The Washington Redskins Executive Vice President and General Manager Bruce Allen is looking at the time he spends with the team during training camp in Richmond as a homecoming. As a University of Richmond grad, Allen gets back to town whenever he can. "It's a bit nostalgic," he says. "I will be able to visit with friends here."
Allen likes the fact that the team is training away from home. "The type of bonding that is created when you are away with just your teammates can't be duplicated."
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While it's still uncertain whether his star quarterback, Robert Griffin III, will recover from a knee injury in time to start the season, Allen sees the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner as a leader in the locker room. "His talent is unique and special, but so is the human being," Allen says, adding that Griffin will be in Richmond during camp. "We are setting up different groups of players each day to sign autographs, and RGIII is one of them." The son of George Allen, who served as head coach of the Redskins from 1971 to 1977, Allen feels that a big part of what he brings to the team is a sense of history. The Allen family has great memories of the day the Redskins beat the Dallas Cowboys in 1973 to win the NFC Championship. That same joy was rekindled last year on Dec. 30, when the team beat the Cowboys to win the division title. "It was a great day for Redskins fans," Allen says, hesitating to look too far ahead this season. "Right now, I'm only focused on the Philadelphia game, which is the season opener." He is pleased that the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center will have a year-round goal of helping kids stay fit and healthy. A father of two, Allen says his children are both involved in sports. "My father talked about physical fitness and mental fitness, and it was mandatory that they be equal," he says. "Physical fitness is important. It fits into the Allen bloodline."