The Washington Redskins today began Phase 1 of their offseason workout program, as several players came to the team’s facility in Loudoun County, Va., for on-field conditioning and training in the weight room.
Gruden – hired Jan. 9 as the 29th head coach in Redskins franchise history – is also getting the chance to meet some of his players, as well as conduct instructional sessions and talk football strategy with the guys, for the first time.
Although coaches are allowed to speak with players in a meetings setting, the league rules state they are not allowed to be present while players are training on the field or in the weight room during Phase 1 of the program, which is classified as voluntary for the players.
Then, on May 12, the Redskins can begin holding 10 organized team activities (OTAs), which are essentially practice sessions with non-contact drills – 7-on-7s, 9-on-9s or 11-on-11s.
Gruden said every phase of the offseason training program is “equally important in building a football team.”
“You know they get here, they work on their strength and conditioning, they work on the mental aspect of the game,” he said. “Then you get them outside and you work on the fundamentals of football.”
The Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans – the other six teams with new head coaches this season – were also allowed to begin Phase 1 of their offseason workout programs today.