The Redskins conducted 10 OTAs over the course of three weeks in May and June.
As the offense ran plays against the defense for the first time this year, Trent Williams was absent. The Pro Bowl left tackle and team captain did not attend a single voluntary (but attendance strongly encouraged) practice.
Williams did show up at Redskins Park for minicamp last week. He joined Larry Michael on Redskins Nation on CSN and talked about why he was not present at OTAs, acknowledging that he did miss some things by not being in Ashburn.
“It’s one of those decisions that’s kind of tough,” he said. “You’re away from your teammates and you don’t really get to be there when you welcome all the new people onto the team. But it’s one of those things where you’ve got to realize the best version of me is best for the team. If what I do down there makes me, continues to propel me to be a better me, then I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do because at the end of the day the team benefits from it.”
Williams was not hanging out on a beach or out fishing somewhere. He was working out at a facility he helped establish in Houston.
The CBA rules allow players to be at the team facility for no more than six hours per day. Take away time spent preparing for practice, conducting a walkthrough, practicing, showering and changing after practice, and going to meetings and you have little time left for conditioning.
As he approaches his age 29 season, Williams believes that the most important thing for him at this stage of his career is conditioning work and a lot of it.
“One of the things that goes into it, working out at my place in Houston, I can work out for three or four hours and just get lost in the gym,” said Williams. “Here, you’ve got a certain time frame where coaches have to be hands off, everybody’s got to be out of the building. And the work you put in on a personal level is a little more extensive. What you can do as a group, given that not everybody is on the same conditioning level as me, it’s a little more vague. And me, I can be as aggressive as I want. I start training and I push myself until I have to be back and then take another five weeks, push myself, and then when I come back into camp, try to be in ultimate shape.”
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Note that Williams is going to resume his workout regime this week and continue it until the start of training camp. There will be plenty of reps for him to adapt to any new wrinkles that may have been installed in Jay Gruden’s offense, a system he has played in for three years.
If being in “ultimate shape” keeps him from wearing down due to nagging injuries like the ones that slowed him down and late in 2014 and 2015 (a four-game suspension in games 9-12 last year prevented that issue last year) the team will indeed benefit more than it would to have him there to run some plays in May and June.