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Gibbs: Mini-Camp Is For Teaching

It's only mid-June, but Redskins players are on overload as far as learning the offensive and defensive schemes.

Head coach Joe Gibbs wouldn't want it any other way.

"What we're doing is just continuing to add," Gibbs said on Thursday, one day before the start of the June 17-19 full-squad mini-camp. "It's kind of disjointed, so it's hard. But I think what it gives you is a real good feeling for how quick a guy can pick up stuff--and obviously if he's getting what's going on."

Just listen to Gibbs rattle off what was accomplished during Thursday's OTA practice--and what he expects to accomplish at this weekend's mini-camp.

"We worked on coming off the goal line," Gibbs said. "We'll do short yardage and goal line. We're working on plus-20 yards and in. We're doing all of the specialty things, which are very important to us."

The Redskins positioned Thursday's OTA session--the last of the offseason--so that the team could have an extra day of work--minus the hitting, of course--heading into this weekend's mini-camp.

While most NFL teams hold their mini-camps in May or early June, Gibbs decided to hold the Redskins' only full-squad mini-camp of the offseason in mid-June. That way, it would motivate veterans to work hard before vacation next week and help ease the NFL transition for rookies and first-year players.

"I think there is something from a player's standpoint that says, 'Our mini-camp is last, it's the last thing we're going to do before we leave on vacation,'" Gibbs said. "We wanted them to point towards the mini-camp.

"The other thing about having it too early, it really hurts the first-year guys because it's hard for them to learn everything, when they get towards the end like this, most of them have a familiarity with what you're doing."

Following Thursday's practice, team physicians conducted physicals for all players on the roster. LaVar Arrington (knee) and Brandon Noble (knee) are not expected to participate this weekend and Chris Cooley's (hamstring) status is uncertain.

Middle linebacker Mike Barrow was expected to undergo a physical on Thursday, but it was delayed due to a death in his family. Barrow arrived at Redskins Park late Thursday afternoon.

Barrow, who missed all of last season due to knee tendonitis, was expected to be cleared to practice for this weekend's mini-camp, but Gibbs said he may work out with the team's training staff for a few days instead.

"We'll start a process where he'll work out for a number of days with our trainers, and if that goes well, then we'll clear him," Gibbs said.

Safety Sean Taylor has been excused from the mini-camp so that he can resolve a legal matter in Miami.

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