As the Redskins’ offseason program came to an end this week, Coach Jay Gruden said he’s pleased with the work his players and assistants have put in over the past two months and is excited about what's next.
“I think we’ve had a great start to the season," Gruden said, "we really have. I think the way we have gone about our business in the weight room and in the meeting rooms, and then on the practice field with the intensity they've practiced with, we can carry that over to [the season].”
Indeed, there has been little drama in Ashburn to speak of this spring, which is a step forward in and of itself. Attendance was very good with, of course, the exception of wide receiver DeSean Jackson skipping parts of OTAs. And, most important, the team got through 12 on-field practices without suffering any serious injuries.
The program began with Phase 1 on April 18 and culminated on Wednesday with the final practice of minicamp, a spirited 90-minute session underscored by a strong showing from the defense.
Now, the team gets the six weeks off before reporting to training camp in Richmond on July 27 for physicals and a conditioning test. The first day of on-field activities comes 24-hours later.
Gruden said the coaches will spend the break enjoying some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Players, meantime, must find the proper balance between healing up, decompressing and staying in top physical condition.
“It’s [finding] a good balance between resting, recharging the batteries, clearing the mind and also getting built back up for training camp and ready for the long season,” quarterback Kirk Cousins said. “I mean, I tell my family and friends that once I go back in July, ‘I’ll see you in the winter at some point—and hopefully later rather than sooner.'”
Training camp is a hot, sweaty grind. But it’s something Gruden is looking forward to, particularly after a productive spring.
“Training camp, I think good things will happen to us,” he said. “We just have to stay focused, stay humble and get after it.”