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Friday Redskins Links – 10/3

Posted by Matt Terl on October 3, 2008 – 4:48 pm

  • On the bus to the airport last week, Chris Cooley was explaining to someone that the BBC had been after him for an interview. “I’m HUGE in London,” Cooley said. He delivered the line sarcastically, a riff on the good ol’ “big in Japan” and the like … but it appears to also be true. And, according to the BBC, the Redskins are Super Bowl contenders, which is nice. The picture above is Cooley during the interview, on the phone at the desk of head PR guy Zack Bolno. It also provides a chilling view of what the offices of Redskins Park will look like when Cooley completes his inevitable takeover.
  • An interesting article on the similar career paths of Jim Zorn and Andy Reid in the Philadelphia Inquirer makes me wonder why almost no one took this approach when Zorn was hired. Hm. (And a hat tip to Mark Newgent at the Redskins Examiner, who already got up a link to this.)
  • I mentioned Jim Zorn dribbling the ball before the game, and I’ll do my best to get some video of that. Until then, though, Dan Steinberg at the DC Sports Bog runs through some of Zorn’s other wacky ex-QB tricks. Zorn is just a non-stop fountain of interesting material, really – plus he’s winning, which doesn’t hurt.
  • And totally non-Redskins, but exciting news to the long-gone ten-year-old-me, the game formerly known as Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is coming for Wii, and First Cuts has a trailer and screenshots. Shameful admission: I never, ever beat Mike Tyson. Never. Now maybe I’ll get another chance.

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Nice Work With the Voting: Zorn, Horton Win Awards

Posted by Matt Terl on October 3, 2008 – 4:38 pm

That gentleman above this paragraph? That’s the Motorola Coach of the Week for last week. Congratulations to Coach Zorn; I emphatically recommend that you celebrate by watching NFL.com’s three minute tribute to the hip-hip-hooray, to Jim Zorn, and to George Allen. You won’t regret it.

Also, Chris Horton was named the Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Week. I am going to avoid making the by-now-obvious reference to Randy Thomas telling Horton that, I dunno, he gets all the Diet Pepsi he can drink for the rest of his life as part of this. It speaks well of the rookie that he’s already won enough awards to start completely burning out jokes about them.

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Portrait of the Captains as Young Men, or Gangsters, or Maybe Deacons

Posted by Matt Terl on October 3, 2008 – 3:37 pm

These are the captains of your Washington Redskins, serious-faced and well-dressed, in a portrait by team photographer Ned Dishman that now hangs outside the locker room. From left to right, it’s Rock Cartwright and Khary Campbell (special teams), Chris Samuels and Jason Campbell (offense), and Cornelius Griffin and London Fletcher (defense).

“I think Coach Zorn’s reasoning was just to show the presence of our leadership around here,” says Fletcher. “He didn’t want us to do just a normal picture – he wanted to show our presence and our seriousness, show how seriously the captainship is taken around here, and how serious he also takes his captains.”

And did it work? “You’re gonna get your jokes from some guys,” Fletcher says, shrugging, “but I think when most guys saw the picture, they wished they were in it.”

Fletcher might be some kind of a prophet: I ask Clinton Portis what he thinks of the picture, and he laughs. “I think it’s missing me.”

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On the Field for Practice – 10/3

Posted by Matt Terl on October 3, 2008 – 12:36 pm

Friday, so lots of special teams work, lots of installing the goal line and red zone offenses for this week, and lots of Coach Zorn saying things like “It’s NOT a walkthrough! Put a little hop in your step!”

  • Game balls from last week were given at the end of practice. Clinton Portis for the offense, Shawn Springs for the defense, and Shaun Suisham for special teams. So I guess it’s safe to say they’re still counting that field goal as good.
  • London Fletcher had a fantastic day of practice, batting down multiple balls in both goal line and red zone, and stuffing the run in the backfield on at least one goal line play. Quietly, Fletcher is having a very, very good season.
  • Practice squadder Horace Gant made a one-handed grab downfield over Carlos Rogers, which led to a few plays worth of friendly jawing. Fred Smoot also made a nice one-handed interception down at the ground; coincidentally or not, the cornerbacks are catching the ball much better ever since that day of extra drills.
  • Same play as Smoot’s interception, Colt Brennan did a heckuva Donovan McNabb impersonation leading the scout team, scrambling to his right away from pressure and then turning and throwing the ball the whole way across the field to where Smoot intercepted it. I certainly hope the interception is an accurate part of the impersonation as well, not just the evasiveness.
  • Fred Davis had a couple of nice catches and looked good in the open field. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do in a game situation at some point.
  • Zorn injury updates! It’s “not looking good” for either Stephon Heyer or Jason Taylor, although he wasn’t ruling either of them completely out. He did rule out Malcolm Kelly, although more for understanding the offense than for injury. “What he has done,” Zorn said of Kelly, “he’s been able to go full speed.” Shawn Springs is a question mark, with Zorn noting that he’d consider playing him without the practice reps, and Marcus Washington is another gametime decision – one that Zorn expects to be a go.

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Friday, October 3: Redskins Fans are Dedicated

Posted by Matt Terl on October 3, 2008 – 9:34 am

Last week, I posted a couple of reminders that the buses were leaving earlier, so people who were planning to see the buses off should adjust their schedules accordingly. These weren’t particularly controversial messages, but they did generate some email, most of which contained a variation of “Do people really see the buses off?”

Yes. Yes, they do.

(Photo courtesy of Christie Lopez.)

The sendoffs are organized by Christie Lopez (Huly on ExtremeSkins) with her husband Chris (pez on ES), and they’ve actually become something of a big deal. “This is my third or fourth year doing them,” she says. “After Coach Gibbs retired I was not sure if this was going to end or not. I know Gibbs loved it and the team seemed to enjoy it too so with a new coach I was not sure what to expect. I hope Zorn likes it also as the fans enjoy having them.”

That was a bit of question as of the opener in New York. “In previous years, Coach Gibbs used to stop, come out, say hi, give a couple of words to the group,” Chris says. “Coach Zorn, the Giants game was his first one and had this look on his face like ‘What the…?'”

But the Dallas send-off brought a promising development: Coach Zorn stopped by, spent some time, and asked the assembled group what they were doing there instead of Texas.

Zorn with the fans.  (Photo courtesy of Christie Lopez.)

The group arrives about an hour before the buses leave to get things set up and get people in place (and off the road) by the time the buses depart. Before the Dallas game, Chik-Fil-A dropped off a bunch of sandwiches for them to eat, and many of the fans adjourned to a nearby brewpub after the buses rolled out to watch college football and make a day of it.

I gave Casey Rabach a camera to document the roadtrip (much, much more from this once we’ve gotten some technical issues sorted out); here’s a short video of the fans from the inside of the bus, plus some commentary from Casey and Todd Yoder.

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