- The Washington Times - Monday, May 16, 2005

It’s not training camp or even minicamp, but Washington’s veterans will be on the Redskin Park fields with their coaches today for the first time since New Year’s Day.

Organized team activities, which are akin to practices without pads (or rookies), will take place Tuesday through Thursday the next three weeks until just before the team-wide minicamp June 17-19.

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs termed these days as an indoctrination for his new veterans, including receivers Santana Moss and David Patten and center Casey Rabach. All three are projected starters.

“When you step up to OTAs [from the walk-throughs the players have been doing since offseason workouts began March 21], it’s the first time we get to go offense against defense,” Gibbs said. “Obviously you don’t have pads on, so you have to be careful. A lot of it’s mental. You look at how guys pick things up and also their physical conditioning.”

Since most of the Redskins have experience in Gibbs’ offense and assistant head coach Gregg Williams’ defense, the pace should be faster than last year, when the systems were new. The biggest change will be the addition of the shotgun, which Gibbs always has eschewed because of concerns the players can’t hear the signals. However, it has been incorporated into the offense thanks to new quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave, previously an assistant with Jacksonville.

“We’ll be taking a long, hard look at that,” Gibbs said. “We’ll use it some in preseason. If it goes well, we’ll probably use it some in long-yardage [situations during the season]. The advantage is you can get away from inside blitzes. Bill’s kind of sold on it. In Jacksonville, they were in it almost every time on third down.”

Gibbs said he hoped safety Sean Taylor, who has skipped the offseason work in hopes of gaining an improved contract, would attend. Taylor’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, declined comment.

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