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Jon Jansen Released

Posted by Matt Terl on May 29, 2009 – 1:08 pm

One name fewer to include as you try to predict the Redskins’ 2009 offensive line: Jon Jansen was released by the team today after a meeting this morning with owner Daniel M. Snyder, executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato, and head coach Jim Zorn.

Jansen was the team’s second-round pick in 1999, started at right tackle pretty much immediately, and has played in 126 games for the team since then, including 123 starts.

After the jump, a few quotes from the press release:
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Friday, May 29: Scott Wachenheim On Becoming An NFL Coach

Posted by Matt Terl on May 29, 2009 – 12:54 pm

After starting with offensive assistant Chris Meidt and bouncing to the defensive side for an interview with safeties coach Steve Jackson — “strong interview,” says ESPN.com’s Matt Mosley! — it seemed right to head back to the offensive side of things next. Hence, Scott Wachenheim.

Wachenheim is something nine practices into his first NFL season — he was the offensive coordinator at Liberty University — which provided a fairly obvious entry point into the conversation.

So? How have you been enjoying the Redskins and the NFL so far?

Wachenheim: “Oh, man, I love it here. Mr. Snyder and Mr. Cerrato have just treated me first class, and I know Coach Zorn from way back and he’s been great to work with. All the coaches have just been very helpful teaching me the NFL way. I’m learning every day, and they’ve been a pleasure to work with.

“The players I work with — Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Todd Yoder — are just really good guys and good players, and they work hard. It’s been a great experience.”

You mentioned learning the ‘NFL Way’ — what are the specific differences you’ve already noticed?
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Thursday, May 28: Santana Moss's Birthday Q&A

Posted by Matt Terl on May 28, 2009 – 1:52 pm

I’ve had some pretty exciting birthday parties in my life. They’ve run the gamut from fancy meals to audioanimatronic mice to terrifying, mind-scarring Disney films. The usual, pretty much. But never at any of my birthday celebrations, nor at any birthday celebration I’ve even attended, has the guest of honor felt compelled to take questions from the audience. And even if I had ever heard such a Q&A, I can’t imagine that I would’ve felt compelled to transcribe it for other people.

That all changed last night, after Part I of The Santana Moss Birthday Spectacular. Moss, flanked by Chris Horton, Rocky McIntosh, Kareem Moore, and rookie linebacker Robert Henson, threw the floor open to questions of any sort from the audience.

Well, almost any sort. “Nothing personal,” Moss said. The folks in attendance found plenty to ask about anyhow, including who Moss wanted to have lined up in the other WR slot and how he felt about his quarterback. But he started by discussing his Foundation, which received all the proceeds from last night’s event.

“You hear a lot about different foundations that raise money for this cause and that cause,” he said. “We didn’t try to go after anyone specific for money, we just said ‘Hey, whatever we want to do, we will raise ourselves.’ From Day One, I’ve been pulling anything out of my pocket to give towards certain events for kids in order to show them that someone from their own community, someone that grew up the same way they did, should be able to have a dream. A lot of these kids don’t dream anymore; they feel that whatever they see, they have to be. And I was one of those kids that’d seen it all, been through it all, and had a taste of some of the hardships of life. I want to show these kids that there are a lot of people that grew up in this area and have made it. Whether through football or something else, people from this area have become successful. “

With that out of the way, though, the football questions started up.

On how Jason Campbell’s tumultuous offseason impacted Moss: Read more »

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Part 1 Of Santana Moss's Birthday Tonight

Posted by Matt Terl on May 27, 2009 – 2:12 pm

Santana Moss will apparently be celebrating his thirtieth birthday as a three part affair, and part one is tonight at the ESPN Zone downtown in D.C. According to the ESPN Zone website:

Star receiver Santana Moss is turning 30 – and he wants to celebrate with you!

Join us on Wednesday, May 27th at 6 p.m. for the birthday festivities. The event will include question-and-answer session with Moss and nine of his Redskins teammates. Ask the athletes whatever’s on your mind, bid in a silent auction benefiting The Moss Foundation, and more!

