RICHMOND – With a full offseason program and nearly two weeks of training camp in the books, Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen sees his players buying into new Coach Jay Gruden’s way of doing things and expressed encouragement over the direction they are headed.
“This is his program,” Allen said following Saturday’s practice. “The players have really accepted his philosophy to practice, and I think that’s why we’ve gotten so much good work in so far.”
Saturday marked the 10th day of camp, and the ninth practice session since the team reported for duty on July 23. Washington has three days of practice coming up, and then will play its first preseason game Thursday at home against New England.
Giving his assessment of how camp has gone so far, Allen said, “Very smooth. But a couple of injuries. Keeping the guys healthy is priority No. 1, and learning, too. So we’re doing well on the learning. We’ve lost a couple guys already.”
Players have noted a more spirited and competitive tone to the practices under Gruden, who replaced Mike Shanahan as coach in January. As he tries to rebuild a franchise that went 3-13 last season, Gruden during camp has emphasized strong fundamentals, discipline and high intensity. Players have embraced Gruden’s philosophies and the new energy he brings.
“It’s just a different style,” Allen said. “Each coach and each team takes on the personality of its coach, and Jay has been very involved with the guys and his evening meetings really set the tone for the next day’s work.”
Asked to describe the tone of those evening meetings, Allen said, “Enthusiastic.”
One of Gruden’s chief tasks involves helping quarterback Robert Griffin III rebound from a trying 2013 campaign and also developing him into a more well-rounded quarterback.
Allen declined to list what areas of growth he has seen in Griffin since he started working with Allen, but he does see improvements in the quarterback, and the team as a whole.
“I think it’s early,” he said. “[Griffin] is learning a new offense and that will take some time, but he’s working hard, and we’re getting better.”
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After a day off Sunday, the Redskins return to camp Monday morning for an 8:35 a.m. practice. They’ll be joined in Richmond by the New England Patriots. Here’s our camp guide, if you’re planning to attend.
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