WASHINGTON — Phase three of the Redskins offseason program begins this week with Organized Team Activities (OTA’s). We get to see some football!
The next three weeks consist of OTA’s, followed by a three-day mandatory minicamp, before a month off leading up to training camp in Richmond.
Unlike the previous phases of the workouts when players were on the field for walk-throughs, these sessions will allow us to see the offense and defense compete against each other. They are noncontact practices, but still a step up from what we’ve seen already.
The coaches have a chance to install a lot of the playbook and get a look at the players competing, especially the rookies. This next month is big for the rookies because they already have a minicamp under the belt and this is another chance to show the coaches what they’ve learned to this point. Once training camp comes around in two months, they should have a decent grasp on what the coaches expect on the field.
General Manager Scot McCloughan also has an opportunity to see what he has on the field with his offseason acquisitions and if he needs to add some pieces before training camp.
As far as attendance at these workouts, the big question has been and will be again: will DeSean Jackson show up? He missed the first week last year and hasn’t been at all the workouts so far this offseason. I’m sure the Redskins would like to see him this year, as it can only help him build his chemistry with Kirk Cousins. Other than Jackson, the attendance has been very good and close to 100 percent.
Cousins’ long term deal still is not done, and the teams have until mid-July to figure it out or else he will play this season under the franchise tag. Both sides say they aren’t worried about it and the talks continue. Either way, Cousins enters this offseason as the starter for the first time and will have the entire summer to work as such.
Running back and the defensive line are still the big question marks for this team.
Alfred Morris is gone and it’s Matt Jones’ job as the number one guy. The Redskins still have Chris Thompson on the depth chart and drafted Georgia running back Keith Marshall in the seventh round. We’ll see if Matt Jones is ready to assume the role at the top of the depth chart.
Along the defensive line, they lost two starters in Jason Hatcher and Terrance Knighton. Trent Murphy has been converted to an edge rusher, which will help. The team also drafted Matt Ioannidis in the fifth round. He’s a 6-foot-3, 299-pound “football player,” as McCloughan liked to point out. Defensive end Kendall Reyes was also signed this offseason to bolster the defensive line.
That turnover means there are still a lot of questions to be answered in this position group during the offseason workouts.
It’s hard to believe, but training camp starts in two months. Here we go.