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First Day Of Workouts A ‘Clean Slate’

Posted Apr 7, 2014

Redskins players able to get a jumpstart on offseason workouts beginning with Monday’s voluntary conditioning and lifting

The Washington Redskins on Monday were one of seven teams league wide that were allowed to get a head start on their offseason workouts.

And the team took full advantage.

The Redskins began their Phase 1 voluntary workout program, in which the players underwent conditioning within the indoor practice facility, trained in the weight room and were able to, for the first time this season, meet with coaches and talk football.

“It was great,” nose tackle Barry Cofield said after Monday’s first day of workouts. “A couple guys were rehabbing, but other than that, everybody was out there working hard, and there is a ton of excitement and energy within the program.”

The league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement allows teams with first-year head coaches to begin their Phase 1 workout programs with a two-week head start on other teams.

Redskins first-year head coach Jay Gruden opened up Monday’s workouts with a team meeting, in which Cofield said he “definitely broke the ice.”

“You can see the intensity and excitement in him and I think that carried over to everybody as we went to work out,” Cofield said of Gruden.

Left tackle Trent Williams said Gruden “just made all the guys feel comfortable.”

“There’s a new aura in the building,” Williams said. “Obviously a lot of that comes with the new coaching change and the new free agent pick-ups. So I’m excited to see how this season turns out.”

Both Cofield and Williams said Gruden’s arrival gives the team and its players a chance to move on from the 2013 season, in which the Redskins lost eight straight games to end the year with a 3-13 record.

“The change obviously brought a new attitude,” Williams said. “It kind of gives everybody a fresh start. So, in that sense, it lifts a ton of people’s spirits because you get to kind of start off on a clean slate.”

Cofield said those on the team have been given a “new chance to prove themselves.”

“The players all feel like it’s a blank slate,” he said. “If you go out there and play great for Coach, he’s going to give you a shot, and I think that’s what Coach Gruden has told us. The best guys are going to play, and that’s all the locker room wants to hear.”

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