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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.”

The rookies were warned, in a fashion, but didn’t know quite what to do with the information. “I got a heads-up from [Albert] Haynesworth yesterday,” Barnes said, “but I really didn’t know for sure what he was talking about.”

[London Fletcher] didn’t say nothin’,” Henson added.

“Someone said something about a Code Red,” Barnes continues, “Said, ‘Make sure you play hard, get ’em off your back,’ and I’m like, okay, whatever, didn’t really know what he was talking about. But then we broke down the DBs, and DeAngelo Hall put his arm around me, like, ‘Come on, rook, just take it now.’ And I saw [Henson] already over here….”

“Griff said, ‘Man, just take it, cause if you fight it’s gonna be even worse,'” Henson said.

The taping wasn’t too bad — not nearly as restricted as you’d imagine these things would be. It looked to me, in fact, like the worst part would be the constant temptation to break free and walk away.

Barnes agreed … mostly. “I almost hyperventilated when the water got poured over me,” he said.

“Yeah,” Henson agreed, “that was some cold water. Haynesworth was spraying us with the drinking water also.”

The real worst part for Barnes? “I got gatorade in my hair, too.”

But the two rookies suspect that more is yet to come. “Fred Smoot told me earlier that they stole his car, parked it on the side of the highway,” Barnes said. ” I would be [furious].”

Henson shook his head. “I don’t think this is it. This is too easy.

“Yeah,” Barnes agreed. “This can’t be it. I know Coach Zorn calmed it down a little bit, but … man, I can’t imagine someone stealing my car.”

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