Plus, don’t miss ESPN Zone’s popular Play Against the Pros event, starting at 7 p.m. Don’t miss this priceless opportunity to play in ESPN Zone’s Sports Arena against your favorite D.C. athletes. Suggested donation of $10 per game will go directly to The Moss Foundation.

Take the opportunity now, because the events get progressively more exclusive. Saturday night’s event has age restrictions and a “strictly-enforced” dress code, and Sunday night’s event is so exclusive that it’s invitation only with no information provided on the website other than that it exists. So, realistically, tonight is your best bet. (Unless you already have your invitation for Sunday, in which case you can disregard all of that.) Read more »

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Wednesday, May 27: SI.com Continues To Be Unconvinced By The Redskins

Posted by Matt Terl on May 27, 2009 – 1:38 pm

Well, it’s been two weeks since Peter King ranked the Redskins 23rd in the league, and King’s site — SI.com — is at it again. This time they’re specifically ranking backfields — QB and RB — but, given that King claimed he based his results largely on QB play, you’d expect a similar list.

Here, for the record, is a comprehensive bullet-pointed list of significant Redskins personnel moves that have taken place since King’s piece was written:

As a result of those moves, the Redskins backfield is now considered 26th best in the league, three places worse than it was back on May 11 according to Peter King. Read more »

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Tuesday, May 26: Steve Jackson Talks Safeties

Posted by Matt Terl on May 26, 2009 – 11:06 am

After talking to offensive assistant Chris Meidt a couple weeks back, it seemed natural that the next member of the coaching staff I talk to come from the defensive side of the ball. Safeties coach Steve Jackson was helpful enough when I asked him about his golf pants last week, so I took the opportunity to set up a time when we could sit down and talk in more depth. In the end, the conversation covered, among other things, his coaching philosophy, LaRon Landry‘s natural position, Chris Horton, and — of course — abstract painting.

But the first thing I noticed in his office was the enormous sombrero sitting on the desk. Still flush with success from the golf pants conversation, I thought there might be an equally detailed story here. “No,” Jackson told me, “that’s just still there from Cinco de Mayo.”

Fair enough. With hat talk over, I moved to issues of marginally more importance.

So how do you and [secondary coach] Jerry Gray split things up? Do you just handle safeties and he works with the cornerbacks?

Jackson: “Kind of. On the surface, yes. But Jerry and I, we’re like twins that were separated at birth. Jerry and I played together in 1992, he was my DB coach a couple years later. Then in Buffalo he was my boss, and now … we’ve done it all together. We pretty much think alike. He’ll start a sentence and I’ll finish it, or I’ll start and he’ll finish it.

“We can draw from experience, too. ‘You remember how whenever we ran this versus Jerry Rice and John Taylor, this happened.’ It all goes back to the same things, and that’s pretty much the relationship that we have.

“It’s nothing specific as far as, ‘These are your specific duties, those are my specific duties,’ but we just work like two brothers.”

Whatever the reason, you two have experienced a lot of success with safeties and corners during your tenure here. What do you attribute that to?
Read more »

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Friday, May 22: Colt Brennan On Fishing And Conditioning

Posted by Matt Terl on May 22, 2009 – 12:46 pm

The coaches have the day off today, as do the players. There is more or less no one here. I asked around for people’s plans for the long weekend, but most everyone was excited just to get a break from conditioning and have some time to spend with their families. Colt Brennan, though, mentioned that he was going deep sea fishing — so I asked him about that — and about his progress through the conditioning program, before he departed yesterday.

http://serve.a-widget.com/service/getWidgetSwf.kickAction Read more »

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Thursday, May 21: Anthony Alridge, As Fast As Advertised

Posted by Matt Terl on May 21, 2009 – 1:03 pm

The rookie class got to participate in their first community relations event yesterday, exercising (alongside several Redskins veterans, such as Ladell Betts, above) with three groups of local students as a reward for being the winners of the What Moves U Challenge to battle childhood obesity. (Briefly: students at area schools were encouraged to engage in some sort of physical activity for 60 minutes a day, every day over a four week period. These students were the top of the ones that met or exceeded the goal.)

The event was a success — the students spent an hour working out on the artificial turf practice field with the players, rotating through different stations and generally having a good time.

