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Brian Orakpo And Jeremy Jarmon Are Both Pals With Roger Goodell

Posted by Matt Terl on September 1, 2009 – 5:35 pm

Sure, Brian Orakpo knows Commissioner Roger Goodell from the Draft, as you can see from the picture above. It makes some kind of sense that they’d have something to talk about on the sidelines of practice today.

“He was just telling me, you know, it’s been a long journey since April,” Orakpo said, “and we were laughing and joking about that, about how I was just excited and anxious because I didn’t know what team I was gonna be with, and now I’m here in D.C.”

And Goodell’s reputation as a stern disciplinarian? Orakpo seemed to think that’s a little overblown. “He’s got a lotta great charisma, lotta great humor about him,” Orakpo said. “Everybody sees the mean, dark side of him when they watch him on TV, but, I mean, he’s a normal human being that’s just doin’ his job.”

Fair enough. Those two may not be old friends, exactly, but they do have some kind of relationship stemming back a few months. But defensive end Jeremy Jarmon was a supplemental draft pick, next year’s third rounder, and hadn’t had any chance to meet the Commissioner at all.

So when Jarmon saw the Commissioner standing by the sidewalk on the way down to practice, he stopped to talk to him and ask a few pointed questions about the treatment quarterbacks receive in the NFL.

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The Mikes Talk Piggyback Rides And Nicknames

Posted by Matt Terl on September 1, 2009 – 4:46 pm

I’ve done what I could to make this picture a little clearer, but it was a split-second shot and didn’t turn out as perfectly as I might’ve hoped. The whiteish blob on the right is the new, svelte version of Chris Samuels, helmet tucked under his arm as he walks back from the practice fields.

On the left, the whiteish blob is fullback Mike Sellers, perched on the back of the blackish blob, offensive tackle Mike Williams.

“The amazing thing,” Sellers told me today, “is that I ran up behind him and jumped on his back, and he didn’t even break stride. Just kept going like he didn’t even notice.”

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Stephon Heyer Knows How To Make An Entrance

Posted by Matt Terl on September 1, 2009 – 4:23 pm

As I mentioned when the Mike Sellers incident reared its head, I was on the sidelines for pregame introductions at the game Friday night. I missed the Sellers’s troubles with the flag because he was out of sight. I did not miss Stephon Heyer‘s introduction, but I didn’t register it as particularly significant.

Here’s what I saw at the time: when the whole team jogged out ahead of individual introductions, rookie offensive lineman Scott Burley had two helmets, one of which he brandished at the sky as he ran out. Then the offense was introduced, Heyer jogged out helmetless, pointing at the stands. I figured he had given his helmet to his fellow ex-Terrapin and didn’t really follow-up on it.

When Rocky McIntosh twittered about it today, that made me officially 0-for-2 on following up on interesting pregame events. Here’s McIntosh:

I forgot did anybody happen to catch stephon heyer player intro at the beginning of da patriots game??This guts confidence is threw the roof […] No helmet , dancing wowow get it Stephon his swagger is at a all time high nobody in the locker room can talk about him

So with that in mind, I caught up with Heyer as he came off the practice field and asked why Burley had carried his helmet into the game.

“Nope,” he said. “That’s wrong.”

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Tuesday, September 1: Former Skins Fan Roger Goodell On Redskins Nation

Posted by Matt Terl on September 1, 2009 – 10:31 am

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is in Redskins Park today. He addressed the team — which presumably made it a fairly exciting birthday for Clinton Portis — and, afterward, taped an appearance for this evening’s Redskins Nation, airing on Comcast SportsNet at 6:00 and 10:30, which presumably made a fairly exciting birthday for host Larry Michael as well.

(I was able to meet Commissioner Goodell very briefly, and my impressions are pretty straightforward: very charismatic guy, as you’d expect, with an unbelievably firm handshake. In fact, his handshake teetered just on the border of competitively firm. I found Peter King’s description of Adrian Peterson’s handshake unspeakably boring, so I will go no further on this subject, but if Goodell goes to Vikings camp and shakes Peterson’s hand, I imagine the resulting pressure would create a small black hole into which the state of Minnesota would vanish. Not Brett Favre, though; he’d somehow survive to dominate yet another offseason.)

Anyhow, Michael’s interview of Goodell covers much of what you’d expect: the upcoming season, the NFL’s Twitter policy, the reports local TV blackouts in more markets this year, and the ongoing labor negotiations.

Oh, and the fact that the commissioner used to be a Redskins fan.
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