Safeties LaRon Landry and Oshiomogho Atogwe had to watch most of training camp from the sidelines as they healed injuries.
In the meantime, they had a chance to develop a strong bond, something that can only help when they're ready to resume playing.
Landry has been cautious with his Achilles injury suffered last season, while Atogwe is nursing a sore hamstring.
Whether they are side-by-side on the stationary bikes at practice or going through stretches with athletic trainers, Atogwe and Landry seem to be inseparable.
"It's just a bond," Landry said. "I'm not just going to say it's just me and O.J. – Kareem [Moore] is the same way. We're just trying to build a strong relationship since we didn't have OTAs or the offseason to do so."
Without valuable on-field time, Landry and Atogwe are taking plenty of mental reps and discussing plays as they unfold on the practice field. They want to know what each other is thinking in certain situations.
Atogwe, the free safety, is entering his eighth NFL and first with the Redskins. Landry, the strong safety, is entering his fifth season.
Their playing styles seem to be a great match.
"Basically, O.J. can control the whole centerfield," Landry said. "I can be up close to the box and enable me to do what I need to do."
Atogwe's quickness and football smarts has helped him emerge as a ball-hawk in the secondary. In the last seven years with the St. Louis Rams, Atogwe posted 22 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles.
Landry's strength and quickness – not to mention his penchant for delivering jarring hits – allow him to wreak havoc on an offense.
Landry can envision game situations in which he and Atogwe play off each other.
"We're interchangeable," Landry said. "He can play closer to the box, and I played free safety for two years, so we can both work for each other."
Atogwe's expectations when they recover from their injuries and return to the field?
"Just making a lot of plays and making this team successful," he said. "That's the reason we're all here together – to go out and do what we need to do individually so that collectively we have a good season."