At least for me, though, the real star of the event was Anthony Alridge. The word on Alridge — acquired off waivers from the Denver Broncos this offseason — has always been that he was fast. You might remember the YouTube video I posted when he was signed, entitled “lookin’ like Barry Sanders”.

Or you might recall Vinny Cerrato, on his late March radio appearance, discussing Alridge’s speed thusly:

We also got a guy that Denver cut, Anthony Alridge, who the year before from the University of Houston, at the combine ran 4.34, at his personal workout ran a 4.22 and he is a third down guy. I talked to Mike Shanahan about him. When he got cut, when he was on the wire, I called him and said Mike, what do you think about this guy. He said, get him. He said he is the fastest guy I have ever seen on the field with the ball in his hands.

Or perhaps you remember the OTA practice report where I described Alridge as “a blazing speed guy,” and Coach Zorn characterized him as “FAST” emphatically enough that I transcribed it in all caps.

So, yes, Alridge = teh fast. Got it. But yesterday took it to an entirely different level, at least for me.

What I noticed first about him yesterday wasn’t his speed, but his enthusiasm. By which I mean how loud he was. By which I mean that he was bordering on Fred Smoot levels of volume. I came over to his group — a sprinting station, appropriately enough — because I could hear him from thirty yards away, shouting at one of the students preparing to run.

“Braids! Hey, Braids!” he was yelling, at a twelve year-old with cornrows, “I got fifty bucks says you’re going to win this one. Come on, Braids!” Then he yelled some more while the kids ran, and when the guy with cornrows lost, he teased him for a bit about costing him money.

This seemed promising, so I stuck around as the groups rotated … and then the next group to the sprinting station didn’t have an even number of students, so trainer Harrison Bernstein recruited Alridge to help out.

The game in question was Tag: one student would lie on their stomach with their hands on the 5 yard line; the other would stand on the goal line. The aim was for the student in the front to reach a target — in this case other new speedster Dominique Dorsey — before the chaser could tag him. Straightforward enough.

Of course, Alridge could make up the five yard gap no problem … so Bernstein positioned him fifteen yards back, at the back of the end zone. It didn’t matter.


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Jason Campbell Talks Leadership, Adversity

Posted by Matt Terl on May 20, 2009 – 2:41 pm

Jason Campbell spoke yesterday at a luncheon for the Loudoun County and Dulles Regional Chambers of Commerce. You would be forgiven for assuming that this event had no relevance to his role as a football player, but I suspect you would be mistaken.

I say “suspect,” because nothing was mentioned that was specific to this offseason. There was no mention of, for example, eleven weeks of Jay Cutler rumors, no talk of the thirty days of Mark Sanchez, and certainly no reference to his contract situation.

But the topic of Campbell’s talk as set forth in the flyers for the event was “Leadership, Overcoming Adversity and Being Prepared to Play Quarterback in the NFL,” and it certainly seemed to me like he was alluding very directly to the events of the last three months, and to his expectations for the upcoming season.

Here are some excerpts; judge for yourselves. Read more »

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Golf Leads To Entertaining Wardrobe Choices

Posted by Matt Terl on May 20, 2009 – 11:38 am

Let me start by promising that this site isn’t going to turn into The Official Golf Blog of the Washington Redskins. In fact, these pictures are from an event last week — the Redskins Annual Partner Invitational Golf Outing, or something like that — that I didn’t even attend. But a few of the pictures were interesting enough for me to ask about.

Stephon Heyer, for example, apparently showed up underdressed by the course’s standards, so they asked if he would consider changing into some more traditional, khakis-and-collars-level golf attire. Heyer happily agreed. But the pro shop didn’t quite stock clothes sized for a 6-6, 314 pound man, and he was forced to squeeze into slightly-too-small shorts and shirt.

I’m guessing the golf cart just shrank in the wash.

Heyer’s ensemble was the product of a mildly amusing sequence of events, and it does look uncomfortable, but it’s not nearly enough to challenge Clinton Portis‘s socks for the title of Most Fantastic Redskins Golf Wardrobe.

No, that honor goes to the pants that safeties coach Steve Jackson was wearing. Read more »

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