A year ago the Redskins PR department handled 50 requests for media credentials for the team’s rookie minicamp. The attraction was the Redskins’ top pick in the draft, a guy named Robert Griffin III. Mike Shanahan did not fail to deliver some news to the media mob (usually there are about 10 requests for credentials) as he named RG3 the Redskins’ starting quarterback at a news conference right after the last session of the minicamp.
I haven’t checked with the PR department but it is safe to say that there will be fewer media at Redskins Park for the rookie minicamp tomorrow. Top draft pick David Amerson may turn out to be a solid football player but he isn’t going to draw like Griffin did. And Shanahan isn’t likely to name Amerson or anyone else a starter.
Just because it’s not a major media event doesn’t mean that there is nothing of interest going on at Redskins Park tomorrow. Actually, the minicamp started on Friday but Sunday is the one day where the media is able to observe and talk to the players.
All but one of the Redskins’ seven draft picks should be participating. The one draftee who will be watching is running back Chris Thompson. He is still recovering from a torn ACL that ended his career at Florida State last season.
In addition to the draft picks, the 12 players the Redskins signed as undrafted free agents will be there along with a number of players who are not under contract but trying out at the minicamp in hopes of landing a roster spot. Those players are the longest of long shots to make it but occasionally one does. Brandon Banks was a tryout player in 2010 and he ended up with a contract and a roster spot for three years.
Also eligible to participate are first-year players like fullback Dorson Boyce, who spent last year on injured reserve, or offensive tackle Tom Compton, who was either on the practice squad or game-day inactive list for all but one game last year.
While the rules are highly restrictive in some phases of offseason activities, for these three days the players will wear helmets and the offense will be able to line up against the defense. No contact will be permitted.
It is difficult to determine much at a rookie minicamp. It’s an orientation for the draft picks and a chance for the undrafted and tryout players to do something to get noticed. In reality, even the undrafted players under contract are trying out; if one of the tryout players is more impressive, a player could be cut to make room for him. That player could be one of the recently signed UDFA’s or a player who was on the roster previously.
Those who are still under contract will be back for the rest of the offseason program. OTAs, where the rules are similar to those seen in the rookie minicamp, get underway on May 20. There also will be sessions on May 22-23 and 28-30 and June 3-6.
Attendance at those activities is voluntary. The one mandatory session is the three-day minicamp, which runs from June 10-13. After that the players will be off until training camp starts. The camp schedule has not yet been announced but it will be at the new facility in Richmond and will start around July 25.