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Mike Shanahan's Response To Donovan McNabb's Agent

Posted by Matt Terl on December 23, 2010 – 7:23 pm

Donovan McNabb‘s agent Fletcher Smith released a statement today, ostensibly to “clarify some misinterpretations”. For purposes of this statement, clarifying misinterpretations seemed to be pretty much synonymous with “expressing his frustration with Mike and especially Kyle Shanahan”. If that paraphrase doesn’t sum everything up to your satisfaction, you can read the entire statement over at CSNWashington.com.

This evening, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan issued this response:

“As I stated earlier, when I traded for Donovan McNabb I had hoped that he would lead us to the playoffs. No one wanted him to be more successful than me. When the team was 5-8 and mathematically out of the playoffs, I made the decision to evaluate our other two quarterbacks. This was not personal, but strictly professional. The decision was made in the best interest of the Washington Redskins and I stand by my decision. I will attempt to talk to Fletcher Smith directly to clear up every one of his misconceptions.”

I’m sure we’ll have plenty more about this tomorrow. Ah, Christmas Eve at Redskins Park.

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Archbishop Of D.C. Is A Redskins Fan, And Other Links

Posted by Matt Terl on December 23, 2010 – 2:20 pm

I’m not all that up-to-speed on the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and what role they each play at the various holidays, but … well, if you’re a struggling football team, Christmas certainly seems like a good time to have the archbishop of your city — one of the 203 people in the College of Cardinals — on your side. And Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., is on the Redskins’ side

WTOP.com has the story, which they’ve cleverly titled From His Lips To God’s Ears. A quick excerpt:

“There is always hope, an even in a dark moment — even in a moment when we might tend to sigh a little bit deeply — remember there’s hope and there’s always tomorrow, and isn’t that what sports are all about?” Wuerl says.

As for this Sunday’s Redskins tilt in Jacksonville against the Jaguars — who are tied for first place in the AFC South — Wuerl says there’s another option if simply cheering for the team isn’t getting things done.

“At that point, all I can do is offer my prayers,” he says.

Other links I enjoyed today:

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Brandon Banks Admits He’s Not At Full Strength

Posted by Matt Terl on December 23, 2010 – 12:49 pm

The news won’t come as a shock to anyone who has watched Redskins rookie Brandon Banks this year — anyone who saw him return punts during the games prior to his early November surgery and the games since — but Banks admitted today that he’s “not really a hundred percent” since the surgery.

The knee, he says, “kinda bothers me a little bit. I wasn’t myself a couple of games, I couldn’t cut the way I wanted to cut.”

But Banks is an undrafted, undersized rookie, and he knows that nothing is guaranteed to anyone in the NFL. “I needed to finish the season,” Banks says. “I wanted to play every game, I didn’t wanna miss no games. That was one of my goals, so that’s what I did. It’s a part of — I’m a rookie. I need to establish myself in this organization. So I had a point to prove, so I was out there. Ain’t nothing holding me back, so that was good.”

And let’s be honest: Banks at less than a hundred percent still seems faster and more elusive than anyone else the Redskins have had on special teams returns in years. Read more »

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New Practice Squad Offensive Tackle Reads Lincoln's Cooper Union Address

Posted by Matt Terl on December 23, 2010 – 11:48 am

New Redskins practice squad offensive tackle Xavier Fulton is a big guy — he lists at 6-5, 301 — with a full beard and a full head of dreads. The first time I saw him yesterday, he was standing in the Redskins locker room in sweats, wearing a Redskins helmet and fidgeting with the chinstrap. “You try to get the fit as best you can right away,” he told me. “And then from there, it’s just, you got to keep sticking your head in there and wiggle it around and hit something with it for a while. But that one seems a little like it fit perfectly right away.”

Once Fulton talks, you immediately notice his voice. When in college at Illinois, a local sportstalk host named him to his Year’s Best Interviews list and noted that Fulton “sounds like a cross between James Earl Jones and Dennis Haysbert,” which is about right.

And that’s how he wound up doing voiceover work for the media department at Illinois. “When they were doing like an overview of the facilities,” Fulton said, “I was explaining all that. I did the awards ceremony for our senior class, I did all that announcing. And there was, like a bicentennial tribute to President Lincoln and I read one of his speeches.”

That would be the Cooper Union Address, delivered by Lincoln in 1860 and widely regard as one of the great orator’s greatest speeches. (Because the embeddable version of the speech autoplays, you can find it after the jump.)

But Fulton isn’t just a dramatic voice. He’s also a fifth round draft choice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an athletic offensive tackle ( who saw a promising preseason cut short by an ACL injury and has bounced around practice squads ever since.

“I had, you know, six weeks where I was feeling really good,” Fulton said — he had battled a shoulder injury in college. ” And then I tore the ACL. The hardest part is the mental part, getting over the hump where you’re like-you want to get up to go run, but you can’t because you’re on crutches. That’s the hardest part for me.”

The physical rehab is done. Now, Fulton explained, “it’s tying the mental and physical together. It’s like the strength is there. The strength, flexibility, all that is back, it’s just trusting myself again to take that step full speed, take that, move as fast as I could.”

He won’t see the active roster this year, but Fulton’s an interesting project to keep an eye on as the Redskins move toward 2011. If nothing else, maybe he can do some voiceover work for Redskins.com TV.

(Don’t forget to check out his renditon of Honest Abe after the jump.)

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