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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.”

Who’s got the best suit, though? “All them suits look like [equipment manager] Brad [Berlin] made ’em back there in the back.” He laughs again, then takes me through the candidates. “I’m sure they had to wear that color – you know, dark suits or whatever. The best is probably Rock. He got the most flavor. Chris, he probably was sweating in his suit. Fletch, he probably had his shirt unbuttoned underneath cause it was too tight. Jason, you know, really don’t … he really can’t keep a style. He tries, but….” He shrugs and laughs again. “The picture’s all right, though.”

People seem to agree. “Since they put it up, people keep saying, ‘That’s a nice picture of y’all. You look gangster.’ They’re liking it,” says Griffin.

Khary Campbell agrees. “Turned out real nice – real professional, real mobster. It was a good thought by Zorn.” Okay, then – did you go for the mobster look on purpose? “You know, we went for the suit and tie look for sure, but we took a couple pictures with smiles. I guess this is the one they went with.”

Samuels takes issue with the gangster label. “We look like deacons in the church,” he says, optimistically. Faced with the choice, Fletcher doesn’t hesitate. “Definitely mobsters,” he says. Jason Campbell sidesteps the issue entirely. “I just say we’ve got our gamefaces on.”

“I think they need to have a rookie picture like that,” Devin Thomas says. “Coach Zorn’s rookie class, start in there with our suits on. Guys would like that.” Fair enough, but do you like this portrait of the captains? “Oh, yeah, that’s sweet.”

“Maybe you should be a captain next year,” Samuels suggests, and Thomas nods agreeably.

“I think it’s awesome,” Jason Campbell says, finally. “Guys really enjoyed it, and it’s a great picture.”

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