Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
Last week several Redskins rookies spoke to the media in this unusual period of “social distancing”; those conversations took place via the Zoom conferencing platform. This week it was the turn of the veterans. Defensive leaders Jonathan Allen and Landon Collins hopped online with reporters on Wednesday and offensive leader Adrian Peterson did the same on Thursday.
I thought it might be useful to look at some of their comments in detail.
Staying prepared for the season in the midst of the pandemic
Normally, during this period, I’m kind of with my personal trainer, doing the things that I need to do to take care of my body. But of course, it would have been different taking the new Head Coach and the new system that we’re putting in, unfortunately we’re all kind of missing out on that. I’m just doing my regular regimen. Just working, three to four times a week, and just keeping my body physically innate. We’re able to do our Zoom meetings and learn this new offense to the best of our ability.
I’ve been trying to do anything just to stay active and stay fit. I mean I work out every day, but it gets pretty boring because usually, I mean, I get done with workouts by 12 o’clock, and we have meetings from 12-2, so from 2 o’clock on I’m literally doing nothing. Just trying to do something to get out of the house and keep my mind sharp and just not get so bored, because there’s really nothing to do out here.
I really feel like it starts with my work ethic in the offseason. I’m a firm believer of if you want to have a good season you’ve got to have a good offseason.
I’m doing everything I can to eat right, sleep better this offseason, just do everything I can to make sure I’m in the best possible shape. And really just try to use quarantine as an opportunity for me to get ahead of the game and get ahead of my competition a little bit with how hard I’m training, so those are some of the things I’ve been doing.
Besides that, I’m just, it’s really hard because it’s something I’ve never done before, so I’m really just trying to, like I said, make sure I’m in the best shape possible and really hit the ground running when training camp does start, or whenever we get together.
I don’t have any stories about what is going on in the world in my personal life.
No one has caught the virus yet and hopefully no one does in my family. Knock on wood. I am praying to God no one does.
I really don’t have any concerns. I just want to get back to playing. It is big on me. I just really want to play
What it’s been like to be part of a “virtual” off-season
It’s like there is basically a team meeting. If we’re in the facility right now, we’d be going over installing the defense or we’d be installing whatever we’re installing, it’s the same way. We’re going through the same process that we’d do.
The only thing we’re not doing is taking what we got from the classroom on to the field. That’s the only difference right now.
It’s fairly easy. We ask our questions and we tell our group that there is no dumb question. There are no questions that we cannot answer.
Today I had a question about a couple things because I wasn’t getting it. I was trying to picture it in my head and most of us players picture a lot of stuff in our heads. So when I was trying to picture it in my head, I didn’t see what they meant by it, so I just asked my questions until I got it down. Regardless of how long it takes, we have to get it down because at the end of the day, once football season starts or once we all start back up, we don’t know if we’re going straight into football or if we’ll have some time before we start. Those questions, those answers, how everything goes within the Zoom meetings, it’s fairly the same as if we are in a team meeting room.
Thus far, obviously we’ve all had our opportunities to talk to [Head] Coach Ron [Rivera], and during our team meetings, have the opportunity just to listen to what he has to say. He’s been around for a long time, think he has over 30 years of experience in the NFL, so guys know who he is. We know people that have played under him as well. You know what to expect, you know. When a person talks, you can sense what they’re about. So, just strictly off that that, we have a good understand that hey, it’s going to be a change, it’s going to be different.
Obviously it’s hard to get that true feel of how things are going to be when you haven’t had the opportunity to be inside, and be in the building, and going to meetings, and going to practice and just seeing and feeling the flow of everything so, it’s hard to establish that when we’re all at home.
[Scott] Turner was in Minnesota, so some of the offensive is kind of familiar, but one thing I’ve taken from his offense thus far is, the running back has a really big role. So, they’re going to ask us to do a lot of things, we’re going to have multiple backs on the field at times as well. Just going over and learning offense right now has been exciting to see, just our role in our offense.
It’s definitely weird.
I feel like the best thing is, since we are a new team, is it is a whole new playbook for everybody. So, the biggest thing that I’ve been able to take away from it is just, getting used to the playbook, getting used to the new terminology.
I feel like the hardest thing with football is, a lot of the terms overlap from college to NFL, from different NFL teams. So, we’re having a lot of the same terminology, but different meanings.
CLICK HERE to watch the entire Zoom media session with Adrian Peterson
Thoughts about their teammates
Jonathan Allen was asked about playing with Chase Young
After he got drafted I just texted him congrats, looking forward to working with him. And then he reached out to me the next day and asked if he could come through for a little bit because he is a local guy, I think he’s like an hour away from where I live. So he came over, [DT] Matt [Ioannidis] came over, we just hung out and talked, it was really informal. Nothing really went down, he just had a couple questions like what was it like coming from college to the NFL, just basic questions that a rookie would ask. After that we just had some dinner and just kicked it. Like I said, it was really informal, didn’t really talk about anything in particular just really getting to know each other.”
I’m super excited. Whenever you get a guy with that caliber it’s definitely immediately going to make an impact for your team. I’m just really excited about what we’ve done in the last couple of years and the pieces we’ve built. We’re young, we have a great coaching staff, we have a great core of players, so I’m excited about the possibilities of what we can do. We have to go out there and do it, but, there’s definitely a lot of potential for us to go out there and have a good season.
