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Natalie Randolph Visits Redskins Practice

Posted by Matt Terl on August 5, 2010 – 3:52 pm

Natalie Randolph is the head coach of the football team at Coolidge High School in D.C. She’s believed to be one of just two women nationwide to hold that position at any level, and her team hasn’t even started their season yet. So Randolph was at Redskins Park today — just another high school coach visiting practice, watching how the pros do it with an eye toward taking some techniques back to the high schools.

“I can take away the way to run the attitude, the focus of the players,” Randolph said, after watching the full day’s work. “You know, I’ve been telling my kids ‘You gotta focus. You gotta go from one thing to the other,’ and that’s what you know, and that’s what I see here and it’s pretty easy to do. You know, they have a choice, but I’m gonna provide the structure you either choose to fall in or fall out-that’s my attitude.”

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Carlos Rogers Keeps Practice Fight-Free

Posted by Matt Terl on August 5, 2010 – 2:30 pm

Carlos Rogers and Devin Thomas didn’t fight today. In itself, that’s not particularly significant: they don’t fight most days, after all. Today, though, they came close. I didn’t see exactly how it went down, but here’s the impressionistic version: Thomas was blocking downfield; he hit Rogers, who went down; Rogers came up talking; they walked away.

Afterward, they both minimized the incident. Here’s Rogers, minimizing: “Devin hit me in my back and I was like, ‘Come on, man!’ I was about to get serious, but it’s practice. It happens. That’s all it was. He says he just hit me from the side, so I’m gonna let him pass on that. It was within the play. It ain’t serious.”

And here’s Thomas, minimizing while still getting in a little jab: “I tried to come down and get him, he stopped, kinda caught his shoulder. You know, he thought I got big on him. I’m about 239 230, now, so I kinda ran him over. And he was mad. You know, he was upset that he hit the ground, you know big DB’s –they’re pretty boys, they don’t like to touch the ground.”

But the whole incident reminded me that this has been a largely fight-free training camp, and some people believe that’s a bad thing.

Fights show SPIRIT, the thinking goes, guys with FIRE fight! If accurate, that would be a bad sign for these Redskins. So I asked around a bit to see where guys weighed in.

“I’ve been a part of both,” DeAngelo Hall said. “I’ve been part of fight training camps and non-fight training camps, and, I mean, we’ve won both ways and lost both ways. I don’t really bother with it, I don’t think.”

“I gotta be honest with you,” defensive lineman Adam Carriker told me, “if you’re fighting in practice, you’re probably more likely to fight in a game. I think it’s more about self-control and discipline, so I would side more on that.”

Rookie tackle Trent Williams sounded like he could’ve gone either way, despite how unequivocal this appears in black-and-white: “It brings out everybody’s competitive juices,” Williams said, “but then again, you know, health is important and we’re gonna need each other. We don’t need to be beating up on each other.”

Basically, there was tremendous uniformity among all the players that fighting is just a dumb, pointless exercise … and, it turned out, there was a reason for that uniformity: head coach Mike Shanahan. Read more »

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A Long Drive For A New Season Ticket Holder

Posted by Matt Terl on August 5, 2010 – 8:59 am

Like many people, Kyle Spitzer (left, in the Cooley jersey) drove with his father (Fred, right) and son to take in a day a Redskins Training Camp yesterday. Unlike most, the Spitzers came from Rhode Island, a drive that took just a little bit of time. “Seven hours,” Kyle said. “We came in last night, we’re gonna stay today and tomorrow morning, and then we’ll head off after practice tomorrow back to Rhode Island.”

Kyle grew up in New Jersey and still talks with a bit of a Jersey accent, but he’s been a Redskins fan all his life. “I fell in love with John Riggins when I was a little boy and I’ve been rooting for ’em ever since,” he said. “My basement is an absolute shrine to the Redskins. I’ve got the yard lines, jerseys with my kids names on ’em painted on the walls, everything. I’m a little bit of a nut, so fifteen years ago I put my name up for season tickets. I got the call back in February, and my wife said ‘Go ahead, you paid your dues,’ so I did it.”

He hopes to go to three games this year — flying, not making the seven-hour drive, much to the relief of his young son — and will be giving the remaining tickets to friends in the area.

Spitzer’s trip to training camp was going to be an experience no matter what, what with the seven-hour drive and all, but it was made even better when the team offered his family a chance to sit in on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s fan forum yesterday afternoon. These events give Goodell — alongside John Madden — a chance to talk directly to (and hear directly from) the fans, and Spitzer was told that he would have a chance to ask the commish a question.

“I’ll come up with one,” he told me, “but I haven’t yet. I was just saying I wanted to meet him, so it’s a great opportunity.”

Not only did Spitzer come up with a question, he was the first one to talk to the Commissioner when the event rolled around.
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