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Antwaan Randle El Talks Fitness

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2009 – 3:46 pm

Once their photos and physicals were done, Antwaan Randle El and Renaldo Wynn headed out of Redskins Park to a Boys & Girls Club in Southeast D.C., where they’re going to unveil a Redskins Youth Fitness Zone and lead a group of preteens and teenagers in exercises to combat youth obesity.

I talked to Randle El about it briefly before they departed. Read more »

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Santana Moss Gets A Haircut

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2009 – 1:37 pm

Santana Moss has short hair.

Apparently, this is old news. “I had this done right after the season,” Moss tells me. “Just decided it was time for a change.”

So of course I feel kind of unobservant and obtuse, and I’m going over it in my head: Read more »

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Thursday, April 30: Redskins Glamour Shots

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2009 – 12:12 pm

Minicamp starts tomorrow, which means that there are a lot of players in the building today, greeting each other and teasing one another for how big (or small) they’ve gotten over the last three months and all that sort of first-day-of-school stuff.

There’s no football work today, but — like the first day of a new semester in college, when you do nothing but review the syllabus for each class, or the first day on a new job where you just learn where the copier and coffee machine are — there’s plenty of administrative stuff to get squared away. In fact, there’s enough of that to make today feel like the official start of the 2009 preseason. Read more »

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Something To Watch Tonight If You Get The NFL Network And Can Stomach Deion Sanders

Posted by Matt Terl on April 29, 2009 – 4:40 pm

This is Lendy Holmes. He’s a rookie out of Oklahoma, where he converted from wide receiver to cornerback and then to safety, and he’s one of the Redskins’ undrafted free agent signees.

And — if you can tolerate an hour of Deion Sanders saying things like “You gotta believe. You don’t believe in yourself, ain’t nobody else will. Believe that,” and “We gonna make you feel it today, baby,” — you can learn a little bit about what Holmes went through to prepare himself for the possibility of life in the NFL on Prime U, tonight at 8:00 Eastern time on the NFL Network.

According to NFL.com, Prime U “goes inside Sanders’ training camp in Irving, TX for a look at how the legendary cornerback imparts his knowledge of the game and life as a professional football player to the next generation.”

I don’t know much about Holmes — he played a bunch of different positions, had a decent but unspectacular workout at the NFL Combine, and was once leveled by a block from that kid who spent the draft hanging out with Bill Cosby — but, based solely on the enthusiasm on display in the picture above, I am completely unsurprised that he decided that learning how to prepare for the NFL Draft from Deion Sanders would be a good idea.

I missed the show when it initially aired back in February — tonight’s re-air is updated with material from the NFL Draft — but based on the clip below, it actually looks pretty good. (Note also an appearance by Redskins’ sixth-round draft choice Robert Henson out of TCU.) Read more »

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Perhaps I'm Confused By What "Best Case" Means

Posted by Matt Terl on April 29, 2009 – 2:40 pm

So ESPN’s SportsNation has these “What Now?” polls up for each team in the NFL. The polls are meant to reflect where the teams stand after free agency and the draft as they head into minicamps and OTAs. And I’m not going to lie: the headline question on each poll is not making a whole lot of sense to me: “What’s the best case scenario for Team X?”

Here, for example, is the one for the Redskins as of Wednesday afternoon:

Let’s detour for a moment and review the Arizona Cardinals’ 2008 NFL season, shall we? Coming off an 8-8 year, the Cardinals finished only 9-7 while playing in a weak division. Their recent first-round quarterback was benched in preseason in favor of an aging also-ran whose best years were thought to be behind him. Their defense finished the regular season ranked 28th in the league in points allowed. They’re a historically lousy franchise with criminally low expectations almost every year. And yet they were just a few breaks away from winning the Super Bowl.

I’m not going to rehash every surprise team story from the last decade (1999 Rams! 2000 Ravens! 2001Patriots!) or even every surprise from last season (Tyler Thigpen! Matt Cassel! Kerry Collins!), but really. At this point in the season, how is “Win Super Bowl” not the best-case scenario for every single franchise in the NFL? And, for that matter, when is “Miss playoffs” EVER the best a team can hope for.

And yet, despite this being a ridiculously dumb question, 39% of respondents don’t even aspire to more than a “Deep playoff run” for the Skins. Bizarre.

There is some good news in these polls, though. Read more »

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Wednesday, April 29: Getting A Jump On Next Year's Rumors

Posted by Matt Terl on April 29, 2009 – 10:20 am

Andrew Perloff at SI.com posted his first 2010 mock draft yesterday. To his credit, even he admits that it’s ridiculously early for such an endeavor, but still, let’s see what’s he’s got the Redskins doing.

