The Washington Redskins’ offseason conditioning program began Monday, and had a turnout of
between 60 and 70 players for their first session, according to members of the team 57 players, according to the team.
The voluntary workout marked the beginning of two weeks of conditioning work, and then more extensive on-field football drills will begin next month.
“This signifies the beginning of us laying the foundation for next season,” linebacker/special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander said. “It’s a chance to get to know the new guys, and start building that chemistry. … I think there was more of a focus, a mindset of guys wanting to win and being ready to get it going. We know we’ve got work to do.”
Players described Monday’s work as, in the words of one, “general workout-type stuff,” featuring running and weight-lifting. They also had some brief planning meetings with coaches.
“They didn’t go too hard on us to start because some guys have been running, and some haven’t,” Alexander said. “You could tell the guys that have been working. It was good to see a lot of them in shape.”
Monday’s circumstances differed greatly from the Redskins’ situation this time a year ago. At that time, a handful of players reported to Redskins Park, but because of the NFL lockout, they weren’t permitted to work out.
From there, a group of Redskins players organized their own workouts and offseason practices until a new collective bargaining agreement was reached.
“It was definitely nice being allowed to work with our trainers, to get a full offseason schedule and know what’s ahead of us,” Alexander said.
Fellow linebacker Ryan Kerrigan has a full season under his belt now, but because of the lockout, he didn’t get to go through an offseason program. He said he welcomes the opportunity that this year’s structured program presents.
“It still feels a little new since I wasn’t part of an offseason program last year, but just having a grasp of the terminology is going to help,” said Kerrigan, whom the Redskins drafted 16th overall last spring out of Purdue. “Everyone’s excited to get working. We know we have some key pieces in place, and to be able to start getting this work in is nice.”
One of the key pieces of the Redskins’ roster is inside linebacker London Fletcher, who agreed to terms with the team on Friday, and then reported Monday morning, officially signed his contract and got in some work with his teammates.
“That was the No. 1 need [of the offseason] in my eyes,” Alexander said. “It’s great having a sense of comfort and confidence in knowing that our defense is going to continue to be run smoothly with ‘Fletch’ back.”