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Break Out The Footballs: Phase 2 Begins

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said his team is "champing at the bit" to get Phase 2 of offseason workouts underway, in which on-field drills can begin.*

For the past two weeks, dozens of Redskins players have begun the process of getting their minds and bodies ready for the rigors of a long season.

But, come Monday, the team will get its first opportunity of the year to see where it stands on the football field.

The Redskins on Monday begin Phase 2 of its offseason workout program, in which, over a three-week span, the team may conduct on-field workouts and drills in a team practice setting.

During Phase 2, however, no live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted, but that doesn't mean the players and coaches aren't excited to break out the footballs and let 'er rip.

"Oh, we're excited," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said on Saturday. "This is a brand new year, and everybody has got high hopes, as everybody does in the league."

Gruden said the coaching staff – which has new faces at the defensive coordinator, defensive line, offensive line, quarterback,  and defensive backs positions – is "champing at the bit to get out there and see these guys run around, get outside, get out of this building for a while, get some sunshine and get a good sweat outside."

Check out images from the Washington Redskins' eighth day of Phase 1 offseason workouts at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

Phase 1 of offseason workouts began April 20 and consisted of two weeks of just strength and conditioning, physical rehabilitation and team meetings.

Gruden said that two week period was a tremendous opportunity for his players to get to know what new head strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark expects out of his athletes.

Clark – who has brought in an Olympic-styled approach to the Redskins, removing numerous machines and benches in the weight room in the process – said it was important to establish the message that his players will train dynamically on their feet, as well as bring in a heightened sense of competition.

"They will compete in everything," Clark said. "So we'll measure not weight on the bar, but we'll also measure bar speed – how fast you are moving the bar. You can really get into that. How far can you throw a med ball? How high can you jump? All these different measures we'll do will help them train more intently on competing which is their sweet spot."

Now, after getting a taste of Clark's approach to strength and conditioning tactics, the Redskins will get the opportunity to officially begin installing their schemes on the field under offensive coordinator Sean McVay, defensive coordinator Joe Barry and special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica.

"They've been really working hard, though, in the meeting rooms, which has been very impressive to me," Gruden said. "And, of course, with Coach [Mike] Clark in here, they're grinding it out pretty good. So to get them out of a different phase will be good, it's perfect timing."

Then, before they know it, the Redskins will begin their OTA practices May 26, then minicamp and training camp – and the start of the 2015 regular season – are right around the corner.

But it all starts Monday with Phase 2 of offseason workouts.

"We'll get three good weeks of this, and then get into our practices," Gruden said.




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