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Lorenzo Alexander Makes Another ‘Explosion’ Of A Tackle

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2010 – 3:42 pm

Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan is not known for showering effusive praise on players, at least not to the media, but every so often he does dole out some praise. In his press conference today, he offered a glowing review of Clinton Portis — “exceptional” was one of the words used. There were also compliments for Ryan Torain, Brandon Banks, and Albert Haynesworth.

But the compliment that jumped out at me most came in the description of Lorenzo Alexander‘s tackle on the Eagles’ first kickoff return. “He seems to do this each week,” Shanahan said, “regardless if they double-team him or not. But that was one of the best hits I’ve been around since I’ve been in the NFL. I mean, that was an explosion on the sidelines. So that was very, very special.”

And here’s how Alexander himself described the same hit in last night’s postgame locker room: “It’s insane, you know, cause when you hit somebody that hard, you don’t even feel it. You feel like you just ran through ’em. It was a great play — great kick by Gano and the guys filtering back into me, and I was able to make a play. Great call by [special teams coach Danny Smith] — all week he said they weren’t gonna have anybody to block me; I was free on that play just from our scheme, and any time they let me free to the ball something bad’s gonna happen to the returner.”

I don’t think you’d find anyone who would disagree with either of those assessments after watching this one or two — or twenty — times.

Or maybe you prefer this angle?

And here, because why not, is one of Alexander’s similar hits from LAST year: Read more »

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Brandon Banks Can Take A Hit

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2010 – 2:37 pm

When Brandon Banks arrived at Redskins Park as a tryout guy, the first thing I noticed about him was his size. The guy is as small as anyone I’ve seen on a football field, and it seemed improbable (at best) that he could stand up to the intensity and hitting of a professional ballgame.

Sure, he’d done it in college at Kansas State — 123 receptions for 1,754 yards and 10 touchdowns in 24 games, plus a whole bunch of yardage and accolades as a return guy. And, sure, similarly diminutive ex-Kansas State Wildcat Darren Sproles had acquitted himself well in the NFL. And, yes, Banks showed flashes of dazzling speed and ability during the preseason.

But still: 5-foot-7, 155 pounds, with an entire eleven man special teams unit bearing down on you … it still just didn’t seem quite fair.

My doubts persisted right up until the first Eagles punt last night, which Banks took back 53 yards to get the Redskins started very much on the right foot. “All I had to do was run,” Banks said, crediting his blockers and special teams coach Danny Smith with setting up the play.
Read more »

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Carlos Rogers Is Frustrated With His Hands

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2010 – 11:47 am

It’s probably a sign that your cornerbacks had a pretty good day when AP Photo has no pictures of them, and only three pictures total of the opposing team’s top two wideouts. And Carlos Rogers and DeAngelo Hall had a very good day indeed, combining to hold DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin to four catches for 34 yards. (On the other hand, that’s why this post is headlined with a picture of Rogers watching his wife play in a charity basketball game on Saturday.)

But it would be a sign of an even better game for the defensive backs if there was a sequence of pictures of Rogers pulling down an interception on the first play of the Eagles’ final drive, then streaking down the field and sliding to clinch the win and avoid getting Nate Clements-ed. Those pictures don’t exist, though, because that fourth-quarter throw bounced off of Rogers’ hands and the Eagles were able to keep driving right down to the final gun.

This is not the first time that Rogers has had an interception bounce off his hands. It’s probably not the tenth. This has become part of the general perception of Rogers’ game, and Rogers, for one, is getting sick of it.

“It’s frustrating, man,” Rogers said in the locker room yesterday. “I was in front sorta jamming [Jackson], actually about to run down the field, and I see the ball. I just tried to stick my hands out and get it, but, you know.”
Read more »

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Charles Barkley Is A Man Of His Word [Updated]

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2010 – 11:15 am

Well, I didn’t see Charles Barkley making good on his promise to wear a Redskins Donovan McNabb jersey to the Linc, but someone who goes by the Twitter handle of @bxbomber12 apparently did. Hat tip to him, to the Big Lead, and to @ChadDukes for spotting it. Click the picture to see a larger version at The Big Lead, and see a couple more pics over at the DC Sports Bog.

Confused by this picture? Read here and here.

And here’s how Barkley predicted the game would go, which looks fairly prescient now:

“It’s called karma. It’s called karma, Howard. You know, Donovan has never been treated good and it’s just karma. It’s just, like, the football gods are gonna rise up — they’re gonna RISE up — and this is gonna get the Redskins season started.”

UPDATE: In fact, as I read over the exchange between Barkley and Philly talk radio host Howard Eskin, I notice at least two other instances of prescience and/or retrospective irony. Check these out: Read more »

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