The Washington Redskins won’t let the NFL lockout prevent them from training together as a team.
On Tuesday, approximately 25 of Washington’s players participated in a voluntary player-organized and player-run workout at a Virginia high school.
The practice session lasted a little over an hour and included individual drill-work and positional activities. To close the workout all of the players in attendance came together for about 25 plays of seven-on-seven work.
“A group of us mentioned that we should get together earlier in the offseason,” Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “We wanted to get as many guys as we could to work on some plays and just run around.”
Alexander was one of the captains who helped organize the event. Fellow linebacker London Fletcher, a 13-year veteran known for his leadership, played the role of Mike Shanahan at the team’s player-organized workout.
Fletcher addressed the players who showed up and led the linebacking core through drills. He was also responsible for inviting all of his teammates to attend the two-day camp. Often referred to as a coach on the field, Fletcher turned the clock back to the days of the player/coach.
Washington’s veteran inside-linebacker e-mailed and called as many of his teammates as he had contact information for. Then Alexander and tight end Chris Cooley went about trying to secure a location for the workouts.
Several veterans, including Phillip Daniels and quarterback John Beck, led their respective positions through drills.
Beck boarded a flight in San Diego to fly in for the two days of practices. He was one of a handful of players who flew into Virginia solely for the player-run workouts. Tight end Logan Paulsen and wide receiver Terrence Austin, both UCLA products, also flew in from California.
“There were guys that came from Texas and Louisiana there too,” Anthony Armstrong said. “It was cool to see guys coming in to be with the team for a couple days, even if they weren’t here for the offseason.”
Two free agents who don’t currently have contracts even attended the workouts.
Quarterback Rex Grossman, who finished the 2010 season as the Redskins’ starting signal-caller, flew in from Florida despite the fact that his contract expired earlier this offseason. Linebacker Rocky McIntosh is not signed for next season either, but he was also in attendance.
The Redskins aren’t alone in trying to orchestrate practices without the help of any team employees. The New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings are just two of the several other teams planning on conducting workouts.
“It felt like high school again out there,” one of the players said. “We drove up to the field, got out and practiced, then got back in our cars and drove home.”