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Wednesday, May 20: Brian Orakpo, The Ethan Albright Of NCAA 2009

Posted by Matt Terl on May 20, 2009 – 10:24 am

It’s not surprising that Redskins first-round draft choice Brian Orakpo is excited about being on the cover of the Playstation 2 version of EA Sports’ NCAA Football 10 — it’s a clear honor, doubly so since just about everyone in Redskins Park seems to play the college football video game. And he makes that clear in an interview over on ESPN.com’s Gamer Blog:

“I’m a beast on the game, and I’m not just saying that because I’m on the cover,” he says. “I feel blessed to be on the cover of a game I’ve been playing for years…I’m so good, I need to have your job.

“Call of Duty: World at War, Halo, Halo Wars, Madden, NCAA, NBA 2K9…I’m on everything. I’m a huge gamer. That’s why it’s so cool to be on the cover of the PlayStation 2 game. The PlayStation 2 is the foundation of gaming for a lot of people.”

What’s a little more surprising in the interview is learning what Orakpo has in common with new teammate Ethan Albright. Read more »

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Tuesday, May 19: Chris Samuels Joins The Blogging World, Sort Of

Posted by Matt Terl on May 19, 2009 – 5:26 pm

Well, as more and more professional athletes join Twitter (or have sponsored versions of themselves theoretically tweeting), Chris Samuels is going old-school with the Official Chris Samuels Website. Sure, it’s a stylishly designed site, with fancy moving Flash interfaces, a consistent visual aesthetic, and endlessly looping music, but if it’s not the 140-characters-or-less fad of the moment, I’m comfortable calling it old school.

For all the bells and whistles, it’s also a bit bare bones at the moment. Samuels’ upcoming events are listed, and you can view some amusing (if small) photos in the photo gallery. But the video blog is currently more a promise than an actuality, and the Shop Studio 60 store assures us — in a cheery 8-bit Nintendo era font — that it’s coming soon.

Which is not to imply that the website is completely devoid of content: the Features section is up and running perfectly, linking to various articles written about Samuels over the years. And that’s excellent, because otherwise I would likely never have come across last year’s profile in Home & Design magazine, or this story in Boating Life.

And that would be sad. Excerpts after the jump. Read more »

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Redskins Golf For Rocky McIntosh As Well

Posted by Matt Terl on May 18, 2009 – 5:18 pm

When I saw Rocky McIntosh in the above outfit for his charity golf tournament today, I had one simple question for him: are you wearing the same thing to golf that you wore to paintball?

“No,” he said, “It’s my tribute to Greg Norman. I went out trying to be the Shark today.”

And did you play like Greg Norman today?

“Not in the least. I didn’t play too much like a shark. More like the Little Mermaid.”

Which, as seems to be the way with these things, was okay. The point of the event was not to dazzle with golfing ability, but to benefit the Loudoun Center for Social Justice. And from that perspective, it was clearly a success. “It’s our first year doing this,” McIntosh’s wife Alessia told me, who has supported the group more or less since they arrived in the area, “but we’re thrilled with how well it went.”

And that’s good. Much better than if they had taken a look at McIntosh’s hat and chosen to enforce club policy.

Of course, McIntosh himself considered the day a success for a different reason, reporting via Twitter after the fact: “my team shot 7 under ………i think i did good cuz i came back with 2 balls out a pack of twelve yessssssss”

More Redskins golfing pictures after the jump, although nothing that quite reaches the majesty of Clinton Portis’s socks at Jason Campbell’s event a few weeks back.

Read more »

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Monday, May 18: Great TV News

Posted by Matt Terl on May 18, 2009 – 11:51 am

Let me get this out of the way first: I love Tony Kornheiser. Have ever since the legendary Bandwagon columns during the Redskins Super Bowl run back in 1991. His radio show has been consistently excellent in each new incarnation, and Pardon The Interruption is elevated above the other seventy-five shows in the men-shouting-at-each-other genre only by the chemistry between Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon. (Watch any episode with one or more guest hosts, if you doubt it.)

But the whole Monday Night Football gig never fully clicked for him. He always felt … not exactly like a round peg in a square hole so much as a round peg in a specially-carved round hole that simply didn’t belong on the board with the other pegs. His approach to color commentary tended to make the game itself feel secondary to his chosen storyline — Brett Favre, for example, or Brett Favre, or, on several other occasions, Brett Favre.

Which makes the news today that Kornheiser is stepping down (or possibly being forced out) of the Monday Night booth exciting on the face of it. The fact that his replacement is Jon Gruden makes it doubly so. Gruden is, by all reports, an intelligent, thoughtful guy, and — as seen in the Wired Up segment above — the kind of charismatic guy who can make football analysis insightful AND entertaining.

As I was writing the last paragraph, Redskins executive director of media relations Zack Bolno walked by. Bolno worked in the PR department under Gruden’s head coaching regime in Tampa years ago, so I asked him for his quick, off-the-cuff reaction to the hire. Read more »

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Meeting The Coaches: Chris Meidt

Posted by Matt Terl on May 15, 2009 – 4:13 pm

Something I’ve noticed, based on the conversations I’ve had recently, is that some otherwise very informed and intelligent Redskins fans aren’t hugely familiar with the team’s coaching staff outside of head coach Jim Zorn, defensive coordinator Greg Blache, and offensive line legend Joe Bugel.

