Here is what you need to know on this Monday, April 17, 10 days before the April 27 NFL draft.
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 25
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 37
—Training camp starts (7/27) 101
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 146
Football gets back underway (sort of)
For the first time since their gut-punch loss to the Giants, a defeat that knocked them out of the playoffs, the Redskins get back to football today.
Well, sort of.
Today marks the start of the Redskins’ offseason program. It’s the first day that the NFL permits teams to hold the voluntary workouts at their facilities. Whoever “volunteers” to show up—and if the past is any indication it should be most of the team—will gather at Redskins Park this morning to get to work.
But this doesn’t really mean that football is back. During Phase One, which lasts for two weeks, the players can engage in strength, conditioning, and rehab activities only. Kickers can kick footballs, punters can punt them, and quarterback can throw them to receivers. But the receivers can’t be guarded and the offense can’t run plays.
Only the strength and conditioning coaches can observe players while they are working out. Jay Gruden and his on-field staff can hold up to two hours of classroom and film instruction per day. It’s a short day as no player can be at the facility for more than four hours per day.
When Phase One ends, the team will start adding players in the draft and as undrafted free agents. There will be a minicamp for these players plus some that the team will try out during those three days start May 12.
During the three weeks of Phase Two, players can line up and run plays on offense and defense but against air, not against each other.
Phase Three is more commonly known as organized team activities, or OTAs. Those start on May 23 with three sessions per week for three weeks. The offense and defense can line up and run plays against each other but they can only wear helmets with no pads and contact is not permitted.
The part about no contact should be taken seriously. Seattle ran afoul of the no-contact rule and it cost them. The Seahawks were fined $400,000, lost their fifth-round pick in this year’s draft and they will not be permitted to hold their first week of OTAs this year. The Redskins will be very careful to keep within the rules.
All three phases of the program are voluntary. Again, attendance is expected to be strong but there will be no penalties for players who aren’t there for whatever reason.
The only mandatory phase of the Redskins’ offseason program is minicamp. All players who are under contract are required to attend. The rules are the same as they are for OTAs. The Redskins will hold their minicamp from June 13-15.
After that the players are off until they report to training camp. That is tentatively scheduled to happen on July 26. Camp practices start the next day, 100 days from today.
Tandler on Twitter
That game matched the two worst closers in the game. Fortunately the Phillies’ closer was a little worse.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) April 16, 2017
In case you missed it