On Now
Coming Up
  • Sun., Sep. 24, 2017 7:30 PM - 7:50 PM EDT Redskins-Raiders Pregame Show Tune in to watch the pregame happenings from the Washington Redskins' Week 3 game against the Oakland Raiders at FedExField in Landover, Md.
  • Sun., Sep. 24, 2017 10:30 PM - 11:59 PM EDT Live Jay Gruden, Kirk Cousins At The Podium Tune in to watch head coach Jay Gruden and quarterback Kirk Cousins talk to the media at FedExField in Landover, Md.

Wednesday, June 24: Zorn and Gibbs Off To The Races

Posted by Matt Terl on June 24, 2009 – 9:54 am

Good piece from Mike Wise in today’s Washington Post, about Coach Zorn and Coach Gibbs just hangin’ out on the racetrack. An excerpt:

Joe Gibbs and Jim Zorn stood in the rain, waiting for a NASCAR race to start as the downpour came. Until last month at Lowe’s Motor Speedway outside Charlotte, the retired-for-good Redskins coaching icon and the man who succeeded him had never really spent time together.

They talked family and Washington and football, which meant they also talked Jason Campbell.

“Just like anybody else would, like two armchair quarterbacks,” Zorn said, quickly adding, “With maybe a little more knowledge.”

Like I say, it’s a good piece and well worth reading, but there was one thing that stood out to me. Take a look at Gibbs’s comments on Campbell’s offseason: Read more »

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Tuesday, June 23: Brian Orakpo, Fashion Maven

Posted by Matt Terl on June 23, 2009 – 5:21 pm

Most of the times that I’ve seen first-round draft pick Brian Orakpo, he’s been dressed waaaayyyyy on the casual side of casual. Sure, that’s because I usually see him when he’s either on his way in to work out or on his way home after working out, but still: he’s pretty much a casual dude.

“I’m not a real trendy guy,” he told me. “You know, you kinda see me doing the same thing year after year. I do my own thing. I like the slim fit shirts and jeans, nice black and white shoes. That’s the type of guy that I am, and I’ve been like that for awhile.” And, sure enough, he was wearing black shorts and a black T-shirt as he explained this.

Which just made it all the more unusual that we were on our way to the Donovan House hotel in downtown D.C. so that Orakpo could do a fashion shoot at the rooftop pool for Washington Life magazine.

So I had to ask him if he had ever done a photo shoot before.

“Not too much,” he said. “I did some back in college, but obviously those were football related. You know, shoulder pads and stuff like that, put ’em on magazines and stuff. I’m not sure what I’m going to be wearing at this one. I’m just gonna go up there, be surprised, have fun with it.”

Also scheduled to be at the shoot were Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals and Santino Quaranta of DC United, which made me wonder if Orakpo had noticed the community of pro athletes that’s sort of formed around the DC teams, with Redskins at Caps games and Alex Ovechkin and Brendan Haywood on the FedExField sidelines and so on.

“I sense it, yeah,” he said. “I talked to Cooley, and he said that’s what all the guys do. They do what they like doing, they’re kinda supporting each of the other teams around the so-called tri-state. I get a sense of that and I want to be a part of that tradition as well.” Read more »

Tags: ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Details On The New Parking Policies

Posted by Matt Terl on June 22, 2009 – 1:20 pm

ExtremeSkins was all abuzz over the weekend about reported new tailgating policies at FedExField. Response ranged from indifferent to downright frantic, with the diehard tailgaters there concerned that their tailgating freedoms were going to be curtailed. A post from Capt. Kaos does a good job providing a sample of this reaction:

“Now this could certainly hamper the tailgating activities of a certain group of people that I know of. This is becoming a serious issue, how are we going to have any sort of unified Tailgate if we are parked in different areas?”

It’s a fair question, one taken to nearly apocalyptic extremes by Dave McKenna over at City Paper’s Cheap Seats, where he speculated that this policy change will begin “the Blackouts Era of Redskins football.”

The team just released an official response to this, which I’ll repost after the jump. The most important segments:

A new FedEx Field parking lot will be opened for thousands of Washington Redskins fans with the onset of the 2009 season, the team announced today. Additionally, new post-game traffic patterns and parking policies will be implemented to improve traffic flow in parking lots and on stadium roads.