So through these slow times in the offseason, I thought it might be useful to everyone if I caught up with those other guys one by one to get a sense of who they are and what they’re expecting heading into the 2009 season.

Offensive assistant Chris Meidt seemed like a good choice to start with, partially because he had the title that needed the most clarification (“offensive assistant” being spectacularly vague), and partially because he speaks incredibly quickly and would be able to pack a lot of information into a relatively short interview.

Casey Rabach, hearing that I was planning to interview Meidt, observed something else about the way he speaks: he has a pronounced Minnesotan accent. Not the cartoonish one from Fargo — more of an acute midwestern accent, with some flattened vowel sounds and rounded Os — but clear nonetheless. “I thought that I had an accent,” Rabach said in his Wisconsin accent, “and then I listened to that guy for awhile.” I didn’t think it was that dramatic, aside from turning “raw” into “rah” when characterizing Colt Brennan, but if you’re trying to hear Meidt’s voice in your head, add some Minnesota to his lines.

Which makes sense, since Meidt’s a Minnesota guy through and through. His last stop before joining the Redskins last year was tiny St. Olaf College in Minnesota, where his teams earned a 40-20 record, and he grew up in Minneota. His teams in St. Olaf were known for their offense, and Meidt has something of a reputation as a quirky offensive football mind.

But I started with the most basic question I could think of.

Your job title is somewhat nondescript — “offensive assistant.” What do you actually … you know … do?

Meidt: “Nondescript is a good word, because it leaves it really open to do almost anything, which I do. So you can fill in the blanks. Read more »

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Friday, May 15: Lorenzo Alexander Sponsors A Free Football Camp

Posted by Matt Terl on May 15, 2009 – 9:35 am

If you’re a high school or junior high school football player in the DC Metro area and you’ve always wanted to work out with members of the Washington Redskins, Lorenzo Alexander has some good news for you. Alexander — through his ACES Foundation, and alongside the Northern Virginia Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Grace Covenant Church — will be sponsoring the All Pro Sports Camp on June 6th and 7th.

This is a completely free two-day event featuring position drills, agility and strength training, and a chance to work with Alexander, Kedric Golston, Chris Wilson, and Derrick Dockery. “Those are the guys who have confirmed so far,” Alexander told me, “but I think there’ll be some more as well.”
Read more »

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Got Some Time To Kill?

Posted by Matt Terl on May 14, 2009 – 3:56 pm

Hey, it’s Thursday afternoon. The end of the day is just out of reach, and you’re thinking to yourself, “If only there was a website where I could burn somewhere between twenty minutes and twelve years looking at things like the Swedish translation of Sonny Jurgensen’s 1979 Sportscaster oversized football cards!”

Well, good news for you, lousy news for that spreadsheet you’re supposed to be working on.

The Redskins Card Museum is the culmination of one man’s borderline lunatic aim of collecting just about every Redskins football card known to man. Nothing for sale, no ads — as promised in the site owner’s email to me — just a whole lot of Redskins history.

I’ve put a few choice samples after the jump — Billy Kilmer in a bizarre hat on his 1977 Topps card! — but it’s really the kind of site where you’re best served browsing around after your own interests. If you’re thorough, this could well carry you through all of Friday as well. Read more »

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Chris Wilson, Rocky McIntosh Doodle For Charity

Posted by Matt Terl on May 14, 2009 – 3:21 pm

A charitable organization called Neurofibromatosis, Inc. is running their third annual National Doodle Day auction, which raises funds to help them provide support to individuals and families affected by neurofibromatosis. (Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on the nerves. If you, like me, are a bit of a hypochondriac, it sounds absolutely terrifying.)

Anyhow, for this auction, various celebrities have dashed off quick doodles which are being auctioned off on eBay. It sounds unremarkable when described like that, but the roster of artists actually has some big names on it, including a few DC and Baltimore-area celebrities, sports and otherwise: Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau, Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken, Jr., Chef Duff from Ace of Cakes, Adam Dunn of the Washington Nationals … and Rocky McIntosh and Chris Wilson of your Washington Redskins.

(That’s Rocky’s doodle pictured up above.) Read more »

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Even More Chris Cooley

Posted by Matt Terl on May 14, 2009 – 10:50 am

Yes, it’s my third straight Chris Cooley video in three days. What can I say? It’s a quiet part of the offseason and Cooley’s done a terrific job co-hosting NFL Total Access.

I was in the studio when his wife Christy was filming her side of the Team Cam interview — I mentioned it on Twitter, and you can see a picture after the jump in this post — so it was nice to see that turn out well.

The highlight of yesterday’s show, though, would have to be Cooley subjecting the cast of Total Access to his trademark peanut-butter-and-ham sandwich (with yellow mustard). I’ve heard this sandwich discussed on and off for almost a year now, so it was exciting to see it make the jump to TV (and now the internet). Still don’t think I’m going to try one, though.


If you desperately want STILL MORE Cooley, check out his chat from yesterday on NFL.com. And his blog, of course. A couple excerpts from the chat, after the jump.
Read more »

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Thursday, May 14: Kelley Washington, Raven

Posted by Matt Terl on May 14, 2009 – 9:45 am

So wide receiver Kelley Washington, who had a tryout with the Redskins during the last weekend’s minicamp, agreed to terms yesterday with the Baltimore Ravens. This disappoints me, if only because I was looking forward to more of the on-field practice chatter between Washington and Fred Smoot. Read more »

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