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More Chris Cooley Interviews

Posted by Matt Terl on January 31, 2011 – 2:33 pm

Chris Cooley‘s week at the Pro Bowl wasn’t limted to pregame work for NFL Network. He also went to the teams’ practices and asked goofy questions there as well. In this installment: THRILL as you hear Matt Light compare his beard to Brett Keisel’s! GASP as Cooley confronts Larry Fitzgerald about a Pro Bowl celebration snub from two years ago! NOD as Cooley credits Tony Gonzalez as one of his inspirations at the tight end position! FEEL A VAGUE SENSE OF CONFUSION as Justin Tuck runs down his favorite Broadway shows and calls himself a geek! It’s that kind of interview package, really.

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Chris Cooley Interviews AFC Pro Bowlers

Posted by Matt Terl on January 31, 2011 – 1:32 pm

Chris Cooley didn’t make good on his threat to kneecap Tony Gonzalez or Jason Witten, but he managed to find work at the Pro Bowl anyhow. Serving as a player correspondent for NFL Network, Cooley covered the AFC squad. He attended practice (which I’ll get to in a bit) and also interviewed a whole slew of AFC players before kickoff. So if you ever wanted to know if Wes Welker modeled his entire career on Tweeder from Varsity Blues, if Jamaal Charles was feeling overworked by Bill Belichick in Pro Bowl practices, or what strategy Terrell Suggs employed for the game itself … well, Chris Cooley will GET YOU THOSE ANSWERS.

The best part, I think, is at the end, when Cooley looks at Tennessee Titans rookie Pro Bowl returner Marc Mariani and asks, “Has it been tough all week with all the people asking you what it’s like to be Peyton Manning’s son?”

“You know, I get that a lot, Chris,” Mariani says, just as you realize that he does look like Peyton Manning. “I mean, it’s a tough thing, two good-lookin’ dudes …. It’s just one of those things — y’know, we have the same football skills as well.” Read more »

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The Last Redskins Pro Bowl MVP

Posted by Matt Terl on January 31, 2011 – 11:01 am

Prior to DeAngelo Hall‘s big day yesterday, the last Redskins player to be named Pro Bowl MVP was Joe Theismann in January 1984. (To be technical, Theismann was named Player Of The Game. Same general idea.) He completed 21-of-27 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns, starting the Pro Bowl ahead of the now-legendary Joe Montana.

The day was bittersweet, though — back then the Pro Bowl was played after the Super Bowl, and this one came after Super Bowl XVIII, a 38-9 loss to the Raiders and arguably the most embarrassing day in Redskins history. “I had to try to salvage something,” Theismann said, according to Gary Pomerantz’s story in the Washington Post the next day. And he wasn’t the only one. Pomerantz also quotes Redskins free safety Mark Murphy as sarcastically saying, “We taught those eight Raiders a lesson today, didn’t we?”

Which is a pretty good line, all things considered.

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DeAngelo Hall Named Pro Bowl MVP For Very DeAngelo Hall-ish Performance

Posted by Matt Terl on January 31, 2011 – 8:55 am

There is possibly no more polarizing Redskins player than DeAngelo Hall. His critics are legion; they point to his tendency to give up the big play as the biggest on-field strike against him, and paint him as a camera-hog off the field. His fans are also fairly numerous; they point to his tendency to MAKE the big play as his greatest asset, and characterize his verbosity as a willingness to speak up that’s unusual among modern athletes. (I should mention for the sake of full disclosure that I fall solidly into the latter camp.) As is usually the case in these things, both sides have some merit, and Hall managed to make his Pro Bowl appearance a microcosm of the entire argument.

In his favor, he did the following: Read more »

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A Similarity Between Brian Orakpo And Dexter Manley

Posted by Matt Terl on January 28, 2011 – 3:20 pm

This image jumped out at me as I watched part 5 of Brothers Of The Legacy earlier today. It’s from Super Bowl XXII, a moment of Dexter Manley trying to get past Broncos tackle David Studdard to (I’m guessing) kill and possibly eat John Elway. Studdard is doing his job in the sense that he’s stopping Manley, but he’s not really doing it in an officially sanctioned manner.

“The holding that Studdard is doing to Dexter Manley is criminal,” Sam Huff says on the radio call. “If I was Dexter, I’d punch him right in the mouth.”

