Redskins team captains Trent Williams and Barry Cofield spoke with reporters yesterday following the teams first offseason workout of the new league year.
Barry Cofield on conference call: attendance was "near perfect" and says Gruden started team off w a address and intensity level was high— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) April 7, 2014
Cofield said that Jay Gruden started the day with a speech to serve as an icebreaker before the strength and conditioning program began.— Zac Boyer (@ZacBoyer) April 7, 2014
Cofield says Gruden is a "younger type of guy" and notes he played for Coughlin and Shanahan, "two of the older coaches in the league"— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) April 7, 2014
Cofield "Coach Gruden brings a different type of energy" and mentions "a whole different atmosphere" and coaching staff is "more free."— Chris Russell (@Russellmania980) April 7, 2014
Cofield said with the new regime, players think of it as "a blank slate" and some coaches are looking at is as "a new lease on life."— Zac Boyer (@ZacBoyer) April 7, 2014
Trent Williams says he's impressed with how down to earth Jay Gruden is. Says he's approachable and made everyone feel comfortable.— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) April 7, 2014
The Addition of Jason Hatcher to the Defense:
Cofield excited about the addition of Jason Hatcher. Says the defense will look a lot different and have lot of different wrinkles.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) April 7, 2014
Trent Williams on Jason Hatcher. "He's a pain in the backside...A mis-match all day for the guards inside." #Redskins— Chris Russell (@Russellmania980) April 7, 2014
"I think he’s definitely going to be a big help," Cofield said Monday, following Washington’s first day of offseason workouts. "It’s always great to be able to get a division rival and take someone from their roster that was big for them and bring him to your home. That’s almost a double-whammy on that part. And on top of that, he brings a completely different skillset from the guys that we have. He’s very unique in that way and I think he’ll complement everybody on the line extremely well. He’s a great guy. I got a chance to meet him and talk with him, and he’s very excited, and I think we’ll look a lot different even within the same defense. There will be a lot of wrinkles and things that will make us better."
"It was almost the opposite end of the spectrum from what we were doing here," he said. "With the way Dallas was playing with getting upfield aggressively, really disruptive to the backfield. Their whole defense was predicated on an aggressive front while we were a physical front that was tasked with keeping the linebackers clean and allow them to make plays."
He said that keeping linebackers clean will remain part of their jobs but that they want to get in the backfield more but that would depend on how well the scheme is working.
Cofield says #Redskins will still do some of the same defensive principles of trying to keep LB's free but clearly they have a lot on tap— Chris Russell (@Russellmania980) April 7, 2014
Cofield and his teammates have only received a brief overview of what Haslett has in store for them. But the veteran says that ultimately, scheme doesn’t matter if players don’t do their jobs."Really, it’s going to come down to execution,"
Cofield said. "But I continually say that. That is the plan. We’re going to do some different things up front. It’s not just D-line, but linebackers included and we’ve really bought into and that should allow us to be in the backfield more and to hopefully make big, disruptive plays on the quarterback. We’ll see. It comes down to execution because the offensive line still wants to block you, and if you’re not beating people, it’ll all be for naught, so we’ll just see how it plays out."
Redskins Free Agency:
Cofield said he was "antsy" watching the slow approach to free agency early. But he liked signing of Shawn Lauvo, Roberts early.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) April 7, 2014
Cofield said playing against Lauvo in 2012 he saw him as a tough opponent contrary to what he had ready by some reports.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) April 7, 2014
Trent Williams: "Kory is a more than capable center" and says Lauvao is proven. "I'm stoked." #Redskins— Chris Russell (@Russellmania980) April 7, 2014
DeSean Jackson Signing:
Cofield said DeSean Jackson was somebody he "absolutely hated playing against" over the last six years.— Zac Boyer (@ZacBoyer) April 7, 2014
Cofield feels the same way about adding DeSean Jackson from the Eagles.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) April 7, 2014
Williams met DJax at Pro Bowl and texted him soon as he got released, asking if they had a chance. Williams told him Skins would embrace him— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) April 7, 2014
Williams thinks the negative reports about jackson from nameless former teammates "is just he-said, she-said stuff."— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) April 7, 2014
Trent Williams said he doesn't get any bad vibes from DeSean Jackson and doesn't "think he has any bad character."— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) April 7, 2014
Shortly after DeSean Jackson was released by Philaldephia last month, Trent Williams reached for his cellphone and sent the former Eagles wide receiver a text message.
"I just asked him if [the Redskins] were even in the picture," Williams said. "When he told me that they were talking, I just told him basically that we would love have a player of his caliber, and that our team would be willing to embrace him and try to do big things."
"In my opinion, we play a game that’s America’s game and there’s a lot of eyes on you," Williams said. "A lot of people just want to pick you apart. No matter what you do, they are going to find the wrong in what you do and forget about the good things."
"To be honest with you, for a guy that has had the type of impact he has had, three Pro Bowls and just countless numbers of big plays and putting his team in position to win, to me, I wouldn’t question his practice habits," Williams continued. "He’s proven himself day in and day out. …I’m not going to judge him, or say that he needs to change which way or another. I can only go on his body of work. And his body work, his numbers, they can stand up there with the top receivers in the league."
Bringing Orakpo Back:
Cofield said bringing Orakpo back was "huge." He wouldn't have wanted to see an angry Orakpo coming after Griffin, he says.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) April 7, 2014
Cofield said it's "huge" and "crucial" that the Redskins were able to bring Orakpo back. "I don't think he's a guy you can afford to lose."— Zac Boyer (@ZacBoyer) April 7, 2014
Cofield said Redskins don't need teammates "walking around and cracking the whip" just needs guys setting good examples.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) April 7, 2014
Cofield on dealing w/ 1st "I believe in personal accountability." and "leading by example...being true professionals." #Redskins— Chris Russell (@Russellmania980) April 7, 2014
Trent Williams says he's "stoked" about the "bulked up" O-line.— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) April 7, 2014
Williams on JGs offense:"Some things will be different, some things will be the same." Says it's just Day 1. Haven't got deep into playbook.— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) April 7, 2014
Trent Williams thinks w Jackson and Roberts bringing more speed, team will run deeper routes, and that could require line to hold up longer.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) April 7, 2014
Lessons Learned from Last Season:
Williams, an offensive captain the past two years, said players must keep last year in their minds.
"You got to know what falling down feels like," Williams said. "You have to know what losing feels like to want to win and a season like that, you can’t forget that. It has to be a driving force to want to do better things. It has to be that motivation to say, ‘Look, we’re too talented to go 3-13 again.’ That was us. There’s nothing we can do about it now. We had the talent to perform with anybody and we didn’t come together like we were supposed to and we didn’t win games like we were supposed to. That needs to be in our back pocket at all times and be a driving force."
"I think you can build," Cofield said when asked what the offseason workouts would accomplish. "I’m not necessarily sure you can win the Super Bowl now. I think you’ve got to be lucky and you’ve got to stay healthy and you’ve really got to execute on Sundays in the fall/winter. Realistically, you do it to build – especially with a new coach – and I think it’s to inject a new optimism into a franchise. Last year was as rough as we could’ve imagined, losing a coach we all enjoyed. This time of year, especially with the new staff, there will be some new terminology. Defensively, we have the same coordinator, but we’re doing a lot of new things, as I’ve mentioned. Offensively, obviously, they’ve got a new guy. You have quarterback and receivers working together, and guys moving around on the offensive line. … I think this time is very important for building the foundation. But all this is for naught if we don’t execute this year."