Redskins Host Fan Appreciation Day - NBC4 Washington

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Redskins Host Fan Appreciation Day

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    ASHBURN, VA - JULY 29: Washington Redskins players stretch during the first day of training camp at Redskins Park on July 29, 2011 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

    On Saturday the Skins once again throw the doors open in Ashburn to show appreciation to their fan base.

    Early indications are that fans are ready to feel the love from a team that has dwelled in the cellar of the NFC East for the past few seasons.  News4 cameras caught long lines waiting patiently to enter the practice area at Redskins Park Saturday morning.

    At 10:15, the marching band and the Redskins cheerleaders are scheduled to perform the crowds.  Shortly after 11 a.m., General Manager Bruce Allen will address fans.  During Allen's speech, players will enter the field and start to warm up.

    Practice officially starts at noon.  At approximately 1:30 p.m., coach Mike Shanahan will address fans, and players will sign autographs.

    Among the on-field changes are a number of upgrades to Washington defense, which gave up an NFC-high 389.3 yards per game last season.

    Free agents Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen have been brought in to shore up the defensive line.  When playing against the Redskins, the pair have a combined record of 15 and 5.

    Allen and Shanahan also have high hopes for first round draft pick Ryan Kerrigan at the outside linebacker position.  Corner Josh Wilson from Baltimore and safety O.J. Atogwe from St. Louis come to assist in the secondary.  Cornerback Carlos Rogers, another Redskin first-round draft pick left the team this year, signing with the 49ers for the upcoming season.

    On the offensive side of the ball, running back Ryan Torain has been dogged by injury, leaving the door open for newly arrived Alexandria native Tim Hightower.