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George Starke Sets Me Straight On The Hogs

Posted by Matt Terl on May 12, 2010 – 2:22 pm

One thing that general manager Bruce Allen has been consistently emphatic about since taking the position here is restoring the connection between the Redskins and the community in the D.C. area. I remember him being particularly vehement on the topic during this year’s Pigskin Club awards banquet, when Pigskin Club president Lucille Hester reminisced about convincing then-Redskins coach George Allen to allow her group of area youth into practice:

“[Bruce Allen]’s father was the first one to allow me to bring children to the Redskins game. Redskins games were always sold out, for years,” she said, referring to former Redskins coach George Allen. “But he allowed me to bring the children to the Redskins games, and Bruce was a little fella that always thought he was the coach.”

I no longer have Allen’s response recorded or transcribed, but I recall it as being a pretty firm statement that tradition of allowing Pigskin Club kids to watch a few practices would be making a return appearance.

During the mini-camps so far, Allen is certainly practicing what he’s preached. At the first mini-camp, there was a seminar for high school coaches. And each day of the second mini-camp was opened to a different invited guest: Allen wasn’t able to make good on his promise to the Pigskin Club until Day 2. Day 3 was the Redskins Kids Club, and Day 1 was the Excel Institute.

And inviting the Excel Institute was Bruce Allen making good on another of his vows: bringing former Redskins into the current Redskins community. The Excel Institute, a free school that offers job training to at -risk youth, is the brainchild of George Starke, a man probably best known as Head Hog.

Starke was the right tackle of the original Hogs, and he seemed to spend most of the day excited: excited to talk, excited to be back at Redskins Park, excited about his school, and excited to set me straight on something.

I was asking Starke what he saw as he watched the offensive line, and I made some reference to the famous Shanahan zone blocking scheme and its required quicker, smaller offensive linemen. “Must be different for you,” I stammered, while Starke looked at me like I had suddenly starting yelping like a dog. “I mean, the quicker, more athletic linemen, as opposed to you guys — not that you weren’t athletic, I mean, but –” (as you’ve probably gathered, this wasn’t my smoothest interview of all time). “Anyhow, this is a different approach, huh?”

Starke continued to stare at me for a few seconds, then shook his head. “You’re wrong,” he said. And then he explained exactly why. Read more »

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Jim Haslett Enjoys Pei-Wei, Blitzing

Posted by Matt Terl on May 12, 2010 – 9:41 am

This is the time of the year that’s generally thought of as the ultimate dead time in the football calendar, but I that’s not stopping the fine folks at NBC-4. They’ve been posting Redskins-related video content like it’s the second week in September. Sure, much of that has been of the Edwin Williams Goes To The Spa variety, but still: it’s there. Today’s entry? Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and NBC-4’s Lindsay Czarniak snack on some takeout Pei Wei and chat about the defense.


One quote from Czarniak’s accompanying web article really stands out, as Haslett discusses the advantages a three-man front can provide: Read more »

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Lorenzo Alexander And Chris Cooley Have Some Thoughts On What To Do With Your Time

Posted by Matt Terl on May 12, 2010 – 8:58 am

Because this is a full-service Redskins blog, I like to occasionally tell you what to do with your Redskins-related time, especially when there’s a good cause at stake or I can personally vouch for the quality of the event. And there are a couple events in the next week that tick both boxes.

First up, chronologically, is Lorenzo Alexander‘s football camp this Sunday at Centreville High School. This is a free football skills camp hosted by Alexander, Derrick Dockery, Mike Williams, Chris WIlson, and Kedric Golston. Last year’s event was educational for the students, and entertaining for the opportunity to watch Alexander play wide receiver and Williams play quarterback.

Next is the Cooley family’s second annual Rally For The Cure, which is scheduled for next Tuesday night at Caliente Mexican restaurant near Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia. Last year, Chris Cooley and a whole bunch of his teammates ran the charity auction and raised over $27,000 to fight breast cancer — a battle that hits Cooley close to home, as his mother Nancy is a breast cancer survivor.

On The Cooley Zone, Nancy Cooley writes:

On May 16, 2010, it will be two years since I learned that I had Stage 3 breast cancer – invasive ductile carcinoma. I actually received the call on a Friday – a week before Chris and Christy’s wedding – on my way to work. It’s hard to even think about the treatments and surgeries that I have gone through during this time. It started out with four months of chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, 30 days of radiation, DIEP Flap reconstruction, and two more surgeries after that to complete the reconstruction. I have undergone around 25 hours of surgeries, spent nine days in the hospital, and have gone to a doctor over one hundred times. I missed 52 days of school last year. I am a high school business teacher. Like I said, it’s hard to think about. Hard to believe that I did all of this, but now, thanks to my amazing doctors, family, friends, and students, I am cancer free and back to enjoying life.

It’ll be a $50 donation to get in, but all profits go to the local chapter of Relay For Life, and — based on last year — it should be a genuinely good time. I’ll be there again.

Read more »

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