Antwaan Randle El has brought a dynamic presence to the Redskins on and off the field. He is working to fit into the new offensive scheme employed by associate head coach-offense Al Saunders. Randle El spoke with Redskins.com and other reporters during the June 16-18 mini-camp at Redskins Park:
Q: What are your first impressions of Coach Saunders's offense?
A: "It's a great offensive strategy. Right now, it's just a matter of learning it all, because there are a lot of plays that I'm not used to. It's a totally different offense than what I ran in Pittsburgh. It goes back to some of the things I did in college. I'm getting used to it quickly and I'm getting it down so that when training camp comes around, I'll be ready."
Q: Does his offensive system emphasize the smartness of player more than others?
"Well, you have to be smart in any offensive system, because a lot of things change throughout the course of a game. In this offense, you really have to be able to make adjustments quickly. So with the adjustments during the game, you have to be smart, and you certainly have to be able to take care of the ball. You can be the smartest person ever, but if you get the ball and fumble it, then it will hurt your offense."
Q: Coach Saunders's playbook looks huge. Tough to learn?
A: "I'm doing well with it, but I still have a lot to learn. [During mini-camp], I had a bad play. Coach showed me how to run it in the meeting. Sometimes it's a matter of coaches putting you in different positions. Then you have to remember from X to Z to Y to F. As I said before, you have to be able to make adjustments. I didn't on that one play and it kind of hurt us."
Q: How does this wide receiver corps rate with you?
A: "I get excited just about the way we make plays, how we go up and get the ball, how we are there to make tough catches. We all can do that and we all have done it and shown it in OTAs and certainly in mini-camp. It excites me that we have the opportunity to play ball and contribute another piece of the puzzle to get us to where we need to be."
Q: How has the adjustment been in terms of learning your new teammates?
A: "We've got some nuts on the team, which is good because we need some of those. There are players on the team that don't care what's going on around them, and there are some that are doing their thing and making sure that others are doing what they have to do. We need a strong figure like that. And then we have some quiet ones, and some that are in between. With the mixture, you can create a team with a good camaraderie."
Q: How would you characterize yourself?
A: "I am right there in the middle. Some days I'm up. I am a loud guy. If I'm in a room, you know I'm in the room. That's the best way I can put it."
Q: How would you characterize Coach Saunders?
A: "Al is very excited. He is very passionate about the game and that is what you want to see out of a coach. You expect greatness and certainly he coaches well and gives us the motivation to understand [his approach]. He says, 'If we do it this way, this is the outcome we'll have to be able to do it day in and day out.'"
Q: You've worked with young quarterbacks in Pittsburgh. How did Jason Campbell look to you during mini-camp practices and OTAs?
A: "Jason looks pretty good. And I look at him in his second year with another offensive coordinator--you have to take that into account--but he's doing well. He's making some great strides especially in OTAs and mini-camp. It's just a matter of staying with him and making the plays for him."