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Offseason "workouts" start today

But as has been noted there will be some change this year. Rather than forcing all the players to Redskins Park for "voluntary" workouts, Joe Gibbs agreed to allow some of his veterans to go home for the Offseason and workout with minimal oversight. Hope that doesn't backfire. Official Site has the scoop.

Officially, the team begins off-season workouts on Monday, with most players expected at Redskins Park, the year-round training facility, to work with the strength and conditioning coaches.

Participation in the team's off-season workout program is not mandatory, but the Redskins have always had high attendance during Gibbs' second coaching tenure.

This year, Gibbs is allowing veterans to work out on their own until early May, when league-sanctioned Organized Team Activities (OTAs) begin.

Participation was mandatory, no matter what they say. It isn't anymore.
The intent? To keep the players fresher for the start of the season but also well-conditioned for a late-season playoff run.

"Several of [the players] thought it might help in being fresher towards the end of the year, which is great," Gibbs said.

Two of the last three years, the Redskins have gotten off to slow starts--and it has proven costly.

My personal opinion is that a change was necessary to keep the team on board. Enough veterans had complained about the offseason regiment -- not just the premise of it but also how it was being organized and that it might not be tailored to the needs of certain positions -- where a change was in order. Also winning just 5 games tends to make you second guess your program.

But I disagree with the official explanation. Any attempt to blame recent failure on the offseason program will have to argue against the effects of 2005; the same offseason workout program appeared adequate at preparing this team for an unlikely 5 game win streak at the end of '05, nevermind a relatively strong start (3-0) to that season.

None of which is to say that '05 run was predetermined by our offseason workout program either, I just disagree with attempts to simplify success or failure. Offseason programs are important, but generally speaking I doubt effects can be traced merely by it. In our unique instance that clearly isn't the case as we had failure->success->failure, in that order, despite no substantive change in our offseason workouts.