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Shanahan On Haynesworth: "We're Going To Get Him In Shape"

Posted by Matt Terl on July 29, 2010 – 6:52 pm

Despite the optimistic words from defensive coordinator Jim Haslett yesterday, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth wasn’t at practice today, nor was he on the sidelines while the team was working. Instead he was in the facility, running on a treadmill alongside head strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright. But he did emerge afterward — as you can see in the AP photo above — and work with Haslett, defensive line coach Jacob Burney, and some upside-down trashcans on some of the defensive scheme and terminology.

That was the extent of his work, but not the extent of the discussion around him. Haynesworth was one of the main topics of head coach Mike Shanahan’s post-practice press conference, and it started out with just about the simplest possible declaration:

“Albert did not pass his conditioning test.”

Which went a long way toward clearing up the conflicting and confusing stories that were running around the perimeter of the practice field today. Shahanan continued, “Obviously, you’d like him to be in the type of shape that most of our players are in. The bottom line is that we’re going to get him in shape. If he’s going to be on our football team and he’s going to play at the level we’d like him to play, then he’s got to be in great football shape. Hopefully he’ll get it done tomorrow, but it may take two or three days, it may take a week. I really don’t know. His weight is fine. We’ve just got to get that cardio at a certain level to make sure he doesn’t injure himself.”

And that was all that was said about Albert Haynesworth.

No, just kidding. There was plenty more. Here, look, from the team’s transcript:
Read more »

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Daniel Snyder On ESPN980: Optimism, Excitement, And 3D Videoboards

Posted by Matt Terl on July 29, 2010 – 6:14 pm

Despite the headline of this post, the more astute among you will realize that none of the people in the photo above is Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder. No, that’s the Larries, Weisman and Michael (along with sound engineer Ed Cole), who are bringing you the sounds of Redskins training camp from 4-7 on ESPN980.

But, while the first practice of training camp was going on today, Snyder did appear as a guest on the show. I was slogging around in the mud outside, tweeting about practice and taking pictures of Malcolm Kelly, but the ever-reliable Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog not only listening but (as is his wont) transcribing the conversation.

Some choice excerpts: Read more »

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Be Sure To Follow Training Camp On Twitter

Posted by Matt Terl on July 29, 2010 – 4:27 pm

Muggy, muggy air? Wet fields? Screaming fans? Yep, training camp is underway in Ashburn. I’ll be tweeting updates throughout the opening afternoon practice session, so follow me over and Twitter.

(And, yes, that’s Malcolm Kelly on the field, doing drills with his fellow WRs. No Albert Haynesworth, though, and no Trent Williams yet.)

Finally, the season — or the pre-preseason, at least — is really here.
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Mike Shanahan And Veteran Players: Two Case Studies

Posted by Matt Terl on July 29, 2010 – 8:40 am

The story has run under a few different guises — “Redskins Are Old,” for example, or “Redskins Don’t Have Very Many Notable Under-25 Players,” or “Redskins Fielding 2005 Fantasy All-Stars” — but stripped of snark, the essential message is clear: the Redskins have a lot of veterans on the roster as training camp opens today, many of them at the skill positions.

Guys who might fit that description would include running backs Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, and Willie Parker; wide receivers Joey Galloway, Bobby Wade and maybe even Santana Moss; and quarterback Donovan McNabb. All of these guys are somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 years old or older; all have had accomplished NFL careers, and — it’s widely assumed — all are expected to contribute to the roster this year. I’m not so sure that assumption is inherently correct, but more on that later.
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The Coaches Meet The Media For Lunch

Posted by Matt Terl on July 28, 2010 – 3:12 pm

Training Camp opens tomorrow, of course — Print your invitation! Bring school supplies! –but for the media, the 2010 season pretty much started today, with a luncheon that provided an opportunity to chat with the assistant coaches and have a Q&A with head coach Mike Shanahan.

You can see the biggest news from Shanahan’s session over on; here are some pictures of the day and quotes from some of the coaches: Read more »

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Donovan McNabb 'Looking Forward To Great Things Happening'

Posted by Matt Terl on July 27, 2010 – 3:34 pm

New Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabblike new Redskins linebacker Chris Draft — is a published author. And, also like Draft, McNabb’s writing focuses on the importance of family and fatherhood. Unlike Draft, though, McNabb has not written a children’s book. Instead he’s contributed to “NFL Dads Dedicated To Daughters,” joining more than 70 past and present NFL players to write about what it means to be father to a daughter and how to prevent violence to women.

At a signing today at a Borders Books in D.C., McNabb explained more about the concept behind the book. “We’re trying to express more about the love of athletes for their families, and being able to sacrifice a lot of different things for them giving us the opportunity to play the sport and play at a high level. But we also spend time with our families to make sure that they’re having a wonderful day and make life a little easier for them.”

