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Jay Gruden On Workouts: ‘So Far, So Good’

Posted Apr 16, 2014

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden talks about the status of the team’s offseason workouts program, as well as the team’s key free agent signings in 2014


Too many weapons?

No such thing, says Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, whose team on Thursday will wrap up Phase 1 of its offseason workouts program.

Gruden on Wednesday spoke with Redskins.com TV’s Larry Michael about several topics, including the offseason acquisitions of wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts, who are expected to be key components of a Redskins’ offense that already included the likes of quarterback Robert Griffin III, wide receiver Pierre Garçon, tight end Jordan Reed and running back Alfred Morris.

Asked if too many weapons – and not enough footballs to go around – could be a problem in 2014, Gruden said, “Let’s hope not.”

“It’s good to be diverse in what you do and not be one-sided,” the first-year Redskins coach said. “The ability to have DeSean, Pierre, Jordan Reed, Andre Roberts – and then, of course, the running game with Alfred Morris – too many weapons is a good thing.”

Gruden, meanwhile, likes what he’s seen out of his team – or at least what he’s heard from other team officials – so far.

Because the Redskins are beginning their first season under a new head coach, they have been one of seven teams this year allowed to begin their Phase 1 workout program with a two-week head start, per the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Gruden – hired Jan. 9 as the 29th head coach in Redskins franchise history – has used the seven days of workouts so far to meet with his players, 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.

Gruden said he’s received positive reports from the team’s strength coaches, however.

“So far, so good,” he said. “I think they’re all in there competing in the weight room and they’re able to go out there and play catch with themselves and run the routes and start to slowly implement our offense. It’s going well.”

Gruden – who came to the Redskins after three years as the Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive coordinator – said he’s “very excited” about his team’s developments on the defensive side of the ball, as well.

“You know, we’ve added some size up front, we’ve added a couple new cover guys and a new safety in Ryan Clark – with some veteran leadership – and some new linebackers,” he said. “Just adds more pieces to the puzzle, and to get everybody flying around to the football – and play fast with a lot of energy – is our whole goal.”

Gruden won’t have to wait long to see his team in action on the field.

Phase 2 of the Redskins offseason workout program – which lasts three weeks – begins April 21, which is when team and individual drills can begin on the field, although the offensive and defensive units cannot practice against each other.

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 the Redskins’ primary goal over the next couple months is “teaching and learning and making sure these guys get in shape,” but the coach and his staff has also been focusing on the 2014 NFL Draft -- which is being held May 8-10 – to “make sure we pick the right people – character-wise and athletically.”

Also not far off on the team’s schedule is training camp, which is being held at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center for a second-straight year.

It’s a trip Gruden is looking forward to making with his players and coaches.

“I’ve never been there in Richmond, so it’ll be a new experience for me,” he said. “I know the team was there last year and they really enjoyed it, so hopefully it’ll be a good time.”

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