Nearly three months after being hired, Jay Gruden will finally get to meet almost all of his players. The Redskins begin their voluntary offseason workouts Monday, which means players who had been training out of town now will be at Redskins Park. And that means Gruden, and any of the other new coaches, will have a chance to finally get to know them.
The Redskins can begin two weeks earlier than most teams because they have a new coach. Gruden has met many of his new players, but coaches were prohibited by the collective bargaining agreement from discussing football with them (whether or not that was followed who knows). That restriction ends Monday.
This means Monday also will be the first chance for the new players to be around a lot of their teammates: receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts, guard Shawn Lauvao, defensive lineman Jason Hatcher, quarterback Colt McCoy, safety Ryan Clark, linebackers Adam Hayward, Akeem Jordan and Darryl Sharpton and offensive lineman Mike McGlynn. And it will provide quarterback Robert Griffin III a chance to show how he's progressed after working out the past couple months -- with teammates in Arizona and in town and also with noted quarterbacks coach Terry Shea.
Of course, these workouts are voluntary so players don’t have to show up though almost all will.
Here’s how the workouts break down for the offseason:
For the first two weeks, the Redskins will be in Phase 1 of their offseason program. In accordance with the collective bargaining agreement, that means they’ll be limited to strength and conditioning exercises (or rehab if need be). They can’t work with coaches on the field and a quarterback may opt to throw with his receivers, but they can’t be covered. They can’t wear helmets and coaches can’t work with them on the field.
In Phase 2, which lasts three weeks, coaches can work with the players on the field for instruction or drills. They can run plays as a unit, but not against opposition, so it’s 11 on 0. No offense versus defense drills are allowed at all. And still no helmets.
Phase 3 lasts for four weeks and includes the 10 days of organized team activity sessions. During the first two weeks they can conduct a maximum of three OTA sessions; they can have up to four OTA workouts in either the third or fourth week of this period. When not conducting an OTA workout that week, teams revert back to Phase 2 guidelines. During Phase 3, coaches again can be on the field. But there are still no one-on-one drills. However, they can pit the offense versus the defense in full-team sessions (or, for special teams, the kick return against coverage). Helmets can be worn, but no shells or pads. And no live conduct is allowed.
Other important dates:
Voluntary minicamp: April 29-May 1 (closed to the public)
Rookie minicamp: May 16-18 (closed to the public)
Veteran minicamp: June 17-19 (closed to the public)