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Greg Blache Talks Winning, Frogs, and Strongside Linebackers

Posted by Matt Terl on April 1, 2009 – 5:05 pm

Redskins defensive coordinator spoke to a group of students at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, today — yes, that’s the school from Remember The Titans, and Blache remembered recruiting players from there back when he was a college coach — as part of the Redskins’ partnership with the National Guard.

The speech focused on leadership, teaching, and other positive messages; Gary Fitzgerald has done an excellent job covering it over on Redskins.com, and I recommend his article. For my part, I was mainly interested in any of Coach Blache’s characteristically unusual turns of phrase, and on that score, I was a little disappointed.

Blache stayed on-message the entire time — “Coaching is teaching,” he said, “My specialty is teaching. My guys have their test on national TV every Sunday” — and largely delivered that message without entertaining stories about hunting and what-not. Mostly. Except for the story he said he tells his players about how dealing with criticism is like a frog climbing a water tower.

I’m paraphrasing, but essentially the story dealt with a whole bunch of “little green frogs clinging to a water tower.” As they all tried to climb up, people at the bottom shouted how they couldn’t possibly make it up — and sure enough, one by one they fell off. Except for one frog who finally made it up, and when the people asked how he had pulled that off, didn’t give any answer.

“The only frog to make it to the top was deaf,” Blache said. “He couldn’t hear all of the people telling him he could not do it. Sometimes who you’re around, your friends, you have to be deaf. So many people try to pull you down because they don’t believe in you or they’re afraid of success.”

It’s no “south end of a northbound skunk,” but it was a nice little story, and the Blachiest element of his (very good) talk.

Even more interesting, though, was the Redskins personnel news that came out in the post-speech Q&A. Read more »

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The Jay Cutler Rumors Strike Back

Posted by Matt Terl on April 1, 2009 – 2:19 pm

After just under two weeks of relative calm, the rumors of disgruntled Broncos QB Jay Cutler becoming a Redskin picked up steam again today, mainly because the Broncos have decided that they’ve had enough of the guy and are throwing him on the open market. And when a superstar player goes on the open market, guess where he’s inevitably linked.

Actually, in Charles Robinson’s initial roundup of the likely Cutler destinations last night on Yahoo Sports, he doesn’t list the Redskins in his top seven (although he does acknowledge that ProFootballTalk is rumoring a Cutler-to-D.C. move). Four hours later, though, Robinson has the Redskins solidly on his expanded list of Cutler’s possible suitors.

This would be Dan Snyder all the way, and he’s sending some signals that would make Washington obvious contenders. First, he has declined to extend current starter Jason Campbell, who is entering the last year of his deal, showing the team still isn’t sold that he’s a long-term answer. Second, Snyder was on hand when the Redskins worked out USC’s Mark Sanchez, a clear indicator that Washington has more than a faint interest in exploring other options. In Washington’s favor, it has a solid No. 1 pick to offer, and Campbell could be part of a deal as well. Working against the Redskins are other teams with better draft picks to offer, and Campbell’s skills don’t fit in the system the Broncos will run under McDaniels.

USA Today’s The Huddle blog agrees, listing the Redskins as one of five teams “Hot On Cutler’s Trail”:

Washington Redskins: An intriguing option in that the Redskins can offer the best starting-ready QB in a two-team deal. Current Washington starter Jason Campbell was probably the MVP of the first half last season, and would offer the Broncos a stable, if not top-tier, signal caller. Cutler would appease Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s indulgence in star players. And the Redskins can offer the 13th pick in this year’s draft.

And the Denver Post lists the Redskins “among the leading candidates” for the dissatisfied QB.

The Redskins have a proven young quarterback in Jason Campbell and would meet the Broncos’ preference of dealing Cutler outside their American Football Conference. The Redskins also have the No. 13 selection in this year’s draft on April 25, one spot behind the Broncos.

So far, it’s all just somewhat arbitrary speculation, and no one here has said anything yet to make me believe that anything about the team’s position has actually changed since that last go around two weeks ago. That said, it’s an awful lot of speculation — enough to make me wonder whether such a trade would even make sense. Read more »

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Wednesday, April 1: Surveys and The Randy And Doc Show

Posted by Matt Terl on April 1, 2009 – 11:10 am

In the lobby of Redskins Park yesterday, the Community Relations department was having the players fill out surveys about themselves — Favorite Food, People You Would Want To Be Stranded On A Desert Island With, Last Book You Read … good college application questions like that.

I spent a few good minutes sitting with Carlos Rogers while he mulled over his Favorite Snack Food — “Ain’t potato chips … maybe donuts? … there’s a lot of good snacks … those Little Debbie things, too ….” — before ultimately settling on donuts. It was riveting, but not nearly as riveting as watching Rogers and fellow cornerback Justin Tryon debate whether or not “God” was a viable choice for Person You’ve Never Met That You Would Like To Spend Time With.

“I’m putting God,” Tryon maintained.

“Aw, come on,” said Rogers.

“It is!”

“You don’t want to meet him too soon, though.”

“Well … no.”

“What about another football player you looked up to? Deion?”

“I met Deion. Met Darrell Green.”

“Some musician?”

“Nah. Man, I don’t know.”

I left them sitting in a contemplative silence, quietly debating the relative merits of God versus Darrell Green. (Tryon told me afterward that he eventually settled on Serena Williams, which seemed like a reasonable choice.)

Intern Bridgette found Derrick Dockery and Randy Thomas sitting in the same place not too much later, also filling out their surveys. She figured on a quick video interview about the survey topics, and instead wound up with this latest installment of the ongoing Randy And Doc Show. Since Dockery’s return, the two have been largely inseparable, constantly riffing on whatever topic comes to mind; here, it’s on post-football careers, losing weight, and the ugliest offensive linemen.

Here’s a quick excerpt; the full video is after the jump.

Dockery: “We [he and Chris Samuels] keep in contact at least once a week. He’s doin’ well, working hard. I think he told me he lost about twenty pounds. Do you believe that? Twenty pounds?

Thomas: “Well, he had a lot to lose, though. You know? If I was 350, I could lose thirty pounds in a week. If you’ve got a lot to lose, you can lose it. If he was lean and lose twenty, I’d be like, ‘Damn, that’s good.’ He’s fat.”

Dockery: “Very harsh.”

Thomas: “Well, he ain’t here, so…” Read more »

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