|(The practice fields at Redskins Park are empty but for only 5 weeks)|
1. Sign RGIII and Josh LeRibeus
The Redskins have gotten all of their 2012 draft picks signed except for their top two players. With the current CBA and rookie wage scale in place this shouldn't be as difficult as previous CBAs where you would have to pay a gigantic roster bonus. The current rookie wage scale is slotted, so there is little wiggle room when it comes to salary and bonus monies (also the rookie pool dollars limit spending). What will need to be determined is whether the entire contracts will be guaranteed, option bonuses etc. Also, the Redskins may have to be tricky with the wording and the pay outs because of the loss of 36 million (thanks to Roger Goodell and John Mara screwing the Redskins) over two years. I don't expect holdouts for either of these players, matter of fact I don't expect a holdout for any team this year.
2. Get Healthy
The Redskins ended the practice sessions of the mini-camp a day early (using Thursday as a weight room and film/study session rather than practice) because Mike Shanahan felt that the team had done well picking up this year's playbook and installing it on the field. What could be another reason (to a lesser extent) is that the team is still recovering from injuries from this past season. Many players have been held out so they wouldn't re-injure themselves prior to camp/regular season. They need to be ready to go from day one of camp. Keep an eye on Leonard Hankerson, Stephen Bowen, Kory Lichtensteiger, Brian Orakpo and Chris Cooley in particular.
3. Stay in Shape
Not really an issue for this team in my opinion. The Redskins really don't have Albert Haynesworth types on the team anymore, maybe a few guys who'll need to run a bit more when camp starts but that's about it.
4. Keep Studying that Playbook
It will be key for the new free agents and rookies to have this down. The veterans know the general concepts even if the playbook is adjusted 40% -50% each year (I'm not sure how many plays Shanahan and co. throws out, adds in or tweaks but usually many playbooks change about 40% each year unless a new scheme is being installed).
5. Enjoy the Silence, Prepare for the Madness
Now is the time to relax because in 5 weeks it's going to be crazy at Redskins Park. Fans will be out in droves and so will the media to see RGIII. Rookies and free agents are going to find out very quickly that DC/VA/MD is all about the Redskins. There is a feeling of enthusiasm and anticipation that I haven't seen since Gibbs came back in 2004. I think this is a higher level than even back then. It's going to be fun, but crazy and I can only imagine what Fan Appreciation Day will be like this year. Early prediction: FedEx will be packed for the Colts/Redskins pre-season game.