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Tuesday, February 23: Meet The Coaches – Keenan McCardell, Wide Receivers

Posted by Matt Terl on February 23, 2010 – 9:13 am

Thinking of former Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan McCardell as “Keenan McCardell, wide receivers coach” is still unusual, to say the least — even for McCardell himself. “Sounds strange,” he says, as Larry Michael introduces their interview on Inside The Redskins, “usually Keenan McCardell, wide receiver, huh?”

But to a certain extent, that’s one of McCardell’s greatest assets as he starts his first season as a position coach: he knows the players, and he understands what he’s asking of them. That’s what Antwaan Randle El — former McCardell teammate, now McCardell protege — told me, and that’s what McCardell himself believes.

“I have relationships with guys,” McCardell says to Michael. “I understand the guys. And they believe in me. They know what type of player I was, what type of person I am. And I think that’s gonna push me so far ahead of guys that would’ve came in here that didn’t know these guys.”

Here’s the video of the interview; the full transcript is after the jump.

On making the switch from Pro Bowl player to rookie coach:
“I think it’s a great transition for me. Because all the experience that I had, I can now give to the young guys. I mean, I think the young guys here need some experience given to them, and just some knowledge of how to be a professional — and how to be a professional wide receiver.”

On how good the Redskins’ young wide receivers can be:
“I always say you can be as good as you wanna be, and it depends on what they want to do. I mean, if they want to get out there and work, I’m willing to get out there and work with ’em, because they both have phenomenal talents and they’ve just gotta take it to the next level. You know, understand that every day you come to work, it’s your job. And the faster they learn that it’s your job, that you wanna be the best at your job, the faster they realize that, the faster they’ll become one of the best at their position.”

On what made him such a success as a player:
“Consistency. I mean, it’s hard to find guys that are very consistent. One of my coaches always said ‘Consistency kills,’ because you don’t wanna be the roller coaster receiver that goes up, goes down, goes up. You always want to be that guy that’s gradually increasing and being consistent.”

On what this coaching job represents to him:
“It’s a humongous opportunity for me, and I wanna be a sponge. I want to be that sponge that learns it all. But first and foremost, I have to know what I’m doing as a receiver coach and let [head coach Mike Shanahan] know that I know what I’m doing as a receivers coach. Because he had that type of confidence in hiring me.”

On coaching Santana Moss, whom he used to line up alongside:
“Actually it’s fun, because me and Santana had a great relationship before, and he asked me a lot of questions when I was here last time. Now that I’m his coach, he can ask me even more, and I’m willing to share like I was then. And I think it’ll help Santana, too. I think his relationship with me … he understands me, he understands the type of player I am, and he understands what I want from him. I don’t expect to have any problems out of him or Randle El.”

On if he needs to tell the veteran receivers to get in on time:
“They know that. He’s the ultimate pro. I’ve got two guys that I know are ultimate pros, that have been around, that understand that you have to be on time, you have to come in and do your workouts, you have to come in and be a part of the family. Because the faster we get everybody bought into our goal, the faster it arrives.”

On if his relationship with the players is a benefit to him as a rookie coach:
“I think it is, because I have relationships with guys. I understand the guys. And they believe in me. They know what type of player I was, what type of person I am. And I think that’s gonna push me so far ahead of guys that would’ve came in here that didn’t know these guys.”

On the makeup of the 2010 Redskins coaching staff:
“You get a chance to see it from all angles, and I’m learning. I wanna what the older guys are doing — like [running backs coach Bobby Turner], I wanna know his method of success as a coach. And I wanna know [offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan] … Kyle has a bright future in this league as a coach, and I wanna know How did you get to be that star already. And then you have [head coach Mike Shanahan]. Mike’s been here and has done it, been a winner wherever he’s been, and I wanna know about that also.”

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