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Coach Mike Shanahan Discusses Trent Williams On Redskins Nation

Posted by Matt Terl on April 22, 2010 – 10:52 pm


Head coach Mike Shanahan stopped by the studio at Redskins Park to discuss first-round draft pick Trent Williams with Larry Michael for a special draft-night edition of Redskins Nation. And Williams, he said, was exactly the guy the team had in mind.

“We were hoping that he would be there,” Shanahan said. “He’s a guy that really fits in great with our zone blocking scheme ’cause he’s got that speed, he’s got that quickness. He’s played left, he’s played right, he’s actually played center as well. So we feel like he’s got a lot of versatility, and hopefully he can come in and help us right away. [Oklahoma head coach] Bob Stoops said he’s one of the best athletes he’s ever been around. You get a guy 6-5, 315 pounds, and runs a 4.8 40, there’s not too many guys like that with that type of experience.”

And Shanahan also finally gave Jeremy Jarmon the recognition he was hoping to receive on draft night, or at least a passable facsimile thereof.

Read more »

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A Cowboys Town Produces Redskins Players

Posted by Matt Terl on April 22, 2010 – 9:05 pm

Historical Marker at site of old Longview High SchoolAs you probably gathered from the last post, I’ve made the questionable decision of getting my televised draft coverage from ESPN. As a result, I know that the theme to this draft is Alicia Keys singing IN NOOOO YAWKKKK, over and over again. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, count yourself lucky — or, if you must, see the ESPN promo after the jump.)

It’s is a good song about a city, yes. But it’s not the one that suits the Redskins these days.

After the selection of Trent Williams, offensive tackle out of Oklahoma, the new Redskins geographically-oriented song has to be Green Day’s 1994 breakthrough hit Longview. Not because of the slackertastic lyrics or the fact that it mainstreamed that SoCal pop-punk sound, but because that’s the name of the little Texas town that Williams hails from. And Redskins wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, and Redskins linebacker Robert Henson.

This is, in other words, the third consecutive year in which the Redskins have selected a player from Longview High in the NFL Draft. The odds against this are astronomical, to say the least.

Kelly and Williams are particularly tight, though, a fact that Gary Fitzgerald explored on the Redskins.com mothership a little over a week ago. “We grew up together,” Kelly told Fitzgerald. “He’s like my little brother.”

When Williams made his pre-draft visit to the Redskins he stuck around for awhile, spending a couple of days with Kelly. And Kelly’s been something of a mentor to Williams as well as a friend. “He gave me advice all through college,” Williams said in a post-draft conference call “When he left, his first year that he got [to the Redskins], he always stayed filling me in with advice. And I was just like a sponge, soaking everything up.”

Kelly also watched Williams’s NFL Combine performance on TV — and no one else’s. “He’s a big dude,” Kelly told me, “but he’s athletic. A big guy that can run that fast, side-to-side move that fast, he doesn’t let a lot of stuff get by him. You don’t see athletic offensive tackles like that.”

Longview is in the heart of Dallas Cowboys country, but with this latest pick, Williams says, they “might have to hang a couple of Redskins flags across the city of Longview.”

And this might not be the end of it, Williams joked. “Well, you know we got a running back comin’ outta Texas,” he said. “I don’t think the Redskins have a running back need right now, but who knows?”

After the jump, some of Trent Williams’s non-Longview-related quotes, and that annoying ESPN promo. Read more »

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Trent Williams: 'A Gamble On Greatness'

Posted by Matt Terl on April 22, 2010 – 8:23 pm

“With the fourth pick in the NFL Draft,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “the Washington Redskins select Trent ‘Silverback’ Williams, offensive tackle from Oklahoma.”

I’m still not sure what the “Silverback” refers to — the Commissioner doesn’t usually announce picks by way of chummy nicknames — and Williams didn’t do much to explain when ESPN’s Suzy Kolber asked him. “It’s kind of a little joke between me and him,” he said, unhelpfully, but I suppose it’s a good sign that the Redskins first-round pick has inside jokes with the NFL Commissioner.

The ESPN broadcast crew didn’t have any clever nicknames, but they were largely effusive in their praise.

