Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, May 22, 64 days before Redskins start training camp.
Today’s the day
Today for the first time since their playoff loss to Seattle on Jan. 6, we will see the Redskins on a football field running football plays. Today is the first of six OTA and minicamp practice sessions scheduled to be open to the media.
It won’t be the same as January, of course. No pads are allowed; they will be out there in helmets and shorts. There is no contact allowed, although they will kind of lean into each other. And Robert Griffin III will be a spectator as he rehabs from the knee injury he suffered midway though the fourth quarter of that Seattle game.
But there still will be plenty to watch. Just a few of the issues under the spotlight:
—How will the defensive backfield shape up? Brandon Meriweather, who is expected to be the starting strong safety, won’t be on the field as he rehabs his torn ACL. How big a role will rookies Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo play could give us a hint to the team's plans for them come the fall. Can Chase Minnifield make a splash and become the undrafted steal everything thought he could be before he was injured last year?
—Who will line up at right tackle? We’re not sure yet if it is an open competition for the job or if it’s Tyler Polumbus’ job to lose. With the possibility that the Redskins might work more of their passing game out of the pocket, protection is critical.
—What will Pat White be doing? When the Redskins signed him this spring after three years out of the NFL, it was widely assumed that he would handle the RG3 role from scrimmage while the real Griffin rehabbed.
—Who will step up among the undrafted players and other castoffs and underdogs? Can receivers Lance Lewis and Nick Williams get in the conversation for a roster spot? Can either Ron Brace or Phillip Merling (or both) revive their careers?
The team needs to be very careful to stay within the rules. The OTA’s are filmed and the NFLPA can request a copy of a session at any time. A coach can be fined up to $100,000 for a violation of the rules and the team can be hit for as much as $250,000. In addition, the team can lose the next week of OTA’s as a penalty for not following the rules.
Will a rookie start in the secondary?
10:40—OTA practice, media can
observe entire session
After practice (approx. 12:30)—Player availability and news conferences by Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan
In case you missed it
- How will doctors know when RG3 is “ready”?
- RG2 weighs in on son’s injury, recovery
- Redskins Tweetbag: Who will surprise?
- RG3 dazzles in Xbox demo
- Is Orakpo 100 percent healthy?
Days until: Minicamp 19; Training camp 63; Preseason vs. Steelers 88