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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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