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Keeping Next Year's First Rounder

Posted by Matt Terl on April 24, 2009 – 7:04 pm

One other note from this evening’s predraft radio interview: owner Daniel M. Snyder again emphasized that the team will NOT be trading next year’s first-round draft pick.

You can hear it yourself at about the 8:00 mark of part 5 of the broadcast in ESPN980’s Audio Vault, or you can read the transcription after the jump. Either way, update your Mark Sanchez daydreams and/or doomsday scenarios accordingly. Read more »

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Mike Williams Signs — The Tackle, Not The Wideout (Updated)

Posted by Matt Terl on April 24, 2009 – 6:20 pm

If you were listening to Daniel Snyder, Vinny Cerrato, and Jim Zorn on ESPN980 this evening — and if you weren’t, you should really should check it out, because Doc Walker did another very good job hitting them with the questions everyone is asking, about Jason Campbell and the draft and all that — but, anyhow, if you were listening, maybe you heard them mention that the team had agreed to terms with a right tackle.

It was quick, and they wouldn’t give the guy’s name, but it was mentioned.

“I think we signed another player today that we put in the mix,” Snyder said.

“He’s agreed, his name’s not on the contract yet,” Zorn added.

Well, the guy in question is Mike Williams, a first-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills back in 2002. Williams never fully developed as Buffalo hoped, and he’s been out of football for two seasons, but I saw him in the hallway just minutes ago, and — at the very, very least — he is still absolutely enormous.

He’s also learned something from his experiences in Buffalo and with Jacksonville, at least according to a profile from yesterday’s Dallas Morning News, in which he says: Read more »

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My Stab At A Mock Draft

Posted by Matt Terl on April 24, 2009 – 4:29 pm

Well, I had sort of hoped that waiting for the last possible minute to do my mock draft would have helped clear some things up. That I’d have a more definite picture of where some people would be selected, and that others would have worked themselves off the board altogether.

Instead, we find ourselves here.

The Lions haven’t finalized a deal with their first overall pick. The Chiefs are suddenly being reported as pursuing a player who — until today — wasn’t projected much higher than eighth or ninth. The Seahawks either absolutely want a quarterback of the future, or they definitely don’t.

And that’s before you even get to the whole situation with the Redskins. The team has publicly said that they aren’t willing to use next year’s first round pick in any deal to move up in the draft, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation that a move is in the works. Published reports have starting quarterback Jason Campbell prepared to demand a trade if the team drafts Mark Sanchez, although those same reports have team officials denying that such a pre-demand has been issued.

(My opinion — and that’s all it is — is that even if the team has been dead set on pursuing Sanchez, they simply don’t have the picks available to get up as high in the draft as he’s going to go. Especially because I think he might very well go third, to someone other than Kansas City, although that suspicion is not reflected in the mock draft below. I suppose we’ll all find out tomorrow.)

So waiting for the last minute really gained me nothing at all. Here it is anyhow, because one or two people actually asked for it: my attempt at a mock draft. Read more »

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So Who Are The Guys By The Phone At The Draft

Posted by Matt Terl on April 24, 2009 – 12:03 pm

Every team sends representatives to man their table at the Draft in New York City. If you’ve watched the TV coverage of the draft, you’ve probably seen them, random dudes scribbling on cards as we come back from commercial.

I figured I’d find out who they were and where they came from, and was somewhat surprised to find out that — for the Redskins, at least — our Draft representatives are head strength and conditioning coach John Hastings and assistant strength and conditioning coach Harrison Bernstein. That’s Hastings pictured above; you can see Bernstein in action in this video, if by “in action” you mean, “shouting at me and calling me Turtle while I hold an umbrella.”

I find them downstairs in their office in the weight room having just finished lunch. Based on the food that remains, it looks like the sort of healthy stuff you’d expect from personal trainers — fruits and vegetables and maybe some cottage cheese. But there’s a picture on the wall, one of those amazing frozen-moment nature shots of a lion taking down a zebra, so that lends a vaguely tense, menacing air to the otherwise very pleasant Q&A.

Anyhow, the my first question seemed pretty obvious: how do you guys get chosen for this gig? Does every team send their strength coaches?

“Nah. We’re the only strength staff,” Bernstein says.

Hastings agrees. “We’re the only strength coaches there.”

Well, do we send you to intimidate the other teams’ guys or something?

“Ah, I think it was just a nice opportunity to represent the team,” Hastings says. “The requirements are very limited. You just need to have a little patience to be able to sit there for a while. You need to be able to listen and be able to write legibly. That’s about it. We’re not responsible for any thing that happens on the phone between the clubs. We’re not involved in it.”

So what do you do there? Read more »

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Friday, April 24: That May Have Been A Really Short Punter Battle (Updated)

Posted by Matt Terl on April 24, 2009 – 9:07 am

The Redskins have agreed to terms with punter Hunter Smith, which — given Smith’s career statistics and the fact that he ranked 12th in gross and 10th in net on his 53 punts last season — seems likely to put an end to the training camp punter battle that everyone was looking forward to.

But hey, if it means we can trot out a punter who once made up for a bad punt by tackling Deion Sanders inside the five — and who pinned 23 punts inside the twenty in 2008 with only two touchbacks — missing the punter battle seems A-OK with me.

UPDATE: And when it turns out that he’s one half of Connersvine, a contemporary Christian band, for which he also blogs — (dislikes: Adam Lambert’s terrible cover of Ring Of Fire on American Idol; promos for Hell’s Kitchen; likes: pets, ducklings) — well … I don’t think A-OK really covers it.

Connersvine performs their song “Hero” live at Winterjam (on YouTube), after the jump. Read more »

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