LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. - The Washington Football Team's rookies were introduced to NFL workouts on Friday and Saturday, taking part in two-day rookie minicamp.
The workouts consisted of a much smaller group of players than traditional rookie camps because of COVID-19. There were16 players in attendance, lacking the amount of athletes needed to put together an offense and defense to run plays. Although, it was still more productive than last year's rookie minicamp, which was done completely virtually due to the pandemic.
"My biggest thing is that if you don’t know, ask," head coach Ron Rivera said about the advice he gives to rookies. "The worst thing you could do is go out there and you make a mistake and go out there and compound it by not knowing. That makes it worse. I told them to me the biggest thing is that if you are not sure, ask."
Rivera said that he was impressed with the athleticism he saw from this year's set of rookies, and after day two, was pleased with their recall of the first day's teachings.
Next up for Washington in their offseason workout program schedule is voluntary offseason training activities on May 25-27, June 1-3 and June 8-10. That's followed by mandatory minicamp from June 15-17.
"These guys will go through this program, will get integrated on Monday with their teammates and then we start OTA’s the following week. You watch them and you see how they handle the situations," Rivera said. "Once you get into training camp, you go through it. It is collective things. Just the way he is handling and learning. Following directions and doing the things that he needs to do. Just reacting to things. What his retention has been like. The way he practices, prepares himself before practice, takes care of himself after practice, there is a lot of things that you do try and watch and see.
"If a guy is going to get it, he will get it just before the season starts and you’ll feel confident enough to start a guy like that."
Rivera also addressed the possibility of the team returning to Richmond for this summer's training camp, saying, "I have no issue going away to camp. I have done it both ways where I have done camp from home or gone on the road. I think both have their merits and both have their challenges.
"You have got the guys and their way from specific distractions, it’s an opportunity to bond a little bit more as a team. It is also a chance to reach out to a different part of your fanbase. Gets the guys traveling a bit, those types of things. And you don’t tear up your practice fields.”
Washington's training camp will begin at the end of July. The Football Team begins preseason games August 12 against the New England Patriots, then opens its season at home against the Los Angeles Chargers on September 12.