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Your Friday FedExField Construction Update

Posted by Matt Terl on June 17, 2011 – 3:35 pm

Somehow I made it through the whole day yesterday without posting any pictures of cranes or concrete removal, and I apologize for that. There will be no such oversight today. For those who don’t know what’s going on in these shots, here’s the quick overview; more detail to come as I hear it. And you can click the photos to enlarge. The change is much less dramatic at 450 pixels wide.

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Where Does LaVar Arrington Rank Among Redskins Draft Picks Of The 2000s?

Posted by Ross Leonhart on June 17, 2011 – 2:35 pm

Intern Ross Leonhart wrote a piece for Redskins.com on the top five Redskins draft picks of the 2000s. One of the folks on that list was former Redskins linebacker and current 106.7 The Fan host LaVar Arrington. Arrington took some exception to his placement on the list, and did so for well over thirty minutes of airtime yesterday. (See segments 14, 15, 16, and 18 on the June 16th show.) When Ross showed up at work today, I asked him to listen to the entire conversation and write his response for the blog.

When I signed up to write for the Redskins, I was looking forward to interacting with players and coaches, but maybe not quite like this.

I blame it all on the lockout.

Without access to the current players, I am scrapping for things to write about. And without a normal offseason to talk about on his radio show, LaVar Arrington winds up talking about one of the things I came up with.

“At the end of the day, it’s a game,” Arrington said on his radio show while staking his case as the best Redskins draft pick under Dan Snyder’s watch.

Please, let’s not forget that. It’s just a game.

When I put together the list of the Redskins best draft picks of the 2000s, I looked at everyone drafted in that span and pulled five guys together. Then I ranked them.

“I was a little bothered. I was a little hurt by it,” said Arrington, whom I ranked fourth. “I’m not afraid to admit that.”

“I don’t know that it’s a beef, it’s just a disappointment,” Arrington said. “I just think that’s all wrong if you ask me.”

I stand by my decision.

And here’s why:

Chris Samuels is Number 1.

Chris Samuels played 10 years consistently for the Redskins.

Great draft picks play for their teams for years, and, in the best scenarios, retire with the team that drafted them.

Arrington was with the Redskins for six years, had three superstar-status seasons, and ended with one season in a New York Giants uniform.

Samuels played on some good offensive lines.

Chris Samuels may have played for an oft-battered offensive line, but he did help produce blocking for some good running backs.

The top two-seasons for Redskins rushing yards in a single season belong to Clinton Portis running behind Samuels and his O Line, in 2005 and 2008 when he ran for 1,516 and 1,487 respectively.

Ranking based on Impact?

“I can’t think of any one during Dan Snyder’s time of drafting guys that had more of an impact on this team than myself,” Arrington said. “I might come across as selfish, but oh well. That’s what I believe.”

“Who had the impact on their team out of all those guys, who had the biggest impact? And if you’re honest with yourself, you can’t sit there and say any of those guys had more of an impact on the team than me.” Arrington said.

“I changed seasons when I was here. I put legends out of the game forever. I’ve had impact since I’ve been on that team.”

He’s correct on the specifics.

After starting the 2001 season 0-5, trailing the Carolina Panthers 14-0, Arrington’s 67-yard interception return sparked a 17-14 comeback win, and ultimately did turn around the team for an 8-8 season.

Arrington also gave Troy Aikman his final concussion knocking him into retirement December 10, 2000, in front of the Dallas Cowboys home crowd.

So Arrington definitely had some big-time Redskins moments. But his ultimate impact has to be measured in post-season wins, and none of the players on the list have been able to do much with that … yet.

All-Pro vs. Pro Bowl vs. Pro Bowl Starter vs. Tenure is a Matter of Preference.

Arrington’s biggest beef was that he had the most All-Pro selections and Pro Bowl starts of anyone on the list.

“The three Pro Bowls and my All-Pro selections, I was a starter the three times I went at linebacker in the NFC,” said Arrington. “If you look at the amount of the linebackers that were in the NFC when I was going to my Pro Bowls, I think it makes it even more legit.”

He has a point, but it’s a matter of preference.

In making the list, I saw someone in Samuels who lined up week-in and week-out for the Redskins for most of a decade, who also made it to six Pro Bowls.

