LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. - The "O" in OTA stands for "offseason" not "official", but Wednesday is officially the first chance for the media to get a peek at the 2017 edition of the Washington Redskins.
Day two of phase three of the Redskins offseason program consists of a voluntary, full-squad team workout Wednesday at Redskins Park. Media members are permitted to attend practice and conduct interviews. It's the first time reporters will see 'Skins veterans practice since the end of the 2016 NFL regular season. Along with several other outlets, News 3 - Hampton Roads' home of the Redskins, covered rookie mini-camp earlier this month.
During phase three of the NFL's offseason program, teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs” during a four week period. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.
Among the new storylines entering OTAs, it will be our first chance to see new 'Skins signees Terrelle Pryor, Brian Quick, D.J. Swearinger, Zach Brown, Terrell McClain, and Stacy McGee. But those players aren't the only new faces for the burgundy and gold.
The Redskins shuffled their defensive coaching staff in the offseason, firing three coaches including defensive coordinator Joe Berry. Washington promoted linebackers coach Greg Manusky to defensive coordinator.
“Anytime you have a new defensive staff, I don’t care how experienced you are, it’s your job to get the team to gel," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said of his new defensive staff. "The secondary, linebackers, defensive line, they’ve got to play together as one and that’s a challenge. I think from a talent standpoint, we feel like we’ve done a good job in the offseason addressing some of our needs with the draft and free agency. I think we have a lot of depth on our defense right now as opposed to previous years, so it’s going to be their job and it’s a great challenge, that’s the challenge of all coaches is to get your team to gel defensively and play together."