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DeSean Jackson Is In The Building

Posted by Gabe Hiatt on April 14, 2014 – 1:12 pm

After returning from vacation, wide receiver DeSean Jackson is putting in work at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.  Read more »

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Dan Riley’s Weight Training And Disco Ball

Posted by Brian Tinsman on April 20, 2012 – 2:22 pm

In the latest interview with head strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright for Redskins Nation, he discusses his coaching mentor Dan Riley.

Riley was the Redskins’ strength and conditioning coach during the team’s glory days, serving for 21 seasons from 1981-2001.  Before coming to Washington, Riley was a dynamic strength coach for the Penn State Nittany Lions.  During his four years at the school, the team never lost more than four games in a season, and went 3-1 in bowl games.

When Joe Gibbs was hired as the head coach in Washington, Riley interviewed for the position, and brought his “High Intensity Training” to the professional ranks.  His system for workouts targeted specific muscles and worked them out to the point of exhaustion.  It was the style behind Don Shula’s ’72 Dolphins, and it helped build the Redskins’ 1980s dynasty.

Certainly the team’s success is a direct result of the right players in the right scheme.  But it shouldn’t be ignored how much Riley and his system prepared the players’ to perform.

Coach Wright also owes Riley a debt of gratitude for giving him his start as a strength coach with the Houston Texans.  After eight seasons of working under Riley with the Texans, Wright took the top job with the Redskins.

Funny how that works.

As you can tell from Wright’s description, Riley was a high-octane, borderline eccentric guy.  Sadly, he coached in the era before the team blog, because he used to have a disco ball hanging from the ceiling of the weight room at Redskins Park: Read more »

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Carriker Officially Out-lifting Phillip Daniels

Posted by Brian Tinsman on April 19, 2012 – 3:51 pm

AP Image

During the 2010 season, Adam Carriker was united with Phillip Daniels on the line to form one of the strongest defensive end  tandems in the history of the NFL.  They played together for only one season and made only one start together in that span, but changed the standard for ‘player strength’ in Washington.

The question of strongest Redskin was a dangerous question in those days, with two of the team’s more outspoken interviews making the case for themselves.

Even a review of the Youtube tape sheds little light on the subject, with Daniels squatting 722 pounds, and Carriker allegedly benching over 500 pounds, squatting 600 pounds, and clean and jerking 405 pounds.

I don’t know anyone strong enough to determine who wins that contest.

But after spending 2011 in retirement, Daniels, the new director of player development, has apparently left his power lifting days in the past.  According to head strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright, Carriker is now the undisputed strongest man in the building: Read more »

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Pilates Now A Part Of Offseason Workouts

Posted by Brian Tinsman on April 18, 2012 – 2:43 pm

AP Image

With the first batch of voluntary offseason workouts wrapping up this week, the Redskins strength and conditioning staff is introducing a new workout to the rotation: Pilates.

A lot of attention has been brought to Pilates in recent years, as Kedric Golston got Lorenzo Alexander into the workout regimen (and then eventually into the Pilates studio business).  Their subsequent success on the field led to increased interest from players like Rob Jackson and Perry Riley, who have tried out the routines on their own.

But now, according to strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright, the workout routine will become mandatory for the entire team, in preparation for 2012: Read more »

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CBA Issues Cleared, Players Take The Field

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 4, 2011 – 5:46 pm

When players took the field around 4 p.m., the NFLPA had not yet put their John Hancock’s on the CBA.  Because there was no agreed-upon CBA, players contracts were not yet valid, which means they could not quite practice with the team.


Players stretched on their own (away from the team) and strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright kept an eye on the new guys.  He was heard yelling “Be at the ready!  Be ready any minute,” as everyone waited for news to come down from the union.

Here’s the new guys stretching out on the back, back, field:

Read more »

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Ray Wright Explains The Conditioning Test

Posted by Matt Terl on July 30, 2010 – 1:08 pm

This morning’s practice was much crisper than yesterday’s. The offense — especially the quarterbacks and wideouts — looked markedly better, and a lot fewer passes hit the ground. Trent Williams is in at starting left tackle, and Lorenzo Alexander is doing a predictably remarkable job fitting in at linebacker.

But, hey, who cares about all that football stuff, let’s talk about Albert Haynesworth some more!

Haynesworth again did not pass his conditioning test this morning, so he wasn’t at practice again today. Again he came out with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett for some work on terminology and the like. It was at that point that the media horde assembled — you can get a little sense of it from the picture above — and took pictures of Haynesworth and Haslett chatting. Fans alternated between shouting encouragement and criticism at Haynesworth, and then the defensive tackle walked back into the facility, followed by the media crew. (Which is where this AP photo is actually from.)

But one concrete thing came out of all this: head strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright addressed the media and explained the conditioning test that Haynesworth has been taking in simple terms, explained what Haynesworth has missed, and what he expects from the future.

So let’s lay all the speculation and concern to rest with a quick Q&A format, using Wright’s quotes as our main information source. Read more »

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Carlos Rogers Appears Happy With The Current Situation

Posted by Matt Terl on April 13, 2010 – 11:46 am

Every day since the offseason conditioning program started, cornerback Carlos Rogers has come into the facility. He’s done his lifting, his running, and his jawing with his fellow defensive backs. And, on the whole, he’s seemed happy about the whole thing — so it’s been easy for me to forget just how cranky he was at the end of last season.

Like Jason Campbell and a whole bunch of other players leaguewide, Rogers found himself as a restricted free agent this year because of the uncapped season. He didn’t have the freedom to choose a team — or to land a generous new contract — that he’d expected, and he was coming off a frustrating campaign that saw him occasionally beaten for deep passes and briefly benched for reasons that seemed somewhat unclear.

As recently as March 4, Rogers was having grouchy conversations with reporters that prompted headlines about him wanting “a new start” elsewhere. But apparently a lot can change in a month and a half. Read more »

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Friday, March 12: Inside The Revamped Weight Room

Posted by Matt Terl on March 12, 2010 – 1:16 pm

The Redskins voluntary offseason conditioning program begins on Monday, which means that a whole bunch of football players — all of them, if new head coach Mike Shanahan gets his wish — will be cycling through the weight room. For some players, it’ll just be another weight room, worse than some and better than others.

But Redskins veterans, guys who are returning to the Redskins Park for the first time since last season ended … well, they’re going to find a dramatically different experience.
Read more »

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