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Should the Redskins follow Miami’s lead and ditch rookie minicamp?

Given the concern with injuries, would it be better for the ‘Skins to focus on “orientation” rather than on-field training from 11 to 13 May?

Pro Football Talk, last year, published an article / opinion piece under the headline:

More teams should consider ditching rookie minicamp

A quick summary of the article’s key points:

A week or two after the draft, rookie draft picks, UDFAs and tryout players are brought together after months of not playing football. Veterans, on the other hand, have a phased re-entry to football. Players (like Dante Fowler in 2015, or receiver Mike Williams & DB Howard Wilson in 2017) get injured.

The Miami Dolphins have ditched the traditional rookie mini-camp, changing it to an ‘orientation’ weekend.

“For us, it’s really get them acclimated to what we’re doing, what we expect of them between lifting, meetings,” coach Adam Gase said after this year’s opening weekend, via the team’s official website. “We try to educate them on all the things that can help them. Our sports science group speaks to them, player engagement does. We usually have a couple of ex-players come in here to talk to them about what they’ve experienced. We’re trying to get ahead of it. That was the one reason why we did this, we always just felt like when we had these rookie minicamps and you’re practicing, you’re coming back in, you’re installing more, you’re watching practice, by the time they leave here, they don’t remember anything.”

If the goal is to help young players prepare to blend with the older ones, having the young players spin their wheels (and dent their fenders) on the practice field may not be the best way to go.

“Our biggest goal was, how do we get these guys to where we can get them to leave here, come back and have an idea what they’re going to go through in the next phase but also retain some information and really try to catch up to the vets as much as possible?” Gase said at the time. “We felt like last year it did matter for us because when we hit OTAs our guys knew what to do, they knew what they were supposed to be, they were able to actually contribute in practice. They weren’t just staying in the background just watching.”

They also were healthy, because they didn’t go from months of no football to all football, all the time in a compressed time frame that periodically results in a new player contributing nothing at all in his first year with the team because he emerged from the rookie minicamp with a major injury.


Should the Redskins ‘follow the leader’ here, and plan a Dolphins-style rookie minicamp for the 2018 season?

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