McNabb has four young children at home, and someone jokingly suggested that maybe the grind of training camp (starting Thursday! Print out your invitation and bring school supplies to donate!) would be easier than dealing with the kids at home. Given the tenor of the event, McNabb quickly pointed out the grim flipside to the training camp experience.

“It’s easy when you’re spending a lot of time with them and they see you every day,” McNabb said, “but when you’ve been gone for weeks or a month or so and then you come home, you know sometimes your baby’s being so young, they don’t recognize you, they haven’t heard your voice in a while and it takes some time to get back in the swing of things.”

And he used the rest of that thought, about the importance of keeping his family happy, as a conversational pivot to talk about keeping “the Redskins family” happy.

Here’s what he had to say on that score: Read more »

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Joe Theismann Teaches Autograph Theory And Development 101

Posted by Matt Terl on July 27, 2010 – 11:16 am

About a year ago, people started asking for my autograph. Not a lot of people, and not (for the most part) random people on the street. But when I would walk around Redskins Training Camp 2009, fans would ask me to sign things.

I’ve never been much of an autograph collector myself, although I do remember waiting in the parking lot outside of RFK after a game against the Falcons back in 1991 and having a great time getting players to sign my seat cushion. So I understand where people are coming from when they ask; I’d mumble something awkward and sign self-consciously and continue on.

Of all the strange things that have happened to me since I started this job, that was the strangest. Still is, every time it happens.

But here’s something that managed to make it even stranger: one person who noticed my uncertainty when signing autographs was Joe Theismann, and — when I ran into him at Redskins Park the day after one of last year’s preseason games — he took it upon himself to instruct me in the proper thinking behind signing an autograph. Read more »

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Phillip Daniels, Message Board Dude

Posted by Matt Terl on July 27, 2010 – 9:11 am

Everyone’s got their own way of getting ready for training camp. Some people go on one last vacation. Some hold three charity events in rapid succession. Others buy gifts for their wives and families. Redskins defensive lineman Phillip Daniels spends a couple hours on the official team message board answering fan questions. To each their own.

Still, when a random faceless message board dude tells you that Carlos Rogers is primed for a big season, you can take or leave it as you see fit. When that message board dude has been sharing a practice field with Rogers for all the offseason workouts, the words take on a little more weight.

So here are a few of the questions and answers; you can see the rest in the thread on ExtremeSkins. (All typos, misspellings, and funny grammatical things are [sic] except for where I used [ticked] to protect my more sensitive readers from a marginally more offensive word choice.)

Who has benefitted the most from the switch to the 3-4 and/or the new-look offense?

Daniels: I would have to say our outside backers. They will get more opportunities to rush. With Andre and Orakpo on the outsides that is a good thing. [big grinning smiley face emoticon]

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Redskins On Bicycles

Posted by Matt Terl on July 26, 2010 – 1:34 pm

For the most part, I was pretty happy with my write-up of Lorenzo Alexander and Kedric Golston‘s charity bike event. It did what it needed to do and got out. And that was fine. What I wasn’t happy with, though, were the pictures — or, more accurately, the lack of pictures. Thanks to some technical difficulties, I left the event mostly photo-less and had to reuse the older shot of Alexander and Golston in their bike helmets.

Well, Jennifer Weiss was taking pictures at the event, and she came through with a whole batch of photos that she’s kindly let me use. I’ve updated the original post to show Alexander and his riding partners, and here are some more photos of Redskins (and some local media types) on bicycles. (And Edwin Williams not on a bike.)

Read more »

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Madden 11 Will Play 'Hail To The Redskins'

Posted by Matt Terl on July 26, 2010 – 11:59 am

EA Sports continues their annual tradition of slowly rolling out information about the latest incarnation of their insanely-popular Madden Football series, and today’s news is the most exciting non-gameplay-related tidbit I’ve heard in years:

As part of the new commitment to authenticity (see: the upgraded videoboards at FedExField in the above screenshot), the game will now include team fight songs. And one of those team fight songs — the best of them, in my completely biased opinion — is “Hail To The Redskins.”

The rest of the soundtrack is comprised of “stadium favorites,” which has some upside (I could listen to “Welcome To The Jungle” on more or less infinite replay and be happy), but also a very basic downside. If you’re a season ticket holder, you attend ten games a season, and you hear those stadium favorites over and over and over again. Now I’ll have “Kernkraft 400” and “We Will Rock You” following me home as well (and I’d really rather not test my theory about how much I like “Welcome To The Jungle” either).

That said, there’s no such thing as hearing “Hail To The Redskins” too many times — at the stadium OR in the videogame. (But especially at the stadium.)

Full Madden 11 tracklist is after the jump. Read more »

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