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Gruden: ‘Hats Off’ To Those At Rookie Minicamp

Posted May 17, 2014

Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden commended the players and coaches who took part in this weekend’s rookie minicamp, where drafted players, college free agents and those trying out for the team tried to make a name for themselves.

Throw them into the fire and see how they react.

That was the attitude for the 61 players brought in to participate in the Washington Redskins’ 2014 rookie minicamp, where drafted rookies, undrafted college free agents, first-year players and 38 others trying out for the squad underwent three days of physicals, workouts, meetings, watching film and practices.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said he was impressed with how the rookies responded to the challenges laid out by his coaching staff.

“They’ve just got to learn bits and pieces and try to master what we’re teaching them” Gruden said. “They’re trying to learn everything, and that’s the hardest thing to translate mentally into out on the field and playing fast. … For the most part, I think hats off to our coaches for getting it done so we looked halfway organized out there and hats off to our players for coming in and learning and battling, both mentally and physically.”

The minicamp process began Thursday, when the team’s eight draft picks, 10 signed college free agents, five first-year players and 38 tryout players met at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va., to get their physicals and meet with team trainers and equipment personnel.

Their position meetings began Friday morning and lasted until their first of four practices over the next two days — one each in the morning and in the afternoon.

“We had a good four practices,” Gruden said. “The big thing was to try to get these guys looks so they could showcase their skills and ability. Then, we can make a decision on them moving forward – whether to bring them to camp or sign them, or what have you.”

The coaches also got their first up-close looks at the team’s eight draft picks, like wide receiver Ryan Grant, a Tulane product taken by the team in the fifth round of last week’s NFL Draft.

Grant told Redskins.com the past week has been a “bit overwhelming,” but that he’s “glad to be here with the Redskins.”

“It’s a great organization and I just want to contribute, play my role and try to make the roster,” Grant said. “It feels good to lace up some cleats, put a helmet on and compete against some defenders. I’m just happy to be here and just want to play my part on the team.”

Gruden said his staff was impressed by several players taking part in rookie minicamp — including many college free agents and tryout players. Their fates with the Redskins will be decided in the coming days and weeks.

But in the meantime, Gruden said the team accomplished what it needed to in order to get off to a good start for OTAs and training camp.

“Now is a good chance for (the rookies) to learn a system – just bits and pieces of it moving forward so they have a good general knowledge of it so when they do come to training camp this experience will help them moving forward,” he said.

Redskins make roster moves
The Redskins Saturday evening announced the signing of four players:

- DE Frank Kearse;
- CB Courtney Bridget;
- S Ross Madison; and
- CB Blake Sailors

In corresponding moves, the team waived:

- DL Chris Davenport;
- S Jose Gumbs;
- TE Kevin Perry; and
- QB Tommy Rees

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