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Redskins to Install Heated Field, Practice Bubble


The Redskins are making plans to install a heated practice field and an indoor practice facility, head coach Mike Shanahan said on Monday.

Last week, the facilities at Redskins Park became an issue after the team was forced to move practice off-site to a nearby fitness center due to three inches of snowfall.

It was the third time this season that the Redskins had to move practice off-site as a result of inclement weather.

"First thing we're going to do is install a heated field so that when there's bad weather we can practice outside," Shanahan said. "It's always great to practice outside, so we're going to have to have a heated field so you can get traction. You can't get traction on a frozen field.

"The next thing we're going to get is a bubble, so we can not only practice inside, but if we do have the type of snow where you can't practice outside, you can at least get a good practice in. So that'll be done."

Shanahan did not put a timetable on either project, but he did indicate that the heated field was more of a priority for the 2011 season.

"One thing I want to make sure we have is a heated field," Shanahan said. "When I was in Denver, that's really all we used even when it was snowing. We just stayed on the heated field and it worked out well because the snow would melt and we could get used to the conditions.

"The only time you can't use a heated field is if it's really raining or it's snowing so hard that you have to go inside. In my 21 years coaching in Denver, I think that happened maybe a half-dozen times, so it doesn't happen very often."

Shanahan said he was proud of the way players handled last week's disrupted practice schedule.

In addition to practicing off-site, the team had to practice on its Astroturf field two days last week because the grass fields were frozen.

Shanahan acknowledged that it may have affected the team's preparation for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Redskins lost 33-30 at Cowboys Stadium.

"I think everybody knows if you don't have a place to practice then it does affect you, but I thought our players handled it as well as you could possibly handle it," he said.

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