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A 91 Year-Old Redskins Fan Enjoys Training Camp

Posted by Matt Terl on August 2, 2010 – 5:29 pm

The woman to the left of DeAngelo Hall in this picture is one Jeanne O’Neill, a 91 year-old woman who has been a Redskins fan since 1947. An email she sent to the Redskins came to the attention of the Community Relations department, who arranged for Ms. O’Neill to have a VIP visit to Redskins Park today.

She watched practice, got a chance to talk to owner Daniel M. Snyder, general manager Bruce Allen, and an assortment of players including Hall, Santana Moss, and Chris Cooley.

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Colt Brennan Released

Posted by Matt Terl on August 2, 2010 – 2:42 pm

In the wake of the trade for quarterback John Beck, the Redskins have released third-year pro Colt Brennan.

Brennan was a fan-favorite and a blog favorite, and the temptation to do a full-on Fred Smoot-level retrospective post was strong. (Pineapples! The trainers doing Jazzercise!) But what seemed most apt at this point was this interview that Tanner Cooley conducted last preseason, just under a year ago.

Brennan was coming off a bad game in which he threw a costly interception, part of a preseason that was not living up to what he believed he could do. The post-game interview with the younger Cooley is much less guarded than most such interviews, where the interviewer is NOT a friend (and sorta peer) of the interviewee, and Brennan’s quotes from that night (as transcribed by Dan Steinberg) seem appropriate. They’re below the video, after the jump.

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Redskins Acquire John Beck From The Ravens

Posted by Matt Terl on August 2, 2010 – 1:08 pm

The Redskins acquired quarterback John Beck from the Ravens today in exchange for cornerback Doug Dutch. Beck was the 40th overall pick in the 2007 draft, to the Miami Dolphins. Beck had just led BYU to a 10-2 record and a bowl game win, and ESPN’s draft-day analysts were pretty enthused about him. Now he seems likely to compete with Colt Brennan and Richard Bartell for the third QB slot on the Redskins. I wonder if he and Chris Wilson will discuss their previous meeting, pictured above.

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Another Albert Haynesworth Q&A

Posted by Matt Terl on August 2, 2010 – 12:37 pm

Another photo category to add to the DC Sports Bog’s collection of Albert Haynesworth practice galleries: Haynesworth Actually Watching Practice.

Haynesworth was only able to complete a small portion of today’s attempt at the conditioning test before he was stopped by knee irritation. So he spent a chunk of time by the defensive linemen during their drills today, often holding his helmet and observing his (ostensible) position group working out.

Well, you’re no doubt asking, how many questions did head coach Mike Shanahan field about this latest development?

The glib answer is “a lot.” The accurate answer is “eight, by my count.” The actual answers are below. Read more »

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Joe Theismann On Huddling, Holding, And Colt

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

As special teams practiced on the main field yesterday, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur gathered the Redskins QBs around them in a huddle on the side field. You can see this huddle above; the quarterbacks are, from left to right, Richard Bartell, Colt Brennan, Rex Grossman, Donovan McNabb, and … Joe Theismann?

Theismann certainly was a great Redskins QB, but he hasn’t thrown a pass (for the Redskins or anyone else) since 1985, when a tackle by Lawrence Taylor ended his career. So what was he doing in that huddle?

“I was just listening to Kyle explain some formations and some calls to his quarterbacks and make sure that they understand what they’re looking for,” Theismann told me today. “One of the most important things in sports is communication, and the offensive coordinator and the quarterbacks basically need to see the same thing, but from different angles. I’m lucky enough to sorta be a fly on the wall and listen to a little bit of what the conversation’s all about.”

Theismann has spent years as a broadcaster and has had observed his share of practices, of course, but it seemed like there might be something special about getting to rejoin the QB group that he was once — until 25 years ago — a part of.

“It’s neat,” Theismann acknowledged. “What was fun is when I knelt down they didn’t tell me to leave. That’s the nice part.”

(It appears, in the picture above, that Kyle Shanahan is actually writing up plays in the dirt, sandlot style, but Theismann says that’s not the case. “They weren’t in the dirt,” he said, by way of clarification, “they were actually on the schedule. I’m impressed with his knowledge and I’m impressed with his decisiveness. He knows what he wants, and I think that’s so vitally important. You have to know what you want as a coach in the NFL.”)

But that wasn’t the only Theismann-y thing that happened yesterday.

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Devin Thomas Learns Balance From Chad Ochocinco

Posted by Matt Terl on August 2, 2010 – 7:55 am

It was kind of a weird offseason for Devin Thomas, if your definition of “weird” includes appearing in a Fantasia video and/or modeling a set of Elmo pajamas in a bathroom. (Then again, Thomas is also the guy who occasionally answers fan letters in person, so maybe this is just a normal few weeks for him. Who knows.)

But Thomas’s offseason concluded at Donovan McNabb‘s Hell Week in Arizona (which Thomas says allowed them to “really build that trust, that friendship”), an event that’s as team-centric as it gets, and he’s coming off two straight impressive days in practice, including a long touchdown catch in heavy coverage during yesterday’s morning session.

And don’t just take my word for it — here’s head coach Mike Shanahan yesterday: “He’s had a couple good days in a row, and he’s made some big plays, and that is what we are trying to see.” Training camp is still young, and — as far as anyone knows — Thomas remains behind veterans Joey Galloway and Roydell Williams on the depth chart, but so far it’s looking promising for the third-year wideout.

So I’m starting to believe Thomas when he says that all of his offseason extracurriculars were secondary to football.

“My mentality’s been football 24/7 anyway,” Thomas told me, when I asked if his offseason had distracted him. “I mean, I had opportunities to do a little modeling stuff aside from football or aside from working out and that’s what I did. And then when it was time to focus up and really just be all football, I did that by being in Miami training with Ochocinco and coming to Arizona and training with McNabb for a week. So, you know, it was not a problem at all.”

Yep. Nothing like training with Chad Ochocinco — noted reality TV star, founder of his own OCNN news network, and ANOTHER guy who has been known to answer fan letters in person — to make an offseason sound less weird.
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