“We expect to have more tailgaters than ever,” said Mitch Gershman, the Redskins Chief Operating Officer. “Those who want to meet with their friends will have more space, and those who want to simply park will find it easier to do so.”


The most significant new procedure will have parking attendants directing fans who wish to tailgate in more than one space to the back of lots, where they will be allowed to occupy two spaces until required for additional vehicles. Fans who wish to only park, or tailgate within their single parking spot, will be directed to the front of lots, filling the lot from front to back. Tailgating is permitted in all lots, except Platinum. Platinum lot parkers who choose to tailgate will be provided passes for Purple lots.


“Everyone who wants to tailgate should be able to tailgate. We absolutely believe that,” Gershman said. “This is designed to improve the experience for fans who want to tailgate.”

“Our outside consultant analyzed the flow on roads and in the parking lots at FedEx Field, with cameras recording the traffic patterns. What we found was that when tailgaters spread into multiple spaces, it caused congestion in the lots, and resulted in inconvenience to everyone – the fans tailgating and the fans who were just looking to park in their assigned lots,” Gershman said.

So it looks like the initial hue and cry was over an email targeted at a very small group of people, and didn’t include information that wasn’t pertinent. I’m still asking around, trying to figure out exactly what this means for the various groups who have emailed me with their concerns, but I can see how this could improve the entire parking situation.

As someone who has had enjoyable tailgates disrupted by people trying to park on top of my grill, I have to say that this doesn’t sound like a bad deal. And, as someone who has also shown up to games later than I intended and found multiple spots filled with tailgaters in lounge chairs, it sounds pretty good as well. Which seems like the definition of a win-win, if everything goes as it was explained to me.

Full release after the jump. Read more »

Tags: ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Monday, June 22: Portis And Zorn, BFF

Posted by Matt Terl on June 22, 2009 – 11:59 am

David Elfin of the Washington Times caught up with Clinton Portis at a golf tournament in Bethesda this morning and asked him the same question that so many of you have emailed to ask me: is there any truth to the report on ProFootballTalk that Portis and Zorn are at odds?

Here’s Clinton:

“How this story came about, I have no idea,” Portis said. “There’s nothing going on. There’s no beef between me and Coach Zorn. We’re on good terms at this present moment. There’s no problem.”

And, later:

“I don’t know why people have that in their mind,” Portis said. “Me and Coach [Joe] Gibbs had a great relationship. We talked more than me and Coach Zorn do, but lately me and Coach Zorn been talking, trying to get on the same page. Things been going good. He understand me and I understand him.”

This had been my understanding of the situation as well, but it’s nice to hear it straight from Portis’s mouth (albeit via David Elfin’s computer). More, including Jason Campbell‘s take on the situation, here. Read more »

Tags: , , ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Friday, June 19: Mike Williams Actually Is Looking For A Chef

Posted by Matt Terl on June 19, 2009 – 12:27 am

When Mike Williams mentioned the other day that he was looking for chef, I — quite reasonably, I think — asked him why. He shrugged, said something about wanting to cook a meal for his wife, told me to let him know if I heard from anyone, and that was more or less that. I tweeted about it (thanks, @APStylebook!), got a few responses … and realized that I had no idea if Williams was serious or not — and, if he was serious, what exactly he was looking for.

“Okay, I’m gonna take this a roundabout way and then bring it in,” he told me. “This has NOTHING to do with my wife’s cooking. She said, ‘Oh, they’re gonna think I’m a bad cook.’ I said, ‘Oh, yeah, I didn’t think of that.’ No. Nothing to do with that at ALL.”

With that out of the way, he continued. Read more »

Tags: ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Lorenzo Alexander Holds A Football Camp

Posted by Matt Terl on June 18, 2009 – 3:31 pm

I was out at Lorenzo Alexander‘s ALL PRO SPORTS AND AGILITY football camp last week, and there was a lot to like about the experience.

It was free, first of all — not just for me to cover, but for the kids to attend. And there were a lot of Redskins there as compared to the number of kids; in attendance were Alexander, Kedric Golston, Chris Wilson, Mike Williams, and Derrick Dockery.