The reason that it caught my attention, of course, is because I felt like I had seen it several dozen times in 2010 — which, in a sense, I had. I knew I was thinking of Brian Orakpo, but he was held enough this season that they all start to run together. Was it the game-winning hold against Dallas? One of the ones against Houston? Maybe Philly?

Fortunately, Orakpo was held so much that it was written about over and over and over and over again, and eventually I found the image I was looking for, down at the bottom of a DC Sports Bog post about the time Orakpo was blatantly held in the Tampa game:

I think you can see where it might’ve jogged my memory.

Somehow, I don’t think this is what Orakpo meant when he namechecked Dexter Manley after being drafted. (For the optimistic crowd, I can point out that Orakpo is heading into his third year; in Manley’s third year, he had the first of a four-year string of double-digit sacks. Hopefully Orakpo will mirror him in that, not just in being bearhugged by offensive linemen.) Read more »

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Brothers Of The Legacy, Part 5

Posted by Matt Terl on January 28, 2011 – 2:17 pm

For me, this is the best part of the entire Brothers Of The Legacy documentary. Yes, I know that Sonny Jurgensen was one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game. I understand that Sam Huff was similarly one of best, most violent linebackers in league history. But I never got to see it, and watching it now is about learning or trying to understand a past fact.

All my life, though, Sonny and Sam have been part of the Redskins radio broadcasts. THAT I recognize. So seeing the early snippets of their separate media work, watching Frank Herzog and Larry Michael explain what it’s like being in the booth with them, getting a look at them while the game is going on in … that’s something that hits me on the visceral level.

Previous episodes: 1234 Read more »

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Chris Cooley Plans A Jeff Gillooly Moment At The Pro Bowl

Posted by Matt Terl on January 28, 2011 – 10:40 am

Oh, wow. Look at that picture of Chris Cooley in that Pro Bowl blue jersey. If you’re a Redskins fan, that’s probably something you’d like to see again — sooner rather later, I’m guessing. And if I’m right about that … well, that’s something you’ve got in common with Cooley himself.

The difference is that you’re not actually DOING anything to help Cooley get into that uniform. Oh, sure, you probably voted for him a few hundred times, but now that the game’s almost here and the teams are finalized, you’re just sitting there reading this blog.

Not Cooley. He’s got a plan. See, Cooley’s already in Hawaii covering the Pro Bowl for the NFL Network and Sportsbuzz, and he think this presents him with a very simple opportunity to get the competition out of the way. He explains his master plan in a (sadly non-embeddable) video on NFL.com entitled Chris Cooley: Pro Bowl Assassin?

In lieu of embedding, here’s the transcription of Cooley’s plan. Read more »

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A Pro Bowl Hail!

Posted by Matt Terl on January 28, 2011 – 8:59 am

I was hoping to see Hail! writer/artist Ben Ceccarelli‘s cartoon rendition of the Pro Bowl jerseys — which I find hideous, as I may have mentioned twenty or thirty times before — but this’ll do. As always, click this first panel or the Read More link to see the rest of the strip (and, this one time only, a special epilogue from me).

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Brothers Of The Legacy, Part 4

Posted by Matt Terl on January 27, 2011 – 3:50 pm

Vince Lombardi’s tenure with the Redskins was too short by any measure, but especially so if you ask Sonny Jurgensen. He says as much in this installment of Brothers Of The Legacy, he says it when asked about the Broadway show Lombardi … it’s something Jurgensen clearly feels. Lombardi, he always says, made the game simple for him — and the statistics show it. Under Lombardi, Jurgensen had one of his best seasons as a pro, completing 62 percent of his passes for 3,102 yards in just 14 games — the last time in his career that he would break the 3,000 yard plateau.

And that’s what this fourth installment of the documentary covers: not just Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff, but the coach who reignited both their careers: Vince Lombardi. (On a less somber, meaningful note, you get to see Jurgensen doing drills while wearing an old-school Curly W Washington Senators cap — there’s a screencapture after the jump.)

Previous episodes: 123 Read more »

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The Other Senior Bowl Quarterbacks

Posted by Matt Terl on January 27, 2011 – 2:30 pm

I compiled some of the views of quarterback prospect Jake Locker yesterday, but he’s far from the only quarterback drawing attention at the Senior Bowl. You can find detailed reviews on Iowa’s RIcky Stanzi, Florida State’s Christian Ponder, Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton of TCU, and more all over the place — and it can make for interesting, if overwhelming, reading — but for me, two articles that I read today seemed to come together well to help broaden my focus.
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