All of the Redskins rookies participated in their first community event, a Fuel Up To Play 60 mini-combine, featuring six local elementary schools, held at Redskins Park.
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The entire class of Redskins rookies participated in their first community event on Friday, but it seemed as though they had done it before.
As part of the Redskins Fuel Up To Play 60 program, the rookies interacted with six local DMV area elementary schools that had gone above and beyond in their implementation of nutrition and fitness awareness with other students.
Inside the team's indoor training facility, rookies were split off into six groups and participated in a variety of fun exercises and drills for an hour with the students, many of whom had never met a professional athlete before Friday.
"This what it's all about," linebacker Houston Bates said. "In football everyone gets caught up with the X's and O's. This is really what it's all about, to give back to the community, to have an impact on children's lives -- they look up at you -- and to make an impact on them later on down the road."
Here was a brief depiction of the fun everyone had: Offensive lineman Brandon Scherff, whom linebacker Preston Smith said was the worst dancer of the group, tried moving in step with a dance instructor to "Uptown Funk." Running back Trey Williams appeared legitimately upset when his team didn't win a relay race. Everyone else gave out high-fives, shared conversations and riled up their groups.
"The dancing part was my favorite, even though I don't know how to dance and don't have any rhythm," running back Matt Jones said. "But it was fun just seeing the kids dance and seeing them have the rhythm they do have so it was good."
"I'm just hoping that they'll take away this memorable moment for them," wide receiver Jamison Crowder said. "I know if I was a young kid and I got the opportunity and chance to come out here and be around professionals and athletes that would be a memory that sticks with me forever. So I'm just hoping that they just have fun and let it be a memory that sticks with them forever."
For the rookies, it was a time to relax, at least mentally.
Not burdened with coaches analyzing their every move, and getting to see each other in a more collegial, non-football context gave many players a new perspective on becoming a member of the Redskins.
"It's kind of a chill and relaxing moment as opposed to any other day when we're here [and] you're kind of uptight a little bit," Crowder said. "You don't have to worry about coaches a bit so it was fun."
"In there, it's all football," Bates added, pointing to the Redskins' main offices. "Outside of that, these guys have lives and personalities and they're all different and that's what's so cool about football, bringing different guys together. It's really special to meet some awesome guys off the field."