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Fresh Off Mini-Camp, Redskins Begin OTAs

With the three-day mini-camp over, the Redskins moved right into voluntary Organized Team Activity sessions on Monday.

Gone were the rookies, 23 in all, and tryout players.

Rookies returned to their respective colleges to complete their spring classes. Most will return in early June for a final series of OTA practices.

For veterans, this first set of OTAs was sort of a continuation of mini-camp.

The practices have more of an NFL feel as only veterans work through drills. There is less instruction as players go through practice with a workmanlike approach.

"We are getting in and out of the huddle quicker," Zorn said. "We are still learning the snap count--especially the harder counts and longer counts--but we have to do it. When you see the miscues, you can see guys trying to get a feel for how we are using our snap count.

"Then the speed--the guys are really working hard. We cut a few reps out and we cut the periods down a little bit because we don't have as many guys. They responded very well."

Zorn is installing a new offense this offseason. He gave players an abbreviated playbook for mini-camp. For OTAs, the playbook is expanding to include more pass routes.

Defensive coordinator Greg Blache said he envisions no changes in terms of scheme, but he does want a more simplified defensive approach.

The Redskins had full attendance for Monday's OTA practice.

In previous years, the Redskins have had strong attendance at OTAs, but there have usually been a handful of absentees.

Last year, cornerback Shawn Springs did not attend OTAs. What about this year?

"I'm going to practice," Springs said on Sunday. "I always have to practice. Coach [Greg] Blache is doing a good job of just really taking care of the guys."

Zorn said he expects players to attend the voluntary OTAs unless they have an excused absence.

He jokingly calls OTA practices "voluntary mandatory."

He added: "These are voluntary, but we've made our points as coaches that we need everybody here. We're not doing anything more or different than other teams. Other teams have OTAs and other teams want their players [to attend] as well.

"If you have a contract issue or you're disgruntled--there are a thousand reasons [to not attend OTAs]. But if you don't show up just because you didn't want to show up, I think that's wrong."

The team is holding three OTA practices this week.

After this week, the off-season strength and conditioning program continues until June 2. The team returns to Redskins Park for eight more OTA practices over two weeks.

Training camp is expected to start in mid-July.

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