The Redskins are to practice beginning Tuesday morning at Redskins Park, the next step in their acclimation process to the new offensive system of their first-year head coach, Jay Gruden. The minicamp comes on the heels of a series of offseason practices known as organized team activities, or OTAs.
“We’re looking as good as we can look after about three weeks, four weeks,” wide receiver Andre Roberts said following a practice last week. “We still have a lot to work on in this new offense. But like I said before, by training camp and the season time comes, we should be just fine.”
The Redskins have been working to blend newcomers like Roberts and fellow wideout DeSean Jackson into the offense while the new arrivals and holdovers alike try to get accustomed to working with Gruden. The pairing of Gruden and quarterback Robert Griffin III will be scrutinized particularly closely after the nearly ceaseless speculation last season about Griffin’s play being affected by his relationship with former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan. Griffin has avoided comparisons between now and then, but has said throughout the offseason that he believes the transition is going smoothly.
“I feel real comfortable,” Griffin said last week. “I’ve had a chance to have my hands and my eyes in the playbook, on the playbook. I’ve been watching film and everything for a long time now. So I feel very comfortable with it. Like I said, it’s very multiple. We have a lot of weapons out there. It’s just about us getting to the right plays and getting the guys the ball and let them go make plays.”
Griffin and others say they’re pleased with the progress so far but they realize there’s much still to be done.
“We’re continuing to throw a lot of things in there,” Griffin said last week. “Like Coach likes to say, we’re gonna huddle up and try to play smash-mouth football, and then we’re gonna no-huddle and still play smash-mouth football. So we’re doing a lot. We did a little no-huddle today, working that stuff in. Like I said, we’ll be very multiple and we’ll figure out what we do best. That’s the process, continuing to do this, continuing to learn, getting the new guys and the rookies up to speed with the offense, and even ourselves just continuing to master it. And then you move forward to the minicamp … and then after that you’ve got a month off. I think that’s a big time for everybody to kind of get ready for the season, gear up, and then training camp, everybody knows what that’s about.”
Players have praised Gruden’s energy and enthusiasm on the practice field.
“When you have a coach like that, you’ve got to love it,” Roberts said. “He’s one of those players’ coach kind of guys. We respect the heck out of him, especially the offensive guys, him being offensive-minded, what he did in Cincinnati. We just love a coach like that.”
Practice times: 8:50 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday morning, and 11:50 a.m. on Thursday.
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