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So Much For Punter Battle 2009

Posted by Matt Terl on May 7, 2009 – 4:39 pm

I mentioned it on the Redskins Blog Twitter feed while I was away from my computer, but the team today cut punter Zac Atterberry and signed wide receiver Keith Eloi from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, thus confirming what we all suspected when Hunter Smith was signed: there should be no punter battle in training camp this year.

Eloi was, in my mind, the standout of the guys who tried out at the past weekend’s minicamp, and he’ll be back for another shot when the next round of OTAs hits in June. Also, he can do a standing high jump into the back of a pickup truck, which is impressive in and of itself. (Video here contains one instance of possible coarse language, but it’s impressive nonetheless. Also, the friend at the end shouting “JUMP OUT THE POOL ON THAT!” is pretty entertaining.) Read more »

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On The Field For Practice – 5/7 – Zorn Wraps Up OTAs

Posted by Matt Terl on May 7, 2009 – 1:39 pm

Notable absentees at today’s practice included — in addition to the folks who haven’t been here all week — Devin Thomas, Albert Haynesworth, and DeAngelo Hall, who was out briefly before heading back into the building. Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley were taking “mental reps,” but did not fully practice.

The weather today was drizzly on and off, but the real rain waited not only until the players were off the field but until Coach Zorn finished his post-mortem on these OTAs. Which was good, because that particular talk was taking place in the open, just on the edge of the artificial turf practice field.

Zorn on young players solidifying their positions:
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Thursday, May 7: Even More On Edwin Williams

Posted by Matt Terl on May 7, 2009 – 9:18 am

I’ve been talking to undrafted free agent center Edwin Williams about his ongoing experience moving to the NFL from from the University of Maryland. We’ve been focusing mostly on the on-the-field and immediately-off-field aspects of his life, and there’s a bit more of that below — a brief post-minicamp wrap-up.

But Washington Post Maryland beat reporter Steve Yanda profiles a very different element of Williams’s life in a recent profile: his struggles growing up as a born addict, the child of two cocaine addicts. An excerpt:

Those who raised Williams during his formative years — the period in which his parents traveled up and down the East Coast in search of cocaine — take his perceived ignorance as an affirmation of their diligence. Williams’s grandparents, aunts and older sister shielded him as best they could. Had the family taken any other approach, he likely would not have graduated from the University of Maryland in 2008 with one season of eligibility left as an offensive lineman on the school’s football team. The chances of him being signed by the Washington Redskins as a 6-foot-3, 315-pound undrafted rookie would have been equally slim.

“We beat it into his head,” Cheron Williams said. “You don’t want to end up like your mom and dad. You don’t want to end up like your mom and dad. You don’t want to end up like your mom and dad.”

It’s a really excellent read, even if you think you’ve heard the story — or one just like it — before. Meanwhile, on the much less serious side of things, I talked to Williams as he prepared to leave the facility after the minicamp and got his thoughts on how things went and what it was like suiting up for the team he’s rooted for his whole life.

“Everything went well,” he said. “There’s just some things I need to polish up in my fundamentals and my technique. Their technique is not the same that I learned, so it’s gonna be some extra effort on my part in the upcoming days, weeks, and months to get that down.” Read more »

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