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Afternoon Practice – Taped To The Goalposts

Posted by Matt Terl on August 17, 2009 – 6:05 pm

This afternoon’s practice seemed a little sluggish to me, although maybe it was just the weather — that kind of sticky, muggy heat that makes you feel like everything’s in slow motion. Rookies Robert Henson and Kevin Barnes certainly didn’t agree with my impression. “It feels good to get back to work,” Henson said.

Barnes concurred. “It was pretty good today,” he said. “With that extra morning off, felt like everybody was a little more fresh on defense. Personally, this is the best I’ve felt in two weeks.”

That sentiment from Barnes is even more telling considering it came while the two rookies were taped — not too tightly, it’s true — to the goalposts after practice.

The general thought at Redskins Park was that Head Coach Jim Zorn was opposed to rookie hazing, a policy that Zorn seemed ready to disregard at his post-practice press conference when told that there were, in fact, players taped to the goalposts. “Are there? Wow. They’ll figure it out. Dinner’s not for awhile yet,” and later clarifying, “I don’t do any organized hazing,” Zorn said, “but somebody was doing something. This would be a little more disorganized.”

Barnes shrugged when I asked him about Zorn’s supposed no-hazing policy. “He told [ESPN’s Chris Mortensen] that he could let us go if he wanted to, but we told Mort that if he let us loose, we might get this for the next month straight.”

Henson nodded. “If we get away, it’s gonna be worse.” Read more »

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An Ethical Dilemma Is Discussed In The Ice Tub

Posted by Matt Terl on August 17, 2009 – 2:56 pm

After practice, certain guys swear by the ice tubs. These are exactly what they sound like: big Rubbermaid tubs filled with cold water and ice that sit outside the facility. Guys soak in them to help with injury prevention and recovery, usually still in their uniform pants and t-shirts along with neoprene covers on their toes.

(While some guys swear by the ice tubs, other guys emphatically don’t. One guy who doesn’t is Clinton Portis — “It’s too cold,” Portis says. “It hurts.” — and another is Fred Smoot. “I don’t take it,” Smoot says. “Have you seen me in there? I’m from Mississippi, right? You know, I’m a southern guy, I don’t deal well with ice. That’s why they ran me from Minnesota. I’m a warm climate guy.” Although even Smoot has been known to get in on very rare occasions.)

Whether by coincidence or climate-related inevitability, the guys who have played in Canada are ice tub regulars: Shaun Suisham, Chris Wilson, and Domonique Dorsey. Suisham is in there enough that even the Associated Press has written about it (in the same story that correctly notes that he sounds just like actor Owen Wilson).

Ice tub conversations can run the gamut from sincere to mocking, as you’d expect, but every so often you hear one that is genuinely surprising, amusing, and even thought-provoking. This particular episode of the Suisham And Wilson Happy Ice Tub Funtime Show started on Saturday when the duo was sitting in one tub, with people giving Suisham a hard time for his lack of work in the Ravens game.

“Hey,” he said, “last time we played the Ravens in preseason, I got my first unnecessary roughness fine.” No one seemed to believe him.
Read more »

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On The Mort Bus

Posted by Matt Terl on August 17, 2009 – 12:26 pm

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen rolled up to Redskins Park today in his heavily customized “Mort Goes To Camp” tour bus, and I’ll get the obvious comparison out of the way first. Having been on both, I’d say that this one is markedly nicer than the Madden Cruiser. It’s a little more well-appointed, maybe a little fancier, with one bathroom (instead of the Madden Cruiser’s two) but with a few more HDTVs instead.

I’d argue that the wrap job on Mort’s bus — an enormous caricature of Mortensen on his cell phone next to a relatively small and tasteful Radio Shack ad — blows away the HUMONGOUS Outback ad that comprised the exterior of Madden’s, but one person who might disagree with me is Mortensen himself. Read more »

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Monday, August 17: Weekend Recap

Posted by Matt Terl on August 17, 2009 – 8:48 am

Happy Antwaan Randle El‘s birthday, everyone. In case you were busy watching people set world records and defeat golf immortals this weekend– or you were just watching all the preseason contests on the NFL Network — this is what you missed here.

The players have the morning off today; practice will be at 3:00. Read more »

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