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Kareem Moore Is A Skip Bayless Fan

Posted by Matt Terl on July 31, 2010 – 3:18 pm

When Stephen A. Smith took a bit of a shot at the Redskins on Twitter the other day, saying they’d finish 8-8, Kareem Moore tweeted a response. Due to the inherent limitations of Twitter — especially since Moore had to include a quote from the notoriously verbose Smith — Moore’s response was relatively terse, just the emphatic-looking “WOWWWWWW.” So I caught up with the safety to see if he could expand on that a little bit.

“You just wanna go out there and prove everybody wrong, man,” Moore said. “You know, 8 and 8?!? And just wanted to do it so all the fans could see it, ’cause I don’t know if they follow him or not.”

I mentioned that I did not, which is when Moore — a likeable, funny guy — offered up an opinion that shocked me. Read more »

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Chris Cooley Thinks That Chris Cooley Had A Disappointing Morning Practice

Posted by Matt Terl on July 31, 2010 – 2:58 pm

There is a lot of hope and optimism that comes with training camp. All the new schemes are going to work, the new quarterback is going to be worlds better than the last guy, the new coach is going to restore the franchise, the miseries of the past are gone and done. That’s the way the football world looks in July, and that’s a big part of why football is so popular.

That optimistic tone also carries over from the macro level to the micro level. When I’m tweeting from practice, I’m more likely to write “Great catch by Devin Thomas over the middle” than “I wonder if someone should’ve been in better position to defend that.” It’s just part of that whole optimistic training camp THING.

And at some point during training camp, just about everybody gets tired of this and starts looking for a healthy dose of negativity.

Chris Cooley is here to oblige the folks who are already there. Speaking to the media after practice today, Cooley claimed to be his own toughest critic — and then proceeded to prove it.

“I expect a ton out of myself,” Cooley said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself. I honestly believe that I’m my biggest critic. I will go in there right now and watch that whole practice. I’m really not happy with the way I practiced today. There’s always stuff that I feel like I could do better. But I think this offense is going to give me every opportunity to make big plays and most importantly just to help our team.”

Ahhhhh. Bracingly critical. But even Cooley couldn’t dial down the training camp optimism completely: Read more »

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Bring School Supplies To Training Camp

Posted by Matt Terl on July 31, 2010 – 2:40 pm

A quick reminder for those coming to the open practices at training camp, via the Redskins Charitable Foundation:


The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation in partnership with World Vision – National Capital Area, is holding a “Stuff a Backpack” School Supply Drive from now until Saturday, August 7 to collect new school supplies to help families in need get their children ready to start the school year.

To participate, review the list of suggested school supplies below and come down to Redskins Park on the Training Camp open practice days between July 29th and August 7th to donate your items. Read more »

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Play Of The Morning Practice: Darrel Young's Block

Posted by Matt Terl on July 31, 2010 – 12:32 pm

There were a few nice plays in an intense morning practice session — some good throws, especially by Donovan McNabb; a less-good McNabb pass that was intercepted by DeAngelo Hall and taken back for six; a solid performance kicking FGs by Graham Gano — but the play of the day for me was made by a guy who didn’t even have the ball in his hands.

Darrel Young was in training camp with the Redskins last year as a linebacker, but he’s now been switched back to his college position of running back. (“Right now I’m playing basically fullback,” he says, “but starting next week I’ll be playing a little running back just from the pass protect game, kinda like a little Leonard Weaver style.”)

On the play in question, he was working as the blocking fullback, coming to the right side of the second-string line next to Stephon Heyer and guard Chad Rinehart. As the ball carrier made his cut, Young locked in on cornerback Kevin Barnes coming in to stop the run, and flat-out leveled him. “I just hit him ’cause he showed up,” Young told me after practice. “He’s still not talking to me, probably.”

Despite Young’s matter-of-fact description, the play was notable. “I didn’t see the hit,” Rinehart said, “but I heard it.”

Read more »

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Will Robinson Quickly Gets Demoted

Posted by Matt Terl on July 30, 2010 – 3:43 pm

First-round pick Trent Williams signed today, and was immediately put on the field in the starting left tackle spot. The fans rejoiced, the beat writers exhaled, and Williams got to take the podium and give the press conference describing where he was when he found out. (Sleepless in Northern Virginia, if you’re curious, which is much less exciting that Brian Orakpo’s “eating sushi with my fiance” from last year.) Everyone was thrilled.

Except, maybe, for offensive tackle Will Robinson, who entered training camp yesterday as the team’s starting left tackle. (That’s him protecting Donovan McNabb‘s blindside above.)

This was quite the leap for Robinson, an undrafted free agent who joined the Redskins in October of last year and saw limited action after the entire offensive line was decimated by injury. But his fall was as swift as his rise, and today he summarily lost his spot to the newly-signed rookie.

