The Redskins right guard had his fifth-year option exercised, meaning he'll be back with the team through 2019. For now, he's just ready to get back to work.
It's a long car trip from Iowa to Loudoun County, Va. – roughly 19.5 hours – but Redskins right guard Brandon Scherff was rewarded for making it on the first day of his arrival to the team facility.
The Redskins exercised his fifth-year option on Monday, ensuring he would remain with the team through 2019, and further securing the core of the offensive line for another season. It made for a pleasant welcome back, as players reconnected for the start of the offseason program.
"I'm really excited and any chance I can play with this team I'm going to take advantage of it," Scherff said.
The move is an easy one for the Redskins. In his first three seasons with the team, Scherff has missed just one game – against Dallas, after suffering an MCL sprain versus the Eagles – but the No. 5-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft showed just how tough he was to finish out the season. His efforts earned him a second consecutive Pro Bowl selection, too, though any credentials he's earned haven't jostled his work ethic.
"You always got to take advantage of the time out on the field and if you can play, you've got to play," Scherff said. "Everybody else is trying to take your spot. But Coach [Bill] Callahan always speaks about, you're not a backup, you're going to be a starter, so you've got to be ready, you've got to prepare just like the other man is playing. Coach Callahan does a great job of getting people ready for the game and he's truly one of the best."
Take a look at photos of Redskins players arriving for offseason workouts.
That mentality – always aware someone could take his spot – might seem like an irrational fear, but it remains a guide for him as he enters his fourth season in Washington. Scherff said he took off around two weeks during the offseason, still managing to stretch in his downtime, before getting back to workouts in Iowa.
When asked what he's learned the most in the last couple of years, he answered as you might expect.
"You can't take a day off," Scherff said. "There's other guys that are trying to do this for a job, too, and they're trying to take advantage of their opportunity as well, so any time you get a chance to do it on the offseason, you've always got to get better.
"Take care of your body, whether it's stretching, whether it's resting well, going to the weight room, recovery, I've learned so much," he added. "This is my fourth OTA already, which is incredible. It's always about taking care of your body and doing the little things."
Scherff has lost about 11 pounds since the end of the season, part of a goal to get leaner and build up more muscle and gain more flexibility as the offseason program progresses.
"It's nice to take that extra effort and put it into the weight room and get ready because you're body's not going to be hurting after practice," he said. "So go kill your body in the weight room, get stronger and just get every rep you can out of there."
As he settles back into life in Virginia, he'll look back into the tape from last season, which he said Callahan has already cut up for him. He's also got a new quarterback to get to know and, eventually, protect.
"He's a great guy, we're excited and like I said, we've got to take advantage of this opportunity during OTAs and just get the offense down, learn about each other, just come closer as a team," Scherff said of meeting Alex Smith. "That's what we're going to take advantage of."