I follow everybody on Instagram, so I can just look up their Instagram and see that they’re working. But more than everybody knows right now since we don’t have OTA’s, don’t have everything going on, this is the time and period where everybody starts to work out because we won’t have mini-camp. Everybody wants to go into training camp at least in decent shape to play football because playing with your defense in a week or so from starting camp, it’s very, very tough as we all know. In saying so, having to text guys to ask them if they’re working out, no I don’t have to do so.
I think playing with the defensive front that we have with the veterans like Jon Allen, Daron Payne, [Tim] Settle, Montez [Sweat], [Matt] Ioannidis — all those guys are going to be able to teach Chase [Young] NFL football. He’s already a great athlete, so that’s going to be a dominant force that he already has within himself. Having those guys around him to teach him how to attack this, how to read that, how you can play this better in a professional league and getting out of his college form is going to be great. It helps us with having a great speed guy with Montez Sweat off the edge and how we have another physical guy like [Ryan] Kerrigan and getting Kerrigan some more rest time because we know when Ryan Kerrigan has rest legs, we know what he can do. That’s a big plus for us because we can always rotate him in and out, and they make plays. They make plays, and it makes it easier for us on the back, so we don’t have to cover for so long. By the ball not coming out fast, you’re not getting big gains. The ball is not going over our heads as DB’s [defensive backs]. That’s a major key for when we’re playing with a great D-line like that.
I watched [Ronald] Darby; I watched Kendall Fuller; I know how these guys play. I will watch Sean D [Davis]. It’ll be my first time.
I heard great things. He is very fast and knows how to run the sky and make things happen. He has done a good job.
I have to look up his stats and talk to a couple guys from the Steelers to see how his attitude was towards everything and how he runs things just to get a background and stuff like that.
These guys are great pickups by our team. I’m looking forward to it.
Jimmy [Moreland] was supposed to have seven picks last year. That was just off of athletic ability. He was doing what he was supposed to be doing in the game but at the end of the day he was all athleticism. I was like. ‘Wow, he is going to be special.’ Once he got it down and could see it before it happened, he could jump for a pick six. He could jump before the play. He just didn’t trust himself within his ability to do those things. That is just a rookie not being sure or seeing what they want to do and just going for it. I think he has the confidence now and the trust that he knows we trust him in his ability to do something, have his back and cover him. That’s how it is as a rookie. I saw things and didn’t do it because I was scared that a veteran was going to be mad at me. It’s all praise. We all try and make plays. I feel that way about Jimmy.
I definitely will always miss Josh [Norman] and Dunny [Quinton Dunbar], but at the same time, we have to move on and we have to move on with what we have. I think the team has some great defensive backs that can be put around me and myself around them to make this thing work. I’m looking forward to that opportunity. It’s a blessing to me because I’ve watched these guys play and they play really good.
It reminds me of all the guys we brought in during my 2016 year in New York. Those guys are major pickups and they helped us tremendously and we had a crazy year. Having that big pickup with [DE] Chase Young and having those two corners brought in along with some solid safety help. I don’t see why we don’t have that breakout year that we want.
The running backs
Both of those guys [Peyton Barber and Antonio Gibson] are talented, especially the young guy coming in and what he was able to do in school. I think it was a good move…by the Redskins organization. When you’ve got good players and playmakers out there, you want to add those guys to your team.
Obviously, our ultimate goal is winning a championship, so if we feel like, it doesn’t matter what position it is, if this guy can be effective and help this team win, then you bring those guys on. I’m excited to actually get back out there, put the pads on, and see how these guys look in person.
I’ve always had the mindset of, being open to competition. That’s what it’s all about, guys pushing each other. I will embrace it the same way.
People ask me that question all the time, man, Redskins really? They’re packing that running back role. I’m like, yeah, they are but hey, it is what it is. It is what it is until you’ve got to lace them up and get out there and execute and produce at the end of the day.
I had the opportunity to talk to the young guys, a couple weeks ago. I told them, it still stands, anything I can help you with, here’s my number, call me, and once you get back to playing football it’s going to be the same thing. I’m helping those guys improve. I want to see those guys prosper, I want to see those guys take their game to the max, to their potential, to reach their full potential.
I really don’t know what to expect. I didn’t get to really watch LSU that much, I watched the championship game, and saw him get in the end zone there. If he has a drop of his dad’s talent, I’ll respect the upmost out of him.
It’s kind of cool to be able to play with him, taken that I’ve played with his father as well. One thing I tell my kids today is, I want you to be better than I was, not to have to worry about the comparison, because, Randy Moss is…the best wide receiver to ever play the game…, in my opinion. You just look at his talent and what he was able to accomplish and how he played the game, man, there was no one like Moss. I am expecting [Thaddeus Moss] to do some good things in a totally different position as well.
I want to see him blossom. I’m expecting big things from him. I know he’s been in his book and he’s working hard to be that leader that we need him to be. I think last year was an eye opener for him, just the transition he went through from training camp to the end of the season. I was able to see him grow. That’s what I look forward for him to do with this new system and helping this team win a championship.