I caught up with Robinson after practice today and asked him the obvious question: what did the coaches see in just one practice that they demoted him so quickly, and for such an unproven talent? Read more »

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Chris Cooley And Clinton Portis Help A Couple Find Love

Posted by Matt Terl on July 30, 2010 – 2:37 pm

I’ve seen marriage proposals on stadium scoreboards. I’ve seen (and written about) a marriage proposal on the sidelines of FedExField. For sports fans of a certain stripe, there’s nothing more perfect than combining their love of the game with the love of their lives. But it’s very, very rare that two Pro Bowl players get involved in the proposing, and that’s what happened yesterday when training camp opened at Redskins Park.


The happy couple are Don Carter and Elizabeth Ellis, from Lexington, South Carolina. Carter came up with the idea and contacted the Redskins, who in turn contacted Chris Cooley, who happily agreed to be involved.

“Dude, I was actually nervous,” Cooley told me, laughing. Read more »

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The Triumphant Return Of Captain Chaos To Hail!

Posted by Matt Terl on July 30, 2010 – 2:10 pm

Please don’t worry. Training camp coverage will continue almost immediately after this post, but we interrupt it briefly for the latest installment of Hail!, the official comic strip of the Redskins Blog. When Hail! artist/writer Ben Ceccarelli introduced his vision of Captain Chaos, a number of people were really taken with the design of the costume — enough so to start selling unauthorized versions of it on T-shirts. Well, now there’s an official version — two, in fact — and you can get ’em right here.

As always, click on this first panel or on the Read More link to see the rest of the cartoon — and if you find yourself perplexed by the condiments reference, go watch this and try reading the comic again.

I thank those of you who want no deviation from training camp for your patience, and promise that training camp content will return promptly.

Read more »

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Ray Wright Explains The Conditioning Test

Posted by Matt Terl on July 30, 2010 – 1:08 pm

This morning’s practice was much crisper than yesterday’s. The offense — especially the quarterbacks and wideouts — looked markedly better, and a lot fewer passes hit the ground. Trent Williams is in at starting left tackle, and Lorenzo Alexander is doing a predictably remarkable job fitting in at linebacker.

But, hey, who cares about all that football stuff, let’s talk about Albert Haynesworth some more!

Haynesworth again did not pass his conditioning test this morning, so he wasn’t at practice again today. Again he came out with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett for some work on terminology and the like. It was at that point that the media horde assembled — you can get a little sense of it from the picture above — and took pictures of Haynesworth and Haslett chatting. Fans alternated between shouting encouragement and criticism at Haynesworth, and then the defensive tackle walked back into the facility, followed by the media crew. (Which is where this AP photo is actually from.)

But one concrete thing came out of all this: head strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright addressed the media and explained the conditioning test that Haynesworth has been taking in simple terms, explained what Haynesworth has missed, and what he expects from the future.

So let’s lay all the speculation and concern to rest with a quick Q&A format, using Wright’s quotes as our main information source. Read more »

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First Guy On The Field And Last Guy Off At The First Practice

Posted by Matt Terl on July 30, 2010 – 8:10 am

Casey Rabach was the first active player to take the field for yesterday’s afternoon practice — the first practice of the first training camp of the Mike Shanahan era. Seemed pretty significant, like maybe it was a conscious decision that was supposed to, you know, MEAN something. And it did, just not what I thought.

“I got dressed and I saw Chris Samuels walking out,” Rabach said, “and I wanted to see how the fans would receive Chris as a coach now.”

And that reception, he said, was “Awesome.” That is, he joked, “Until Trent starts playing. Then they’ll probably say Chris who?!?”

(That process may start with today’s practice, as first-round pick Trent Williams has signed his deal and should be on the field and in front of the fans this morning.)

The practice itself was an at-times sloppy affair, all first-day jitters on a muddy field, and Rabach acknowledged as much. “Y’know, it was a little ragged,” he said. “It’s that kinda first day thing. Timing’s a little off between the quarterbacks and wide receivers. I think the offensive line showed up pretty well today, though. I really do, I think we did pretty decent. Obviously we were in there wham-bam real quick, but it was good.

A whole bunch of guys lingered back signing autographs, but the absolute last one to come up as far as I could tell was H.B. Blades. And he most definitely stuck around for a reason.
Read more »

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Malcolm Kelly: 'I Went Full Speed'

Posted by Matt Terl on July 29, 2010 – 7:59 pm

It’s been awhile since my last photography course, but I suspect that my picture above — in which both principles are facing completely away from the camera — is not exactly textbook work. And, on the surface, it’s not really even that interesting: it’s wide receiver coach Keenan McCardell throwing a pass to Malcolm Kelly as Kelly comes out of an agility drill. It’s the kind of thing that happens before every practice.

But it seemed a little significant today — and worth using this mediocre photo — because of a number of reports that started circulating pre-practice that Kelly had suffered some kind of hamstring injury at Donovan McNabb’s ‘Hell Week’ and would miss (depending on what you read) one or two or three practices.

Those reports, Kelly told me, were not precisely correct on all the specifics.
Read more »

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