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Fred Smoot Bowls With Tremendous Enthusiasm

Posted by Matt Terl on June 9, 2009 – 5:33 pm

Dan Steinberg at the DC Sports Bog has apparently been been working on a post about Fred Smoot’s professional bowling aspirations for a few days now, for reasons completely unrelated to today’s bowling excursion. In fact, the trip today forced him to finish it up and post it, and you should all go read it even if you’re already all Redskins-bowling-ed out. I’ll wait here.

The revelation that Smoot at least half-seriously wants to be a professional bowler is a good one, no doubt. (And, in fact, Smoot made the same confession to me today, only he was able to add at the end, “Dan Steinberg is gonna talk to the PBA and help make it happen.”)

All the stuff about Smoot’s high score and his thoughts on straight-ahead bowlers and everything else, that’s all good as well.

But, having seen Smoot bowl today, I can tell you that the lede in that post is somewhat buried. Here’s the part that’s actually the most significant:

“That boy’s crazy,” Rogers said. “He bowls, and he might just lay on the ground kicking his feet, do some of everything, while he’s bowling. From the time he let that ball go he might just lay on the ground, looking at his ball, rolled-up, kicking. That boy crazy. He do some of everything.”

This is an extremely accurate description of Smoot bowling, but it abjectly fails to convey the amount of energy that he brings to the exercise. So does the photo above, actually. That picture makes it look like Smoot is just relaxing at the top of the lane, gently hoping that the ball does what he hopes.

This is not the case.

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Redskins Talk The Talk As Draft Analysts, General Managers

Posted by Matt Terl on June 9, 2009 – 3:48 pm

When Coach Zorn told me that the bowling captains had drafted their teams, I sort of assumed that it was a quick, perfunctory thing and that not much thought had necessarily gone into the selections. What I failed to reckon with, I think, was the inherent competitiveness of professional football players.

The more guys I talked to about the team selection process, the clearer it became that they had all approached the bowling draft with a remarkable level of focus.

It also became clear that, at this point, it’s pretty easy to sound like a post-draft analyst, no matter what you’re talking about. Here’s Clinton Portis, for example, on how he approached the draft: Read more »

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Army-Navy Game Comes To FedExField

Posted by Matt Terl on June 9, 2009 – 3:09 pm

FedExField will be hosting college football’s Army-Navy game on December 10, 2011.

The game, which traditionally closes out college football’s season, has largely been held in Philadelphia, which sits just about between the two schools — Army in West Point, NY, and the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. FedExField’s location in Landover obviously puts the game closer to Annapolis, but that hasn’t always provided the pronounced an advantage for Navy you might expect.

The seven times the game has been played in Maryland, Navy is 4-3 — a winning record, yes, but roughly consistent with Navy’s overall 53-49-7 series record. Read more »

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Coach Zorn Explains The Bowling Thing

Posted by Matt Terl on June 9, 2009 – 2:06 pm

So instead of an OTA today, Coach Zorn arranged for a team building exercise.

When I heard that this was happening, I had wild visions of Mike Williams doing trust leans onto a nervous group of teammates and Clinton Portis on a ropes course and other similarly stereotypical team-building events. This was not to be, which is probably for the best.

Instead, the team was issued matching white collared Redskins logo shirts, marched onto buses, and escorted to a nearby bowling alley for twenty frames of raucous team building. I figured Coach Zorn had a reason why bowling had been selected instead of, say, golf or paintball, and he did not disappoint.

“This is something where everybody could be in close proximity, we can see what everybody else is doing,” he said.

And does he believe that things like this work to improve camaraderie? Read more »

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A Quick, Late Definition of OTAs

Posted by Matt Terl on June 9, 2009 – 1:15 pm

I’m not sure how I failed to explain this sooner, since the team is into their third week of OTAs, but a flurry of emails showed up last night asking about it. So here, very, very, very belatedly, is the definition for those who need it.

OTA stands for organized team activities, fourteen offseason full-team training sessions that coaches are allowed to schedule.

Unlike the mandatory minicamp that took place earlier this offseason, the OTAs are voluntary — although all coaches leaguewide seem to strenuously encourage attendance — and they have more in common with regular in-season practices than they do with the more grueling training camp practices that are coming up in July and August.

The Washington Post had a discussion about OTAs last week on The League, if you want more peoples’ opinions on the differences (or lack thereof) between OTAs, minicamps, and practices.

So — now that there are two OTAs left this offseason — those of you who didn’t know have your answer. Great timing on my part. Read more »

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Tuesday, June 9: Charley Casserly Back At Redskins Park

Posted by Matt Terl on June 9, 2009 – 10:20 am

The team is going bowling as a team building activity today in place of the previously scheduled OTA. I’ll have bowling coverage later, but — as there’s no practice — there will be no practice update on the blog. Just so you don’t keep wondering where it is.

A slightly surreal sight on the sidelines of yesterday’s practice, as Charley Casserly — former Redskins general manager — was onhand as part of his current gig as analyst for the NFL Network and CBS Sports. I obviously wasn’t around when Casserly worked here, so he had no idea who I was, but he was kind enough to answer a few quick questions for me about practice between the interviews he was conducting for his own gigs. (And, yes, he even answered the slightly awkward one about covering the place where he used to work.)

Did you see anything that surprised you at practice today?

Casserly: “I did see a few things: I like [rookie Brian] Orakpo, with his explosion off the ball and his athletic ability. I thought the young receivers, Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, it was nice to see them out there doing a few things. Jason Campbell seemed to be a little more decisive with the football, so those were some things that hit me.”

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