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The Most Optimistic Time Of The Year

Posted by Matt Terl on July 29, 2009 – 4:58 pm


Let’s be honest: it’s the day before the first day of training camp. If the head coach of the team comes out with anything other than full-bore optimism, it’s probably a really bad sign. So from that perspective, there wasn’t much that was unexpected about Jim Zorn‘s press conference today.

Here, for example, are Zorn’s opening remarks:

“I’m excited about starting 2009. I hope everybody else is. I hope everybody is ready for some great practice watching — from my standpoint, it’s participating. We are looking forward to an outstanding year. We’re looking forward to an excellent training camp. I think everyone around the league is. This 2009 season is going to be exciting but just as difficult to put together as it was last year, we’re on our way. We have a lot of healthy players this year. We are not starting out with an injury report this year. We’ve got all the guys are ready to participate the first day of practice, so we are excited about that.”

And, really, that was the tone he took for the rest of the session.

(The video above is oddly compressed for some reason. I recommend the better-resolution version over at For more transcribed excerpts and a look at Rocky McIntosh’s presser, keep on reading.)
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Pre-Training Camp Press Conferences….

Posted by Matt Terl on July 29, 2009 – 2:43 pm

There were five press conferences this afternoon:

  • Head coach Jim Zorn, giving the pre-training camp State of the Redskins address (and reiterating that Michael Vick will not be a Redskin)
  • Mike Williams, talking about his weight loss and the battle for the right tackle position
  • Jeremy Jarmon, talking about becoming a Redskin
  • Chris Horton, discussing his upcoming sophomore season
  • Rocky McIntosh, talking about the defense and Coach Zorn’s pre-game speeches.

I’m still trying to put together stuff from the various conferences, but if you want to get a sense of what was going on, check my Twitter feed. I was updating live from the press room, and you can get a sense of some of the more interesting quotes and the general sense of the talks. Read more »

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Lindsay Czarniak Lunches With Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly

Posted by Matt Terl on July 29, 2009 – 10:02 am

Sure, it’s exciting that Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas are both healthy and motivated heading into next year’s training camp. I’m genuinely expecting big things from both of them.

And it’s interesting to learn that NBC-4’s Lindsay Czarniak used to work at Sweetwater Tavern, while Thomas used to work at Wendy’s. But I think the most important takeaway from this video is that Malcolm Kelly actually orders a Shirley Temple, apparently without even a hint of irony. I didn’t even think they still made those.

Plus, one more reason to look forward to Kelly’s first NFL touchdown: more freestyling. All in all, an eminently watchable video, complete with a terrific headline: “Second-Year Skins Receivers a Fun, um, Bunch?” Read more »

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Wednesday, July 29: The Conditioning Test Is No Joke

Posted by Matt Terl on July 29, 2009 – 8:53 am

Tomorrow, after a seemingly endless stretch of downtime, training camp starts back up. Once upon a time in the misty NFL past, “training camp” meant exactly what it sounds like: a bunch of out-of-shape players would show up, many having worked non-football jobs during the offseason, and the coaching staff would use a grueling camp to whip them into shape.

That’s not so much the case now. Between organized offseason team workouts, non-team-related but still organized workouts, and individual workouts, players now show up to camp in shape and use the training camp to get into game shape. But teams still need to be sure that players are prepared to go through the rigors of training camp (no matter how in shape they appear), which is why there is a conditioning test that everyone has to pass before training camp.

The conditioning test made its way into the spotlight last year when Coach Zorn talked about how then-rookie wide receivers Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly had not been able to pass it.

“If you can’t pass that physical test that we give, then something’s not right,” Zorn said at the time according to the Washington Post. “So I’ve been kind of jabbing at them with that. . . . I wish I could take the test just to show everybody that I was in good shape. It’s sort of a pride issue.”

Zorn isn’t the only one who wanted to take the test.

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