Chris Berman led the charge, comparing Williams right off the bat to the last great tackle the Redskins selected. “As the Redskins drafted Chris Samuels with the third overall pick ten years ago in 2000, and he was great for them,” Berman said, “maybe they’re hoping for similar things from this young man.”

And then Mel Kiper started talking, and — as is his way — he didn’t stop for almost a full minute. And Mel can pack a lot of words into a minute. The short version of what he said? It’s the headline of this post: Williams has a ton of upside and represents a “gamble on greatness.”

Based on what Williams said that Coach Shanahan asked him when he called with the pick, it sounds like the Coach knows that as well, and is ready for it. “Coach Shanahan called,” Williams told Kolber, “and he just wanted to know if I was committed to being great, and I assured him that I was, a hundred percent.”

A hundred percent? If that’s true, I’ll gamble on those odds any day.

If you want the longer version of what Mel said — along with Jon Gruden — here you go:

Read more »

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It's Trent Williams At 4

Posted by Matt Terl on April 22, 2010 – 7:38 pm

With the fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Redskins select Trent Williams, OT out of Oklahoma. Thank goodness. Read more »

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Getting Things Ready For The Draft

Posted by Matt Terl on April 22, 2010 – 5:44 pm

Just a few pictures of what’s going on around Redskins Park as everyone and everything gets into place for this evening’s excitement. Most of the primary players in the drama — the GM, the coach — are hidden from even my prying eyes as they get ready for the first round, which is most definitely a good thing.

But ESPN Radio’s Al Galdi? He is right out in the open, poised and ready for action.

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To Pass The Time Until The Draft Finally Gets Here

Posted by Matt Terl on April 22, 2010 – 3:44 pm

While I like the idea of holding the NFL Draft on a Thursday night (and suspect that I’d like it even more if I were just going to be watching from home rather than work), I’m not digging the long day running up to it. At this point, I’ve heard just about every possible permutation of the first four picks and have — for at least a minute — believed every single one of them.

But if you’re going to be killing time on Draft Day, you should be killing it in a draft-y way. So I recommend reviewing the history of the televised draft. ESPN (which kindly provided the image above, from the 1981 selection show) has worked up a video featuring some highlights of their years covering the draft, and Jenny Vrentas at the New Jersey Star-Ledger has done the written-word version of that history.

An excerpt: Read more »

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Draft Day Does Not Bring Transparency To Redskins Plans

Posted by Matt Terl on April 22, 2010 – 10:42 am

You would think, given that the start of the NFL Draft is a scant eight hours away, that the picture would be resolving. That things would be settling into place, the smokescreens of the last weeks and months would be lifting, and we would have a much, much clearer idea of who is being selected.

This would not be correct. Here, for example, is Mike Lombardi of National Football Post, writing this morning:

Many people in the NFL believe the draft will start with Washington at the No. 4 pick. No one really has a feel for what the ‘Skins will do, and they can head in a number of different directions. But I keep hearing offensive tackle is not one of the positions they’ll pick – no smoke screen. I have a hunch, and it’s only a hunch, that it might be safety Eric Berry.

Or Peter King, in the introduction to his final mock draft yesterday (which he considers “the mock draft of record,” for whatever that’s worth), noting that “Washington GM Bruce Allen and coach Mike Shanahan have always been pros at disguising their draft intentions,” and:

Washington has a crying need for a tackle, its biggest need by far. There are three or four very good ones projected as top picks. Washington has the fourth pick in the first round, its only pick in the top 100. Shanahan twice shocked the world with Denver, picking John Mobley (1996) and Jay Cutler (2006) when no one had a clue he cared about either. His son, new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, has been talking about how swell he thinks his line is, particularly tackles Stephen Heyer and Artis Hicks. Allen and Mike Shanahan have said they might take a quarterback at number four.

So here’s where things stand right now, if you read the internet: the Redskins are either taking an offensive tackle, taking a safety, taking a quarterback, trading up to take a quarterback, — and whatever they do, they’re controlling the entire draft. Awesome.

Some of the reports: Read more »

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