Redskins players were scheduled to return to team headquarters by 8 a.m. Monday to begin preparing for the 2013 season. The club’s nine-week offseason program, which is mostly voluntary and divided into three phases, begins with strength and conditioning training four days a week for the next two weeks.
“Time to Go To Work!!!!!” quarterback Robert Griffin III tweeted at 6:41 a.m. Monday.
Rules and guidelines for all clubs’ offseason programs are detailed in the collective bargaining agreement the league and players union agreed upon in 2011. Among the most notable:
• No player is required to attend any session except for the mandatory minicamp. Washington’s mandatory minicamp is scheduled for Monday, June 10 to June 13. Coach Mike Shanahan strongly—repeat: STRONGLY—encourages participation in all nine weeks.
• “Contact work (e.g., ‘live’ blocking, tackling, pass rushing, bump-and-run) is expressly prohibited in all offseason workouts,” according to the CBA.
• “The intensity and tempo of drills should be at a level conducive to learning, with player safety as the highest priority, and not at a level where one player is in a physical contest with another player,” according to the CBA.
Phase 1 of the Redskins’ program began Monday and runs through next week. During this phase, only strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright and his strength and conditioning coaching staff are allowed on the field with players. No footballs are allowed, except for quarterbacks throwing to uncovered receivers. Players cannot wear helmets, according to the CBA.
Washington’s Phase 2 runs for three weeks from April 29 through May 17. All coaches are allowed to attend on-field workouts, which may include player instruction, individual drills and offense-only or defense-only drills. Special teams drills must be kicking team- or return team-only. One-on-one offensive vs. defensive linemen drills and one-on-one receivers vs. defensive backs drills are prohibited. Players cannot wear helmets, according to the CBA.
During Phases 1 and 2, players may be at Redskins Park no more than four hours per day, no more than four days per week, and not during weekends; and on the field no more than ninety minutes per day, according to the CBA.
Phase 3, the most intensive, lasts four weeks. It includes 10 days of organized team activities over three weeks and a mandatory minicamp in the fourth week. The Redskins’ OTA days are May 20, May 22-23, May 28-30 and June 3-6. The minicamp is June 10-13. All sessions are closed to the public.
During OTAs, live contact is prohibited, but team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted. Teams can require players to wear helmets, but no shells or pads are permitted.
During minicamp, two-a-day practices are permitted at two of the three practice days—the first day is reserved for player physicals—but players are allowed on the field for no more than 3 ½ hours per day, according to the CBA. Team activities can’t exceed 10 hours per day. Shoulder pads are prohibited.
After the minicamp concludes, players have about six weeks off before training camp begins in late July in Richmond.