RICHMOND, Va. -- The Washington Redskins training camp has just started and already we’re learning some of defensive backfield strategy to spice up the season:
Catfish, wings, strawberry cakes at Mama J.’s on N. 1st Street in Jackson Ward, a soul-food destination.
Pro Bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall ate there Tuesday night and returned for second helpings Wednesday night, bringing a big chunk of the defensive backfield, including E.J. Biggers, Phillip Thomas, David Amerson and Mama J.’s regular Brandon Merrifield.
DeAngelo told me he’s going to eat there every chance he gets during the two-week training run in RVA as long as he can “make sure my weight (is ) right - best believe that.”
He’s a famously cocky leader of a defensive secondary that reportedly has grown in stature in the off season. If the ‘Skins are have a winning season, these guys are going to have to be on top of their game.
They’re good tippers for sure, Mama J’s Kelli Lemon told me.
Longtime Mama J.’s regular Charles Smith said he was surprised the Redskins could find his favorite place, but he’s a Dallas fan.
Enthusiasm among sports fans is high. But the team’s second training season in Richmond will be carefully watched beyond what’s for dinner.
The pay-to-play food truck concept is on trial, along with other concessions, including a personal amusement ride from New Jersey.
The crowds are expected to be intense, and the weather seasonably warm.
And, of course, is franchise quarterback RGIII ready to roll?
A winning season would take most of the bite out of the political and financial criticism of the deal the city cut with the Redskins.
It all begins Thursday on W. Leigh Street behind the Science Museum.