“They made it fun,” fifteen year-old camper Lem Howard of Stafford, Virginia, told me. “They interacted with the kids and had a good time.”

So that’s two small good things, and the clear enjoyment the kids got out of being there, that was good as well.

But the best thing for me was watching guys play out of position.

Read more »

Tags: , ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Thursday, June 18: Hey, Look! A Goofy Brett Favre Rumor

Posted by Matt Terl on June 18, 2009 – 9:48 am

Those of you who have seen me on ComcastSportsNet’s Redskins Nation have probably realized that few things annoy me more than the endless coverage Brett Favre receives. I’m completely sick of it, and if I never heard the name Brett Favre again, it would STILL be too much and I would still loathe him forever.

Those of you who have been following this blog can probably guess that on my 7,342 item list of Things I’m Sick Of This Offseason, “media-driven Redskins quarterbacking controversy” ranks just behind Brett Favre.

So when WJFK’s morning show The Junkies blogged this morning that ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio had suggested that Favre might wind up in Washington, it was pretty much the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of hatred for me, and I reacted accordingly.

(Chris Mottram over at Mr. Irrelevant tracks the rumor in MUCH greater — and more amusing — detail.)

Then I heard the segment of the Paul Allen show on KFAN radio in Minneapolis where Florio was a guest, which is what started this whole thing. The short takeaway from it? Nothing to worry about. Never mind.

Here, though, to prevent anyone else from having the same reaction I did, is my transcript of what Florio ACTUALLY said on KFAN: Read more »

Tags: , ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

PBA Fans Not Exactly Enthusiastic About Fred Smoot (Or Me)

Posted by Matt Terl on June 17, 2009 – 4:44 pm

You might remember reading somewhere — possibly here, here, here, here, here, or here — about Fred Smoot‘s desire to become a professional bowler and the PBA ‘s response to him. In case you’ve somehow forgotten, here’s the gist: Smoot is an enthusiastic bowler who expressed in great detail his desire to compete on the PBA tour.

Dan Steinberg got wind of this, wrote about it, and the next thing you know, the PBA is issuing this statement:

The PBA will give Fred Smoot entry into a PBA event and he can see where he stacks up against the best bowlers in the world. We think he might be in for a rude awakening because our pros are to bowling pins what he is to wide receivers.

Smoot would learn a lot about his game and get some tips from the best. We are sure he has a long way to go to get to the pro level but his enthusiasm for the sport can carry him far.

Good story, right? Smoot’s an entertaining, enthusiastic guy, he’ll get his chance to prove himself, and everyone wins and everybody’s happy.

Wellllll … not exactly.

Two days ago, a bit after the whole bowling fooferaw had died down, this comment showed up on one of my Fred Smoot Bowling posts:

Absolutely ludicrous!! What is the matter with this writer? You guys should be a little more worried about your team than some NFL player who dosen’t stand a chance against the PBA elite. He woulden’t average 150 on a PBA pattern. Debate it if you want on www.blogtalkradio.com Tuesday the 16th 11:00 eastern. Just search bowling and the13th frame will pop up.

Sure, it was obvious shilling for a bowling podcast, but I couldn’t see any reason not to check it out. I downloaded the podcast today and noticed one thing immediately: it was two hours long.

Now, look, I have plenty of specific interests of my own. A two hour podcast on the Redskins? Sure, I’m there. Two consecutive (language warning!) Deadspin podcasts, or three straight On The DL With Dan Levy sessions? I can do that. Two hours on, say, regional American cooking styles? Sold.

But two hours on professional bowling is way, way, way beyond my abilities. Luckily for me, Intern Jenna is absolutely fascinated by the topic, and happily listened to the entire thing. 94 minutes in, she excitedly told me that they were discussing Smoot. So at that point, I jumped back in, and … wow.
Read more »

Tags: , ,
Posted in General | No Comments »

Wednesday, June 17: About The Welcome Home Luncheon

Posted by Matt Terl on June 17, 2009 – 8:44 am


Over at Redskins.com, the top story right now is that tickets for the Welcome Home Luncheon are available. You can see DeAngelo Hall talking about it above, and here’s some of the Redskins.com story:

The Redskins Charitable Foundation and the Redskins Alumni Association will host the 48th annual Redskins Welcome Home Luncheon on Wednesday, Aug. 26 at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. The event begins at 11 a.m. and concludes at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Celebrate the start of the Redskins’ 2009 regular season with players, coaches and alumni!

