WASHINGTON — This is a tough time of year for sports, where a lack of action tends to warp the perspective of fans. This is the time when we start to debate the importance of voluntary workouts, which occur months before a meaningful snap of football takes place.
This is the sports June swoon.
But regardless of whether you believe players should work out with teammates or enjoy the voluntary aspect of the offseason, Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams is an interesting case study.
On CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Redskins Nation, Williams addressed the topic with the theory that skipping the voluntary workouts will make him a better player.
“It’s kind of tough because you’re away from your teammates and you don’t really get to be there when you welcome all of the new people onto the team or whatnot,” he explained. “But it’s one of those things that you’ve got to realize that the best version of me is what’s best for the team.
“So if what I do down there continues to propel me to be a better me, then I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do because, at the end of the day, the team benefits from it.”
Depending on how you already felt, this will sound like a rational perspective or just excuses.
Williams plays in a position group that values working in a unit over individual effort. He has always been better than his teammates, and that hasn’t always helped the team win.
Williams is one of the team captains on offense and has been for years, repeatedly talking about the importance of leading by example. Just last year, he flew his fellow linemen to Houston to work out with him before training camp, a tradition he may repeat this season.
Perhaps Williams wants to lead by example by showing teammates what he can do on his own.
“I know that working out at my place in Houston, I can work out for three or four hours and just get lost in the gym. Here, you’ve got to search for the right timeframe for everybody,” Williams explained. “Coaches have got to be hands-off and everybody’s got to be out of the building. The work that you put in on a personal level is a little bit more extensive than what you can do as a group, being that not everybody is at the same conditioning level when they come in.
“I can be as aggressive as I want. I just push myself until I have to be back [here in Ashburn]. Then I take another five weeks and push myself. Then when I come into camp, just try and be in the ultimate shape.”
Taking this logic to the extreme, it’s hard to believe that if everyone skipped voluntary team workouts and hit the gym that the team would be better for it. Then again, maybe Williams is right — only time will tell.