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Mike Shanahan On Playing Football In Toronto

Posted by Matt Terl on April 21, 2011 – 4:40 pm

Possibly the most interesting aspect of the Redskins 2011 schedule is the October 30th contest at the Buffalo Bills. Because, of course, even though the Bills are the nominal “home” team, the game is being played at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Which is apparently in Canada.

It marks the first regular season international game for the Redskins, which is probably a big part of the reason that head coach Mike Shanahan wound up on a conference call with Canadian reporters explaining the challenges of playing overseas.

“It’s really not like playing a preseason game,” Shanahan said, “because those games don’t count. I think everyone looks forward to going to someplace they haven’t been. I’ve heard so many great things about Toronto, relating to the population and what type of city it is. I’ve just heard all kinds of positive things. So I’m kind of looking forward to that as [is] our team. I’ve been to Buffalo a number of times, but I’ve never been to Toronto so I’m looking forward to it.”

That has me much more excited for the Toronto game than I was in our Redskins.com Writers’ Roundtable, when I said: “I’ve never been to Toronto, but we seem to go to Detroit every year. I imagine it’s sort of similar.” Shanahan’s quote will probably work better for the Canadian media, too. Read more »

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Danny Smith And Bruce Boudreau Are Pals

Posted by Matt Terl on April 21, 2011 – 3:46 pm

Well, this is something that I didn’t know: Redskins special teams coach Danny Smith and Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau are good friends. I’ve seen (and written about) Boudreau and Caps players attending Redskins games, but this was news to me. Fortunately, Smith showed up on Comcast SportsNet with Chick Hernandez and Julie Donaldson prior to Friday night’s Game Two in the current playoff series and explained how that friendship started up — and what the two coaches actually talk about, among other things.


“I contacted him, actually, to get an opportunity to meet with him and just discuss about how he does with players and things like that,” Smith explained. “And then a co-worker of y’all’s, Eric Schuster, set up a lunch, and we all went to lunch. Just picking each other’s brain as two coaches and how you deal with players. Different uses of video equipment, different strategies in different situations as it pertains to each sport, so it was a great meeting and he I have become great friends ever since.”

Read more »

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Doug Williams To Announce A Redskins Draft Pick

Posted by Matt Terl on April 21, 2011 – 3:01 pm

Each team in the NFL is having an alumnus announce one of their picks at this year’s draft. (For most teams, it will be the second round pick; for teams that have traded away their second-rounders, it will be the third-rounder. I have no idea what will happen to teams that wind up with no second- or third-round picks.)

For the Redskins, that alum will be Doug Williams. This is excellent for a few reasons: first, because Doug Williams played one of the greatest quarters of NFL football ever, which makes him a good luck charm in my book. Second, because it’s always nice to see Redskins alumni brought back around. And third, because his inclusion provides me with an excuse to post this highlight reel of the aforementioned greatest quarter in Redskins history. Everyone wins.

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Bobby Turner Talks About The Current Running Backs

Posted by Matt Terl on April 21, 2011 – 2:01 pm

Redskins running back coach Bobby Turner recently sat down with Larry Michael for Redskins Nation on Comcast SportsNet. Shortly afterward, Redskins.com intern Brian Tinsman wrote about Turner’s approach to finding running backs in the NFL Draft; now he explains what the coach has to say about the guys who are currently on the roster. (You can watch the entire interview in three parts here, here, and here.)

by Brian Tinsman

Birds come in flocks, wolves come in packs, and running backs come in stables. Well, if that last one is true, then Redskins running backs coach Bobby Turner is the horse whisperer.

A coach long-renowned for getting the most out of his players, Turner didn’t mince words when he assessed the position with Larry Michael on Redskins Nation. Among other things, Turner addressed the need to add depth to the position this offseason.

But before looking ahead to the draft or free agency, he reviewed what the team already has.

Ryan Torain, the team’s primary back last season, has had a tough time staying on the field in his career. In his three seasons in Denver and Washington, Torain suited up for only 12 games, missing all of 2009 with injury.

“He has had a history, y’know, of being injured,” Turner said. “If he could have stayed healthy, better things could have happened to us.”

Turner has been Torain’s only running backs coach in the NFL, first with the Broncos and then following him to the Redskins. Over that time, Torain has had “a lot of freak things happen,” according to Turner.

Freaky indeed. In his rookie campaign in Denver, he dislocated and broke a bone in his elbow in training camp. After coming back midway through the season, he played only two games before tearing his ACL against Cleveland in Week 10, missing the rest of the season. He did not play at all in 2009 after being waived due to injury in training camp.

Despite only appearing in 10 games in 2010, starting eight, Torain gained a team-high 742 yards, at a 4.5 yard/carry clip. Not bad for a guy who started the year on the practice squad.

So what does he need to do to get better?

“Quite a few things,” Turner noted. “Number one is we’re never complacent, you know, we’re never content. We want to improve in every area.”

Turner cited a few specific spots where Torain needs to improve: Read more »

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Tickets On Sale For Manchester United And FC Barcelona At FedExField

Posted by Matt Terl on April 21, 2011 – 11:07 am

This isn’t football-related, as such. Well, it’s football-related, but not American football-related, if you see what I’m saying.

Anyhow, I’ve mentioned before that Manchester United and FC Barcelona will be bringing a world class soccer match to FedExField on July 30, and that Manchester United had an awesome video promoting the event. The crucial update to that news is a simple one: as of 9:00 a.m. this morning, tickets to the event are on sale via Ticketmaster.

The less crucial update is that Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson is doing some interviews to prepare us Americans for the big game. Nothing too earth-shaking (at least that I’ve seen), but some basic Q&A like this one, with The Examiner’s Craig Stouffer, in which Ferguson reveals that he snuck away from the schedule to tour D.C. last summer — and, in this excerpt, offers a very simple explanation for how remarkable this matchup is.

“Barcelona are at a tremendous peak,” Ferguson said. “They’re a team that has come to maturity the last two years, and they have some fantastic footballers as I’ve witnessed many times this season. Some people tell me don’t play Barcelona in the European Cup and keep away from them. I relish these challenges. These are the games in which you want to measure yourselves against the best.”

This seems like it could be a genuinely awesome event, honestly.
Read more »

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