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Quinn Porter Has Plenty Of Confidence

Posted by Matt Terl on October 7, 2010 – 3:26 pm

The same day that I link to an SBNation article lamenting the decline of interesting characters on the D.C. sports scene, the Redskins sign a running back to the practice squad who was formerly a collegiate cheerleader stuntman and who turns up in the AP Photo vaults riding a bike with kids at Green Bay Packers camp. Does that qualify as irony? I’m never sure anymore.

Anyhow, yes, Quinn Porter was a collegiate stuntman, as Dan Steinberg has excellent detailed. And he was in training camp with the Packers where they ride bikes with kids, a tradition that Vonnie Holliday explained to me this past summer. But that didn’t tell me much about him or how he got here.

He went to school at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, located, he says, “like two seconds from Alabama University.” While there, he played “running back, returner, slot … anywhere.”

He caught on as an undrafted free agent with the Packers and spent the preseason there, carrying the ball 21 times for 77 yards during his three games. “Unfortunately, I got hurt,” he explains. “I took a month off for rehab, and passed my physical at Dallas, passed my physical here this morning, so … I’m here! I’m a Redskin! I’m ready to ball.”

While he’s been rehabbing, Porters says, he’s been champing at the bit to get back into the game. “I’ve been stressing sitting in front of the TV every Sunday and Monday, watching Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football. I’m like, ‘Ah, I played with these guys!’ all day. So being given a chance is truly a blessing and I’m about to take full advantage of it.”

And when he says “full advantage,” that should be taken to indicate a genuinely sky-high confidence level, something that he demonstrates even further when I ask him what running backs his game is similar to. Read more »

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Hunter Smith Returns But Will Probably Not Run Swinging Gate Again [Updated]

Posted by Matt Terl on October 7, 2010 – 2:09 pm

It was seeming likely that this AP Photo of the Redskins clearing out the locker room on January 4 of this year would be the last we’d see of Hunter “the Punter” Smith — and possibly the last the NFL would see of him. Which was both bad and sort of good for the eleven year vet.

“It was great and terrible on a lot of different levels,” Smith said today. “25 years of playing football, since you’re eight years old being on a team at the beginning of the season, it is sort of a disconnected feeling you have. By the same token we had a newborn and it’s great to be with your family and be able to give them that extra time. So that part was great.”

Great or not, Smith was available when the Redskins called and alerted him to what he characterized as “a situation with” punter Josh Bidwell’s hip. And when it became clear that Bidwell would be going onto Injured Reserve today, it was Smith who got the call, and he was rested and ready play again.

“I’m not an old guy,” he said. “I had an injury that I felt was kinda crippling for a few games but getting that rehabbed an all the way better and being a hundred percent, it’s great to be back and get back on the field.”

Not that he’s JUST been resting and changing diapers, though. “I think I actually work harder unsigned,” Smith said. “Because you’re on your own schedule, you’re able to do your own thing. I have a trainer I work with, punt twice a week, work out and run twice a week, and rest in the interim. It’s great. You find a local high school with a good field, go there and get your work done.”

The high point of Smith’s media session, though, came when he was asked about the infamous — and ill-fated — fake field goal that has come to stand for the entire frustrating season last year; specifically, he was asked if he’d suggest to head coach Mike Shanahan that it be added to the gameplan. Read more »

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Ryan Torain's Durability And Other Links

Posted by Matt Terl on October 7, 2010 – 11:44 am

A few of the many things that are worth reading and watching around the Redskins internets today:

Homer McFanboy takes a decidedly cautious-bordering-on-pessimistic look at the potential for Ryan Torain as the starting tailback for the Redskins. The basics of his reasoning:

Which leaves Washington with Torain. Now, before you get overly excited after the 24-year-old’s solid outing against the Eagles (18 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown), please remember that Torain has had health concerns of his own since he came into the NFL.

In 2008, Torain broke his left elbow during training camp and was inactive for the first seven weeks of the season. Once he finally recovered from that, a torn ACL ended his rookie campaign after he saw action in just two games.

The following season Torain was sidelined once again by a knee injury and the Denver Broncos finally cut the cord on the off-injured youngster. The Arizona State product wasn’t heard from again until he arrived in Ashburn as an invitee during minicamp and training camp.

I understand the concern, but you can put me firmly into the “overly excited after the solid outing” camp. Injury risk is part of the game, and head coach Mike Shanahan has a track record for getting the most out of his running backs before they succumb to injury or trade. And just because the depth on the team is unproven doesn’t mean that it’s not promising — I like what I’ve seen from Keiland Williams, and I share Chad Simpson‘s view on his own potential here:

“I always wanted to play for Mike Shanahan,” he told me. “Just knowing all the no-name backs that have done well in his system, I wanted to be one of those no-name backs.”

We shall see. Other links: Read more »

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Redskins Recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month In A Bunch Of Ways

Posted by Matt Terl on October 7, 2010 – 10:10 am

At this Sunday’s game against the Packers, the Redskins — along with Zeta Tau Alpha fraternity and GlaxoSmithKline — will be recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Tanya Snyder, NFL Spokesperson for Breast Cancer awareness, will be helping to distribute 60,000 pink ribbons to fans at FedExField, alongside cheerleaders, volunteers from ZTA, and wives of the Redskins players and coaches.

Sunday is also a Think Pink! game, with the players wearing pink gloves, shoes, do-rags, skullcaps, etc. Much of the pink gear debuted last week at Philly (as you can see in the Brian Murphy photo above) but it will make its FedExField debut this Sunday.

And, of course, Chris & Christy Cooley and Derrick & Emma Dockery, along with the Redskins Community Relations department and the American Cancer Society, hosted the Third Annual All-Star Survivors Luncheon earlier this week, which honors women battling breast cancer. I wrote about it here, Larry Weisman wrote about it here, and Redskins.com TV put together this excellent piece about the event:


And, speaking of the Redskins Wives, cancer benefit events, and Redskins.com TV, let me take this opportunity to make one more reference to the Redskins Wives — or, to more accurately use their official name, the Women of Washington — and their charity basketball game against the Eagles Wives last Saturday. I’ve mentioned the event more than a few times — WAY more than I expected — but I’m bringing it up again here because Redskins.com TV put together a full post-game highlight-and-interviews package that’s worth watching, even if you’ve already watched the CSN video I posted earlier.

There’s more reactions to the game from Redskins players, including a fired-up DeAngelo Hall. There’s more of the pushing-and-shoving, and the ladies inciting the crowd by pointing at the scoreboard while the boos rain down. Even more of post-game coach Mike Williams explaining the fiery D.C.-Philly women’s basketball rivalry. And reactions from the players themselves, including Roxi McNabb and leading scorer Annabelle Williams.

If you watch only one internet video about a charity women’s basketball game this week … well, it was probably the CSN one from a few days ago. But I highly recommend that you step it up to TWO internet videos about a charity women’s basketball game and check this one out as well. Read more »

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