RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Redskins training camp first arrived in Richmond prior to the 2013 season and since then players and coaches have come and gone. Mike Shanahan was replaced by Jay Gruden as head coach. Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith have all taken turns as the team’s starting quarterback. Through it all, five players have remained constant on Washington’s roster, four of whom are taking part in their seventh training camp in the River City.
Ryan Kerrigan, Jordan Reed, Chris Thompson and Nick Sundberg have seen the ups and downs of Redskins football for at least the last seven seasons, including each training camp in Richmond (Trent Williams has also been on the roster for each training camp in Richmond, but he has not reported to camp this year as he continues his holdout).
“Not a lot of us left here,” said the running back Thompson, who’s entering his seventh NFL season, all with the Redskins. “It just shows how much this thing changes.”
“Whether it’s coaches or whether it’s players, that’s the NFL. It’s just an evergreen thing- new players, new coaches all the time," added linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, entering his ninth season.
While the longevity with the Redskins is impressive, so to is the fact that the four veterans have put together NFL careers of at least seven NFL seasons. The NFLPA says the average career length for a player is 3.3 years, so members of this group have been diligent in taking care of their bodies and also having a little bit of luck.
“I do work hard to take care of myself,” remarked Kerrigan. “I try to eat right and get plenty of sleep, but I’m just a lucky dude.”
Tight end Jordan Reed, going into his seventh season in Washington, has dealt with injury issues on and off during his career.
“I’ve learned a lot throughout the process and just learned how to be a vet and take better care of my body so I can last longer.”
As for visiting Richmond, an annual trip for camp gives players familiarity with the city. Members of the Redskins have their spots picked out for meals to take care of that post-practice appetite.
“Everybody goes to Mama J’s, we at least have to go to that one spot for sure,” said Thompson.
Long-snapper Nick Sundberg, a ten year veteran, enjoys Asado near VCU’s campus.
“You’ve been to Asado. It’s a little wing and taco joint. They’ve got a full bar.”
This season, the Redskins are hoping for a steady diet of wins. Year seven in Richmond marks a crucial camp, coming off back-to-back losing seasons and Gruden on a presumptive hot seat. The veterans, however, are confident with what they have in their locker room.
“Not worrying about what the media’s saying and everything outside,” said Thompson. “We’re just going in, going into work, trying to handle our business.”
“Realistically, if you just look at all the guys coming back off IR (injured reserve), if we can keep a majority of those guys healthy and then with this big crop of young guys we’ve got coming in, really, really talented young guys, I think we could be really dangerous," noted Sundberg.
Training camp resumes on Wednesday morning with practice at 9:45, followed by a walk-through at 4:40pm.
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