit much for the D.C. United players, who welcomed the water offered by the Redskins staff (also appreciated by members of the media), and McDonald got himself a sno-cone.

Cruz, meanwhile, had a longing for his high school days as a running back, while Hamid and Willis both pondered how far they could kick a field goal. Hamid strayed a little close to a tackling dummy, seeming to momentarily draw a glare from Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.

Afterward, the players were introduced to Griffin III and a number of other players, including Roy Helu Jr., Evan Royster, Ryan Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo, Sav Rocca, Neil Rackers and Doug Worthington. They were duly impressed with the 6-foot-5, 311-pound Worthington.

“I’m a huge soccer fan,” Helu said, whose timing on qualifying that statement with “European,” then said. “So when does your season start?”

After claiming he’s a Tottenham Hotspur fan, due to his affinity for the FIFA video game, Helu followed up with, “We play at the same stadium, right?”

Hopefully, D.C. United can get Helu and others out to RFK Stadium.

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Craig Stouffer

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner