The message delivered by the coach touched on the success of last year. But Redskins coach Mike Shanahan made it clear to the players sitting in the auditorium on the first day of voluntary offseason workouts: There’s more to be done.
“He didn’t want to give us one of those talks where, ‘Hey, you’re really good,’ and have us get full of ourselves,” Redskins guard Kory Lichtensteiger said. “His big word was complacency. He didn’t want to tell us we were so good and have us think we didn’t have to work as hard to get back to that spot.”
Shanahan also reminded them that every year provides a new challenge, telling them that a good foundation had been formed. Nothing, however, is guaranteed for 2013 — standard coaching speak, but a message that is relevant to a team coming off its first NFC East title since 1999. Shanahan also told the players it would be sad not to have Pro Bowler and special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander, who left via free agency for Arizona.
According to a team source there was 100 percent attendance, save for a “couple guys” who had excused absences, including punter Sav Rocca who is in Australia.
The Redskins players, like their NFL brethren, will be limited for the first two weeks to working with strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright. Players can meet with coaches, but can’t be on the field with them. No physical contact is allowed when working out on the field. During the meetings, coaches typically offer a refresher course in what they want and expect.
Monday represented the first time the players were all back at Redskins Park since the season ended.
“It’s way too early to really say what the vibe is,” Lichtensteiger said. “Everyone at this point is just happy to see each other again. The team is for the most part unchanged. Today was a good day. We’re still so far removed from the season that it’s just more about getting in shape and the early stages of everything.”
Tight end Logan Paulsen said the atmosphere was the same as last offseason.
“This is a team of professionals and we have a consistent approach,” Paulsen said. “That’s something [coach Mike Shanahan] has worked for in cultivating this team. As a result it’s really exciting to be back and great to see everybody, but the approach is the same.
“Today is obviously day one, but the journey and the goal for this year is to improve on what we did last year.”