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Off-season Workouts Begin On Monday

Posted Apr 13, 2012

Players are set to return to Redskins Park on Monday for the start of the team's off-season conditioning program. It leads into mini-camps and OTAs the next two months.

Time to get back to work.

Since Jan. 2, most Redskins players have been scattered about the country, unwinding from the offseason and spending time with their families.

On Monday, players return to Redskins Park for the start of the voluntary off-season conditioning program.

They will work with strength and conditioning coaches in the weight room and do sprints on the practice field. Some will rehab lingering injuries with athletic trainers.

They won’t be running through positional drills or competing in 11-on-11 work on the practice fields. The sessions won’t be open to fans or the media, certainly.

Still, it’s football.

In April.

Can’t beat that, right?

The start of off-season workouts will lead into mini-camps and OTAs the next two months at Redskins Park.

Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, players have had an extra month off since the end of the regular season. (Previously offseason workouts began in mid-March, not it is mid-April.)

At the end of last season, head coach Mike Shanahan said he hoped players would stay in reasonably good shape during their down time.

“You’re hoping that you have players who are self-motivated,” he said. “So when they do come in, they’re in decent shape...We’ll have a couple-week conditioning program, which is mandated by the NFL.

“Then you get a chance to work players for a couple of weeks independent of offensive and defensive teams. So you have a plan in the offseason now, which is uniform throughout the league.”

This offseason is sure to be significant for all 12 of last year’s rookies.

Remember, they did not have an off-season workout program due to the NFL lockout.

“It’ll be great because you have a good feel for the players,” Shanahan said. “You have been around them for a couple of years. Then you get a chance to evaluate your draft choices, your free agents, and how they fit in with people that have been here.

“Once you get into OTAs, I think you feel a lot more comfortable with who’s out there because you know them inside and out.”

One of the 2012 rookies, safety DeJon Gomes, believes having a full offseason with the coaching staff and with teammates will benefit him.

 “It’ll definitely help, having those workouts instead of coming in straight to training camp like I did,” he said. “In training camp last year, I had to learn the playbook day by day, and I didn’t really have time to soak it in.

“Now I have a training camp and a season under my belt, coming into off-season workouts this year, I’ll have a greater idea of what’s going on and I’ll be able to learn a lot more.”