Redskins Park was rocking this week -- literally.
With the Redskins opening the season at one of the NFL's louder venues Sunday, Washington blared music during some recent practices inside its practice bubble to prepare for New Orleans. It was so loud several players couldn't even discern what was playing. A few said there was plenty of rap music. Mostly it was guttural noise with a lot of base that seemed unending and uncontrollable.
"I'm a couple feet away from [quarterback] Robert [Griffin III], and I can't hear his cadence," running back Alfred Morris said.
The Superdome is considered one of the NFL's loudest venues. Seattle is often ranked at the top, helped by a curved overhang sort of like RFK Stadium's. Kansas City is oddly deafening despite its often lackluster teams. Green Bay and New England at least earn their fans' loyalty. Meanwhile, Oakland and Philadelphia are their own kind of insanity.
The 69,703 fans inside the Superdome will be especially loud as they release their anger over the offseason Bountygate suspensions of several coaches and players. The Redskins are the schedule losers who must face that fury first.
"That's what I love -- when fans are into it and it's an electric atmosphere," defensive end Adam Carriker said. "The louder it is the more I like it."
Not all domes are noisy. Minnesota was one the league's louder sites during its glory days. So was Indianapolis until last year, when Peyton Manning's absence made the Colts the worst team in the NFL. Dallas can be loud ... sometimes.
But Washington will head to St. Louis for its second game without the same kind of noise fears. Rams fans haven't had much reason for excitement lately. The domes in Houston, Detroit and Atlanta aren't especially loud, either.
The Superdome is only blocks away from Bourbon Street, where the party almost never stops. The noise might crack 100 decibels, equivalent to a chainsaw. Ever notice loggers wear ear plugs?
Some of the Redskins' younger players are curious about facing energy that can feel like they're on a flight deck. They pretend not to notice, part of the NFL's man code. But visiting teams really can't hear anything but a constant roar.
"There's time when you have to respect the noise being made," guard Kory Lichtensteiger said. "It definitely affects [visiting teams]."
Former Maryland cornerback Josh Wilson thought Virginia Tech and West Virginia were loud until he played for Seattle. Now he knows how to best handle it.
"I like to sit behind the speaker on the sideline because it gets on your nerves," he said. "I played in Seattle for 31Ú2 years, and it doesn't get any louder. I've gotten used to it."
Mostly, players know fans will hurl insults, if not objects from the stands. They keep their helmets on until they're safely inside the tunnel to avoid batteries, coins and liquids.
Exiting with a win says it all.
"The best sound from an away crowd is when they go silent," Lichtensteiger said.