Redskins mini-camp continued its familiar pattern on the third and final day: Plenty of hard work, plenty of energy--all encouraging signs from a football team that is quickly coming together.
The Redskins' second mini-camp of the offseason, concluded Sunday afternoon with another two-hour practice. Afterwards, the focus quickly shifted to what lies ahead for coaches and players between now and June 4-6, when the team will host its third and final mini-camp of the offseason.
"The next couple of weeks, what we're asking the guys to do is [several days a week] to work with their position coach, be on the field for walk-throughs and be here for weight training and conditioning," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "Then we leave it up to them to get one more workout during the week. That'll be roughly our schedule until the next mini-camp."
Players heard the message loud and clear.
"Coach let us know that he expects everybody to be here and to put their work in," said wide receiver Laveranues Coles. "He might not say anything about it, but you can tell he's keeping a mental note on who's working hard."
Added defensive lineman Phillip Daniels: "It's key, coming here in shape and pushing people off the ball--just being able to run around as fast as you can and make plays. I'm getting older so I have to start a little earlier now."
Gibbs continued to praise the players' attitudes and work ethic, despite what he termed as "rough" play on the practice field throughout the weekend. The team had several expected starters sit out the scrimmages, so coaches shuffled in young players at various positions.
"It makes it hard to have anything real smooth when you have a lot of people missing in action," Gibbs said. "We got a few [injured players] back this weekend. But in general, that's my biggest concern--getting everybody healed up."
Regarding the quarterbacks, Gibbs said: "We feel real good about our quarterback position. Tim Hasselbeck looked good. Patrick Ramsey--this was his first camp [since returning from foot surgery]--looked very solid. So did Mark Brunell. We put them in a bad position several times today because we were substituting a lot of people around them. Overall, I think they're working hard and doing well."
Gibbs described the process of how he and the coaches grade players during mini-camp.
"Every night, we grade every player from practice," he explained. "We're writing down their name and what they did well or what mistake they made. Over a period of time, you start looking at those names and you start going over things.
"Out of Saturday's practice, there were two guys who you wouldn't have guessed who kind of jumped out. So it surprised you and you kind of think, 'Hey, these are the kind of guys you're looking for.' I think you start to develop a profile of the kind of person each player is."
Gibbs added that, with coaches immersed in player evaluation, he does not expect to make any major personnel moves between now and the start of training camp.
"From here on out, it's going to be very hard for us to add somebody to the football team," Gibbs said. "We maximized free agency and we did as well as we could do in the draft. We did well with the undrafted free agents--a couple of them have really showed up and played well out there.
"But if you can add somebody, it might be just a person here or a person there. Right now, I feel pretty good about our players."