The Welcome Home Luncheon is one of the few times in which fans and corporate partners have the chance to spend time with the entire Redskins team. Each table will include at least one player, coach or alumni seated with the attendees.

Fair enough. But what, you might be asking, does all that actually mean? Well, here are some highlights from last year’s Welcome Home Luncheon, to give a bit of the flavor of the thing.

  • The silent auction offers a chance to acquire pieces of the Redskins proud history while donating to charity — as well as some of the less proud pieces.
  • The mix of current Redskins and Redskins alumni means that you can overhear some entertaining — and long — conversations.
  • Although Jason Fabini likely won’t be attending this year’s event, there’s always the hope that some other player will have an amusing wardrobe malfunction.
  • And, most importantly, it’s a chance to hear Head Coach Jim Zorn speak. It was at last year’s event that he first debuted the Hip Hip Hooray cheer that became such a part of the first half of the season, and it was also there that he told one of the funniest stories I’ve heard from him:

Read more »

Posted in General | No Comments »

Tuesday, June 16: Kirk Olivadotti On Linebackers,Teaching, Bicycles and Eating Elephants

Posted by Matt Terl on June 16, 2009 – 10:05 am

When I started this series of interviews with the Redskins coaching staff, I mentioned that I had found that even informed and intelligent fans of the team didn’t know a lot about the coaches outside of the top guys. Linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti is a particularly interesting test case of that — he’s been here for nine years, so his name tends to sound familiar, but I’ve definitely encountered a little mild confusion about what, exactly, he does.

This may be because he’s a low-key kind of guy — I deliberately made sure to get pictures of him at OTAs for this post; he is facing the camera in NONE of them, although team photographer Ned Dishman came through with the above image.

But it also may be because he’s had a number of different positions here over that span, starting at defensive quality control coach and working his way up. So that’s where I started our conversation (which actually took place last week): asking if he thought that steady climb up the coaching ladder had affected the way he approaches his current position.

“Yeah, it’s been good,” he told me, “because really when you work your way up, you see how everything works. I think you understand the strains that different people are under — mine goes as far as being a position coach right now; I don’t understand completely the strains of a coordinator, because I’ve never been a coordinator.

“But you know, as far as what a quality control guy does, what an assistant to an assistant does, what the assistant special teams guy does. I can understand those strains, and I’ve been in the secondary, I’ve been with the D-line, and I’ve been with the linebackers, and I think that it helps that I’ve been involved and in meeting rooms and run meetings in all three of those rooms. As linebackers coach and as linebackers you have to be with the front and with the backend also.”

So how does that actually inform the way you approach coaching the position?

Olivadotti: “It, I guess, everybody needs to know where they fit, coaches and players included. And, in a defense I think it helps that I know where everybody fits, and as a group we need to know where we fit as linebackers, and that’s kind of what we talk about: where do we fit in this defense, where do we fit in this group, where do we fit in the form of leadership. All those kinds of things and you have to have a pulse of what that is, and it’s an ever-evolving process.”

London [Fletcher] kind of echoes that with his “linebackers set the tone, linebackers set the tempo” when he fires the guys up in pregame.

Olivadotti: “Definitely, and we have to be the guys who set a tempo. London and H.B. [Blades], all the mike [middle] linebackers, are the guys that are giving the marching order directly from Greg Blache. So, there has to be some assertiveness. We’re kind of helping guys, pointing guys in the right directions, so we can all get organized, and know where we fit. So there is certain amount of leadership that is inherent to the position, I think.”

A lot of talk this offseason has centered — for obvious reasons — on who’s going to be stepping in at strong side linebacker. Can you give a quick summary for the uninitiated on how the strongside and weakside roles differ?

Read more »

Tags: ,
Posted in General | No Comments »
%d bloggers like this: