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New Looks For Stephon Heyer and Mike Williams

Posted by Matt Terl on October 21, 2009 – 4:55 pm

When Mike Williams gets a haircut … well, it’s honestly not that worthy of note. Williams’s hair was fairly unremarkable. If you had stopped me on the street and asked me to describe it, I probably would’ve stammered a lot and said something like, “Um, it’s dark?”

But when Williams shows up to the locker room bald AND fellow offensive lineman Stephon Heyer shows up with his characteristic dreadlocks gone, at that point it start to looks more like a story. Like it’s something they’re doing out of solidarity in the face of a world turned cruel. Read more »

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Levi Jones Wants To Be Part Of The Solution

Posted by Matt Terl on October 21, 2009 – 4:20 pm

Newly signed tackle Levi Jones was onhand at practice today, working primarily with the scout team and getting himself back in football shape and up to speed. “I don’t know if he will be ready that fast with all the terminology,” head coach Jim Zorn said, “but he certainly has the talent and ability.”

Jones agreed with that assessment. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done, you know what I’m sayin’? I need to learn Coach Bugel’s techniques, I need to learn the plays … I mean, there’s a lot of stuff that goes into it. But if they call on me, I’ll be ready.” Read more »

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Albert Haynesworth Takes Cleanliness Seriously

Posted by Matt Terl on October 21, 2009 – 3:45 pm

So there were quite a few guys missing from an unseasonably warm practice today: Chris Cooley, gone for family reasons. Cornelius Griffin, just getting “a little more rest,” according to head coach Jim Zorn. “He’s gonna be fine.”

Clinton Portis “did not practice,” Zorn said. “He’s got a sprained ankle.” Albert Haynesworth was out with a sprained ankle as well — Zorn said he expects both of them to play Monday — but Haynesworth found a new way to keep himself occupied after practice, because of the reason that Kareem Moore and Chris Horton were missing.

“Kareem and Chris Horton,” Zorn said, “they had a fever this morning. So instead of trying to get them through and have them be around the other players, we sent them home.” Zorn had also advised all the players to be especially careful about using hand sanitizer, especially in light of what happened in Cleveland.

So Haynesworth posted himself at the door after practice with a squeeze bottle of hand sanitizer, and proceeded to sanitize every staff member, coach, player, or media member who walked in, even chasing down people who tried to use other doors.

“Since I’m not at practice,” Haynesworth shrugged, “I’m the official building sanitizer.” I certainly didn’t see anyone willing to turn him down. Read more »

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A Lighter Mood In The Building

Posted by Matt Terl on October 21, 2009 – 2:53 pm

If there was one thing that was clear during open locker room and the first portion of practice today, it’s that the players on the team are actually loose and ready to go. The oppressive tension and electricity that characterized Monday were gone, and … honestly, the mood around here hasn’t seemed this pleasant in more than a month.

“Its hopeful,” Clinton Portis told the assembled media. “Everybody in the locker room is still showing hope. We have a tough opponent coming in this week, and we know they coming in here ready to win. We have to find a way to fight. We’re going to be on prime time television Monday night. We haven’t done good really this season; here is the time to turn it around.” Read more »

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The Cooley Zone On E:60

Posted by Matt Terl on October 21, 2009 – 1:15 pm

In case you missed it (despite my 75,000 word interview with Rachel Nichols on the subject), here’s the E:60 piece on Chris Cooley from last night. I thought it was really well done, as was the USFL 30 For 30 that followed. Good night for ESPN.

http://espn.go.com/videohub/player/embed.swf Read more »

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Wednesday, October 21: Sherm Lewis's Past Players Speak Up

Posted by Matt Terl on October 21, 2009 – 10:03 am

No one knows quite what to expect from new Redskins play-caller Sherman Lewis. He’s been in the building for two weeks, hasn’t called a play for something like five years, and — you may have heard! — was calling bingo numbers not all that long ago.

(Sidenote for everyone who wants to make totally hilarious bingo/playcalling jokes: as I mentioned yesterday on Twitter, only certain numbers can be applied to each letter. You can find a full list here, but suffice it to say that B78 is NOT actually a legit bingo call. For even more about the culture of bingo, may I direct you to Dan Steinberg’s incredibly long — and entertaining — feature on the subject from the Washington City Paper. End sidenote.)

ANYHOW, Rich Campbell — Redskins beat writer for the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg — got in touch with two of Lewis’s former players: ex-Vikings wide receiver (and current ESPN analyst) Cris Carter, and ex-Packers wide receiver (and current Comcast SportsNet analyst) Antonio Freeman.

And the picture they paint of Lewis’s playcalling certainly sound … well, promising, given the Redskins early-season woes. I highly recommend reading the whole article, but here are a couple of notable excerpts: Read more »

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