Bill Callahan cuts off music, brings in officials and focuses on conditioning


Training camp ended for most teams more than six weeks ago, but it looks like it’s just starting for Washington.

The team fired Jay Gruden this week, replacing him with Bill Callahan, and that isn’t the only noticeable change in Washington.

Callahan ordered the music cut off after stretching; he had officials on hand to call penalties; he had a faster tempo in practice; and he ended practice by having players run wind sprints.

“It’s really the focus of fundamental football, just really trying to get back to some really hardcore fundamentals,” Callahan said, via Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press. “I thought we got through a lot of good physicality and a lot of good fundamental drilling. I think that’s the key. I think that’s the name of the game. If you’re not good in your fundamentals, you’re not going to have them later in the game. That mental toughness about fundamentals is important.”

Callahan focused on penalties and conditioning Wednesday. Washington has had 45 penalties for 331 yards in its five games, which brought out local college officials, and opponents have outscored Washington 73-33 in the second half.

“It was a good work day,” Callahan said. “Some of the structure was different, some of the team periods and how we did a lot of them — just little tweaks here and there. I think all good stuff to keep us all together and keep us accountable.”