Rooms to go
Redskins' Spurrier wants no part of dorm lifePosted: Monday July 22, 2002 7:53 PM
CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) -- Steve Spurrier was his usual maverick self when he arrived for his first NFL training camp as a head coach Monday. He'd barely unpacked his bags when he immediately made it clear he'd rather be somewhere else.
"I don't understand the importance of getting away, to tell you the truth," Spurrier said as the Washington Redskins checked into their dorms at Dickinson College.
Spurrier, an avid golfer whose first words when he walked into the room before the news conference were, "Shot 75 today," said he might move training camp back to Redskin Park in the Washington suburbs next season. He was especially inspired by a recent conversation he had at a golf tournament with tight end Frank Wycheck of the Tennessee Titans, who train at their home facility in Nashville under head coach Jeff Fisher.
"He said, 'Coach Fisher lets the married guys stay at home,'" Spurrier said. "I said, 'It makes sense to me.'"
"But this is the way it's been done a long time. I don't know how we'll do it next year, but we're happy to do it this way this year. Shoot, maybe this is the way to go. Who knows? It's just my experience in the past has been staying in your home area in your own beds has been just as productive as getting away."
The location of training camp is a sensitive subject with the Redskins. Owner Dan Snyder tried the convenience method two years ago when he moved camp to the Washington area and charged fans an admission fee.
The result was a circus atmosphere that was a distraction to the team. Snyder admitted his mistake and allowed head coach Marty Schottenheimer to move camp to Carlisle last year.
The Redskins signed a five-year deal with Dickinson College, but they have a yearly cancellation option. Snyder spokesman Karl Swanson said the owner will leave it up to Spurrier to decide where camp will be next year.
"If he wants to have training camp somewhere else, that's where we'll go," Swanson said.
The Redskins will have only 15 days of practice in Carlisle because of their American Bowl trip to Japan. They depart July 31 for a game against San Francisco in Osaka on Aug. 3.
"In college, you have three weeks and play," Spurrier said. "They should know how to play after three weeks of practice."
The rookie head coach got another new experience Monday: One of his quarterbacks is a holdout. First-round draft pick Patrick Ramsey has yet to sign a contract, and a deal doesn't appear imminent.
"He would be way behind if he's not here very quickly," Spurrier said. "Patrick had made some nice progress, but those contract negotiations we leave to those other people."
Ramsey has an outside chance to emerge as the starter in a wide-open battle that includes Shane Matthews, Danny Wuerffel and Sage Rosenfels, but a lengthy holdout would probably end his hopes of winning the job this year.
"It's the same as a guy getting suspended for not going to class," Spurrier said. "As coaches, we don't say, `Who's going to play?' They tell us, 'These are your players -- coach 'em and go play.' So the ones that are here, we'll coach as hard as we can."
Spurrier said Rosenfels will probably take the first snap at practice Tuesday and will probably start the American Bowl because he's the only quarterback returning from last year's team. Spurrier indicated that Matthews would start the second game at Charlotte, with Wuerffel probably getting his chance Aug. 24 at Tampa Bay.
And what about the Aug. 18 game against Pittsburgh?
"Maybe flip a coin," Spurrier said.