13. Washington Redskins
Tim Tebow, QB, Florida

All it takes is for one team to fall in love with the chosen one. No owner develops crushes like Daniel Snyder, who will take Tebow 10 picks too early. Tebow doesn’t necessarily fit the mold of a Jim Zorn quarterback, but there could be a new coach in Washington by draft day if the Redskins end up slotted at No. 13.

Oooookay. Read more »

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The Return (Again) Of Marcus Mason

Posted by Matt Terl on April 28, 2009 – 5:28 pm

So let’s see:

  • 90 degree heat? Check.
  • An expected onslaught of media? Check.
  • Fans becoming infatuated with players who will probably never contribute in the regular season? Check.
  • Running back Marcus Mason in a Redskins uniform? As of today, check.

Yep, it’s beginning to feel a lot like training camp around Redskins Park.

The Redskins were awarded Mason off waivers today, providing some depth at the running back position as we head into this weekend’s minicamp.

Mason, a local product from Potomac, Maryland, has always been a fan-favorite story and was something of a preseason star last year, toting the ball 66 times for an NFL-leading 317 yards. Not quite enough to inspire Colt Brennan levels of fan devotion, but certainly respectable, and I still field at least one question every week about why he’s not here.

For the moment, at least, those questions can be put to bed.

And as Mason returns (again), it seems an appropriate time to look back at an excellent 2007 profile of him in — of all places — the Potomac Almanac, the free newspaper that gave me my first job (delivery boy!) twenty years ago. Fittingly entitled “The Return of a King”, it recounts Mason’s rise from Montgomery County superstar to college star, and eventually to an undrafted role as a Washington Redskin. An excerpt: Read more »

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Tuesday, April 28: Golfing With Redskins

Posted by Matt Terl on April 28, 2009 – 3:41 pm

I stayed at Redskins Park for the Brian Orakpo press conference yesterday, so I missed the reported mobbing of Jason Campbell by the local media. It sounded like quite the scene, with Campbell surrounded and fielding endless questions in his characteristic classy manner, and his teammates staying rock solid in support of him. Kelli Johnson’s piece for Comcast SportsNet gives a good overview of that angle on things.

By the time I arrived at the Lowes Island Club golf course for the Jason Campbell Leukemia Golf Classic, the players had scattered across 36 holes of golf and were just generally having a good time hacking away at the ball and enjoying the warm weather.

As the name suggests, the tournament benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and from that standpoint yesterday was an unmitigated success. The event raised over $225,000 for the group, a marked jump from last year’s successful effort. Campbell, by all accounts, actually helps to plan the event, attending meetings and working with the group, not just lending his name.

There were two things worthy of special note yesterday.

One of them is vastly more important than the other, so that’s where I’ll start. Read more »

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Brian Orakpo And His Family Are Very Excited

Posted by Matt Terl on April 27, 2009 – 2:20 pm

When the Miami Dolphins unexpectedly selected Ted Ginn Jr. in the NFL Draft a few years back, their then-Coach Cam Cameron said something in the press conference about how the team drafted the whole Ginn family. (You can hear it at about the :44 second mark in this video.)

At the time, I thought this was one of the dumbest things I had ever heard anyone say when explaining a draft pick — especially since Cameron was being roundly booed at the time for not selecting Brady Quinn — but that quote came to mind when the Redskins introduced first-round pick Brian Orakpo at Redskins Park today.

Because it wasn’t just Orakpo that was introduced, but his entire extended family — a group of about ten that included his brother, his aunt, his uncle, his sister, his nephew, and more. And seeing how excited they were to be there, watching them take pictures as Orakpo displayed his 98 jersey and fielded questions from the media, it was obvious what Cameron had been trying to say, even if it still seems more than little silly to try it under those circumstances.

As to Orakpo himself, he struck all the right notes, as you’d expect. He sounded gracious, humble, excited, almost a little bit nervous — and thrilled to still be a Redskin.

Yes, “still.” Here’s the story: Read more »

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The Redskins' Undrafted Free Agent Class

Posted by Matt Terl on April 27, 2009 – 10:31 am

The Redskins have agreed to terms with thirteen undrafted free agents. QB Chase Daniel is the biggest name, and Concordia College — the NAIA school in Alabama that produced WR John Halman — is probably the most unfamiliar. (Although this interview with Halman makes him sound like a confident, intriguing prospect — another big, strong WR who runs a 4.4 40 yard dash.)

With Daniel onboard, the Redskins preseason QB depth chart now contains half of the finalists for the 2007 Heisman Trophy, hence the picture to the right, from the finalists’ trip to New York for the presentation.

More to come on these guys, but for now, here’s the list: Read more »

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