Trash-talking -- like skill, talent and discipline -- is an integral part of sports. Usually, it is reserved for those who take the field (or court or ice, depending on your preferred sport), but at Washington Redskins mini-camp, those who make their living standing on the sidelines might be going at it the most.
"He gets on my nerves a little bit," offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said about new defensive backs coach Raheem Morris before the team's mini-camp practice Wednesday. "He's funny. We go back and forth."
Morris, who joined the Redskins in January after three seasons as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was glad to hear that.
"That's great," he said while addressing the media for the first time as a member of the Washington coaching staff. "I'm glad he told you that. We're going to pump up the juice in training camp."
Of course, the playful banter is all in good fun, but it serves to foster a competitive environment among the Redskins. With training camp five weeks away, players will be battling with each other for roster spots while the coaches will be trying to make their respective players the best on the field.
Wednesday, with the vocal Morris barking orders and handing out good-natured ribbing, "the defense got the best of the offense," according to wide receiver Santana Moss.
"It motivates everybody to be better," Morris said. "[Tuesday], [the offense] came out and hit a couple big plays on us. I know that made [Kyle Shanahan's] day."
"We enjoy ourselves," Morris continued. "To create that competitive environment, it's like going out and playing a pick-up basketball game sometimes. In fact, you get a chance to talk a little trash to each other and go out there and really have fun while you get your job done. It keeps people alive. It keeps people coming back to work."
Shanahan, Morris and the rest of the coaching staff may be competing now, but they all share a common goal: to make the Redskins a competitive team every week next season. In the mean time, however, it seems as though the Redskins will have to work under boisterous conditions.
"I told [Morris Tuesday] to get the hell away from me because he was yelling at Kyle so I couldn't pay attention in practice," defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. " I looked over, it was the first time he was quiet in about an hour."