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Thursday, October 1: Todd Yoder Loves Small Furry Mammals

Posted by Matt Terl on October 1, 2009 – 10:00 am

One of Larry Weisman’s many responsibilities since joining the Redskins (in addition to his articles for Redskins.com and his blog at Redskins Rule) is co-hosting The Jim Zorn Show alongside Dan Hellie. The show, which airs in the DC area at 7:30 Saturday nights on NBC-4, is taped earlier in the week, which is how Weisman came to mention to me yesterday that Todd Yoder names some of the Redskins plays.

Here’s the snippet, from this upcoming Saturday’s show.

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And, for those of you who are terrified of moving pictures, here’s what Zorn has to say when Hellie asks if he has any interesting tidbits about Yoder: “About Todd? Well, he would be our resident linguist. I would have to add [Chris] Cooley to this, because they’re kind of partners in crime. But Todd is very good about creating words for formations, blocking schemes. Like, weasel, squirrel, things like that. So we have some of that on our football team just based on what Todd Yoder has to say about it.”

So I talked to Yoder yesterday about his role as developer of team nomenclature, and about facing his former team.
“Welp, first of all,” Yoder said, “any small furry mammal qualifies. See, if you look at the animal world, there’s a lot of things like lions, tigers, eagles … you know, people like to use all these names. Bears. But the small furry mammal is overlooked.

“So we thought that just to add a little enthusiasm, we’d name some of these plays or calls or words that we need in our offense after small furry mammals. So you’ve got, like, weasel, beaver. We’re still looking to try to get muskrat and mongoose into the gameplan. Wombat is a new one that Cooley came up with. That’s a good one.

“You know, there’s a lot of other ones. Squirrel is in, obviously. You could go chipmunk, woodchuck … there really are a lot of them out there. I would say right now we’ve got, like, four in. And we’re trying to get some of the other ones.”

Mongoose would really seem to be a no-brainer. Vicious little creatures.

Yoder: “Right, exactly. Thank you. You’ve got ferret … why wouldn’t you want to have a ‘ferret’ call in your offense.”

Does Coach Zorn seem happy with this trend?

Yoder: “I think the combination of Chris Cooley and myself, we’ve come up with some good stuff, and it makes sense.”

Okay. You used to be on Tampa Bay; is it at all significant that you’re facing your old team?

Yoder: “No. It’s been so long, and to be honest with you I think that Ronde’s the only guy left from the teams when I played down there. He’s been there forever, and it’ll be good to see him, say ‘Hi’. Other than that, it’s really a whole different team.”

So just because, say, Josh Johnson is on a team that you used to play for, that doesn’t mean that you have, like, extra insight into his game?

Yoder: “Right. I don’t know him at all.”


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