Redskins’ start of offseason workouts “like first day of school”

Redskins practice

The Redskins, practicing here in December, got together for their first official workout since their division-title, 10-6 season ended. (By Marlon Correa, The Washington Post

The Washington Redskins got back to work Monday for the start of their offseason program.

The workouts are voluntary, but strongly encouraged. Several players said “it seemed like everyone” was in attendance, but the Redskins had yet to issue an official headcount.

Players started the day by meeting with members of the strength and conditioning staff, and then after getting their workouts, had brief meetings with their position coaches.

“You could see the excitement in everyone’s eyes,” defensive end Stephen Bowen said.

Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said, “A lot of people were saying it was like the first day of school. It’s always good to get back to work, especially when coming off the season we’re coming off of. We feel like we accomplished a lot, but that we could have done a lot more. It’s exciting to think about the players that we’re getting back from injury and how much better we can be.”

Fellow linebacker Brian Orakpo, who missed 14 games with a torn pectoral muscle, has fully recovered and joined his teammates for conditioning drills.

Coach Mike Shanahan addressed his players, reminding them that despite the challenges they endured last season, they were able to reel off seven consecutive wins to rebound from a 3-6 start and capture the NFC East title. He cautioned that the players couldn’t become complacent, however, and challenged them to continue to work to get better so last season’s success serves as a building block.

The Redskins will continue Phase 1 of the program — conditioning work with no footballs allowed except for those of quarterbacks throwing to unguarded receivers — for this week and next.

In Phase 2 — which runs from April 29 to May 17 — coaches may conduct walk-throughs with their units.

In OTAs, where players can wear helmets and line up opposite units, but not have contact, run three days a week from May 20 to June 6. Then the team will host its minicamp from June 10 to 13.

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