The Redskins wrapped up their third and final mini-camp of the offseason, but the practices and workouts are hardly over.
Head coach Joe Gibbs has scheduled league-sanctioned Organized Team Activities--or OTAs--for the next two weeks, so Redskins Park should be plenty active as players continue to get ready for training camp in late July.
Gibbs was so pleased with the effort, energy and attendance at mini-camp that he gave players an extra day off this week.
"So we're going to take Monday and Tuesday off and then practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on OTAs," Gibbs said. "The guys have worked real hard. I appreciate their effort and I wanted to give them a reward."
Throughout the weekend, coaches wanted to make sure players had plenty of repetitions. The focus was on making sure the classroom work and film study of the last few weeks transferred over to the practice fields.
Despite a rain-soaked day on Saturday which limited the team to the Astroturf field, players got all of their work in. Veterans and rookies alike continued say they are becoming more and more comfortable with the play calls and their assignments.
"Coaches are really stressing that we be precise on how we run plays," wide receiver Laveranues Coles said.
Added right tackle Jon Jansen: "There's a mentality that the coaches brought here that we're doing things different now. You can see it in how guys approach practice. There's a lot more attention to detail and guys have a lot more pride in their jobs. That's a tribute to the coaches."
Gibbs also praised the coaching staff for their dedication.
"I think this is an important time for us--coaches gradually start feeling each other out and start coming together," Gibbs said. "There are a lot of new players and a lot of new coaches, so it's a big chemistry situation. I think we're feeling more comfortable with each other. I'm very pleased with the coaching staff."
Gibbs said he was pleased that several players who had been nursing injuries--most notably offensive linemen Chris Samuels and Randy Thomas--return to the practice fields for mini-camp. Gibbs said he expects cornerback Walt Harris, who sat out mini-camp with a lingering left knee injury, to be fully healthy by training camp.
Fullback Rock Cartwright was the lone absentee from mini-camp. He was excused due to a death in his family.
Even with the OTAs scheduled for the next two weeks, Gibbs is looking forward to training camp when he can start to evaluate his players wearing full pads and in preseason games.
"There comes a point where you say, 'We've practice about all you can practice,'" he said. "To me, the last month has gone by really fast. All of a sudden, it jumps up on you and you realize you only have a few more weeks to go and then training camp is here."