Late last week, the Redskins “exit meeting” was scheduled for Monday morning at 10 a.m. Players were told to meet in the main auditorium/team meeting room at Redskins Park, for the last time as the 2011 Washington Redskins.
But when players arrived, it wasn’t head coach Mike Shanahan that was running the meeting. It was assistant head coach Bobby Turner, or either of the coordinators, general manager Bruce Allen or even owner Daniel M. Snyder.
Standing on the stage in front of the room, were two Navy Seals and a Marine, waiting to address the team about the importance of teamwork in the offseason. Who better to discuss preparation than those whose lives depend on it?
“I thought it was amazing and they did a fantastic job,” said tight end Chris Cooley. “I was really inspired by it. I think it really puts into perspective what we do. I was very proud of them and very excited by what they chose to share. That was a cool way to start the offseason.”
According to players, the military man talked about the four P’s: passion, purpose, provision and protection. Players were very careful not to equate what they do with what the military people do, but the idea of teamwork translated well.
“They just said, ‘You’ve got a mission. And in order to accomplish that mission, you gotta be accountable to your teammates, accountable to the organization, and do the things that you know you need to do to successful,'” said lineman Kedric Golston. “Y’know, if they make a mistake, somebody dies. When we make a mistake, we lose a game.”
“Not to combine those two, but just to understand that we need one another to go out and win football games.”
The point of having these men address the team at this point in the season, is that the sailors illustrated how down time can take away from preparation. If players don’t continue to focus on football success, they won’t be prepared for when they return.
According to Golston, one of the Marines was a point man for his unit, and hit an explosive that caused him to lose three of his limbs. He shared the story with the players about how his physical sacrifice saved the lives and limbs of other members of his unit.
The message of all of the men clearly resonated with the players.
“It was probably the top meeting I’ve ever been a part of,” said running back Roy Helu, who wrote the four P’s down on his hand. “When you can hold an audience of guys that have been here for five months…it was pretty awesome.”