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About The Cooley Punting Thing….

Posted by Matt Terl on August 12, 2009 – 5:21 pm

I caught up with special teams coordinator Danny Smith on his way out the door, ready to board the buses and head to the team hotel. But I’ve received enough emails about Chris Cooley being listed as the #2 punter on the team’s depth chart that I had to ask Smith for at least a quick comment.

Smith, never at a loss for words, answered immediately: “If Cooley gets in there to punt, look for me on the sidelines in a trenchcoat and sunglasses, trying to be in disguise.”

Soooo … probably not something to watch for, then. Read more »

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What To Watch Tomorrow: Linebackers

Posted by Matt Terl on August 12, 2009 – 4:42 pm

The Redskins linebacking corps finds itself in an interesting position this year. Perennial almost-all-pro London Fletcher is a rock at middle linebacker, and at weak-side linebacker, Rocky McIntosh is in his second year returning from knee surgery, usually a break-out time. And while strong-side linebacker was thought to be something of a concern heading into training camp given the departure of Marcus Washington, rookie Brian Orakpo has been impressive learning the position.

But while those have been the main LB stories so far, there are still a whole bunch of other guys working at linebacker, and they’re the ones we’re likely to see the most tomorrow night. You’ve got two drafted rookies in Cody Glenn and Robert Henson. You’ve got an undrafted rookie in Darrel Young, out of Villanova. Chris Wilson is making the same DE/LB position switch as Orakpo. Alfred Fincher showed in last year’s preseason that he has the potential to be a special teams ace. And H.B. Blades is establishing himself as an experienced go-to utility linebacker. Read more »

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Alfred Fincher And B.A. Baracus, Via Kareem Moore And Shaun Suisham

Posted by Matt Terl on August 12, 2009 – 1:07 pm

Linebacker Alfred Fincher decided to go with the mohawk look a few days into camp, as Brian Murphy at Homer McFanboy has exhaustively documented. I had asked Fincher about the cut — “I was just trying to break up the monotony of camp and try to shake things up,” he told me — but then he got dinged up the next day and the whole thing started to seem like a bad omen for him, so I didn’t follow up.

According to Murphy, half the team liked Fincher’s look and the other half didn’t. But when kicker Shaun Suisham and safety Kareem Moore were in the ice bath discussing Lendy Holmes‘s hairstyle the other day, the conversation quite naturally turned to the team’s other notable haircut, and they came out solidly in favor.

“I had a Mohawk before,” Moore was explaining. “In college. Mine was nice, though. I had the mohawk fade. Like it was high, but my sides were like they are now. And I had little designs on the side.”

“Would that be a frohawk?” Suisham asked.

Moore paused for a second, thinking. Read more »

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Ravens Coach John Harbaugh and QB Joe Flacco Talk About (Not) Preparing For The Redskins

Posted by Matt Terl on August 12, 2009 – 10:19 am

NFL preseason games are little more than an extension of practice, a chance to get your new players some experience in something resembling a real game situation (albeit a slower-paced, less well-executed, and not-as-energized version of that situation). And Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco both make that very, very clear in this Baltimore Sun Ravens Insider video, as they talk about how little they’re game-planning for tomorrow night’s Redskins game.

My favorite quote from here is Harbaugh explaining what he expects to see from the rookies. “The rookies, it’ll be new for ’em. Some guys’ll really shine that haven’t shined as much in practice. And other guys’ll … y’know, not shine, and we’ll be surprised by that, maybe.”

So some of the rookies will be good, and others won’t, and maybe that will be surprising, and maybe it won’t. Yep, sounds like the preseason to me.

Hat tip to @rickmaese for the video Read more »

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Wednesday, August 12: The Albert Haynesworth And Jim Zorn Show Discusses The Dollar-Pound Conversion Rate

Posted by Matt Terl on August 12, 2009 – 9:37 am

Finally, finally, finally, it’s the day before a game. So no practice today — no practice reports, no media availability, nothing like that — just what Coach Jim Zorn calls a “mock game” (and most other coaches call a “walkthrough”), and then the players are off to the hotel for meetings and other pregame stuff.

Albert Haynesworth, as noted yesterday, won’t be participating in tomorrow night’s game. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been worth watching in — and after — practice. Yesterday, Haynesworth hosted 45 kids from the Ashburn (Va.) Boys and Girls Club and DC Parks and Recreation, inviting them to watch practice from the sidelines, and addressing them and signing autographs afterward.

This would not have been entirely unusual, except that Coach Zorn stopped by the tent while Haynesworth was talking to the kids and joined him for an impromptu buddy comedy on the subject of NFL weight loss, all as part of a simultaneous lesson on math and nutrition. Read more »

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