By Tom Schad
As the second week of organized team activities comes to a close, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said Thursday that he is pleased with the team’s attendance so far.
“We’ve had some good work, guys are working hard, we have some competition – that’s what you look for in these OTA days,” he said. “We’ve got 100% attendance. If a guy has missed, it’s been an excused absence.”
Among those absent at Thursday’s session were DT Barry Cofield and S Tanard Jackson. Shanahan said both players were excused. CB DeAngelo Hall said his absence from last Monday’s OTA, which was open to media, was due to a family matter about which he informed the team ahead of time.
Organized team activities across the NFL are not mandatory, though players are strongly encouraged to attend. OTAs give new players an opportunity to work with their coaches for the first time and old players an opportunity to mentor the younger guys.
When asked if he was accustomed to this much participation in the second week of OTAs, Shanahan said that he not only asks, but expects his players to attend.
“If people want to improve themselves, then you have to practice, and we have nine weeks to get that in,” he explained. “You don’t always have it – some guys don’t come for one reason or another – but you’re hoping people do come because you’re all after the same goal, and I think we’ve talked about what that goal is.”