In Arrington, I saw someone who was definitely electric and wreaked havoc in the NFL, but helped the Redskins for a shorter period of time.

Why Brian Orakpo?

This is why Brian Orakpo sits so high on the list. Arrington’s career can be viewed as a completed whole, whereas Orakpo has a bright future as a Redskin, making it to the Pro Bowl in his first two seasons, and I’m projecting from that.

Arrington, it should be noted, also had a strong start to his career. He missed the Pro Bowl his rookie year, but proceeded to tear up the league for three straight seasons going to three straight Pro Bowls and three All-Pro selections.

Sean Taylor could have been No. 1.

Neither Arrington nor I knows where Sean Taylor could have ultimately landed on this list, but we do agree that he was the best Redskins safety we have ever seen.

“Who has had more of an impact on this team during their course of time? If Sean had more time and had more of an impact for more time, than of course I’d bow out to that,” Arrington said.

“If we’re just keeping it on the field, he had a great impact and made plays” Arrington said, “but he didn’t do it for very long.”

Not as long as Samuels.

Arrington’s Top 5

“I certainly would be first. You can have a debate as to who’s second between Chris Cooley and Chris Samuels, and I would probably go with Samuels and make Chris Cooley third; Sean Taylor fourth, and I’m not sure who fifth would be,” Arrington said.

What does it all mean?

The list encourages debate, which is good.

“I think people have short memories,” Arrington said of his legacy as a Redskin.

Hopefully Arrington won’t be coming to Redskins Park to teach me that lesson.

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Leonard Hankerson’s Musical Taste

Posted by Matt Terl on June 17, 2011 – 1:38 pm

NBCWashington blogger Sarah Kogod has a nifty little gimmick going at her Capital Games blog: she doesn’t just ask local athletes what’s on their iPods, she makes them prove it. So yesterday it was third-round draft pick Leonard Hankerson‘s turn, with first-round selection Ryan Kerrigan doing the verifying by way of hitting shuffle and reading off the first ten songs.


The results aren’t particularly embarrassing for Hankerson — no Rebecca Black or anything like that — but I’ll admit to being a little stunned to realize that Master P’s “Make ‘Em Say Uhh!” is more than THIRTEEN YEARS OLD, and to hear both Hankerson AND Kerrigan refer to it as “a classic”. Did not see that coming back in 1998.

If you’d like experience being Leonard Hankerson and aren’t offended by explicit lyrics, here’s a Grooveshark playlist of these ten songs. (NOTE: You will “experience being Leonard Hankerson” inasmuch as you will hear ten tracks that also happen to have recently played on his iPod. You won’t gain any kind of NFL-caliber pass-catching abilities or … well, anything else, really.)

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Evan Royster Shows Off His Golf Swing

Posted by Brian Tinsman on June 17, 2011 – 12:35 pm

Here’s intern Brian Tinsman, with an appropriately timed update.

In honor of the US Open at Congressional Country Club, it seemed necessary to tie the Redskins to golfing. One of them was nice enough to oblige.

Sixth-round draft pick Evan Royster teed off for a good cause on Monday, participating in the AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union’s 7th Annual Charity Golf Classic. The event featured 105 participants at the Carlisle Country Club and raised more than $9,000 for the Uplifting Athletes charity.

According to the charity’s Web site, the organization seeks to link college football and it’s athletes to the outreach, research, education and advocacy of rare diseases. The event on Monday featured four former Penn State football players, including Royster, who played a round of golf and were also auctioned off at the event.

Royster’s sweet swing is captured below, courtesy of his twitter account (@evan_royster22):

pretty... haha thanks to @AnneDGallaher for the pic!

Pretty good form, but he should probably keep his head down really work on his follow through. I guess it doesn’t really matter, as long as he also worries about learning the Redskins zone-blocking scheme.

Here he is with his group out on the course. Great wardrobe choice on the hat and polo:


Royster tweeted a confession after the event that his golf game is a credit to his teacher, the television:

Sounds like fun–just be glad he doesn’t take himself too seriously as a golfer.

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A Classic LaRon Landry Pose

Posted by Matt Terl on June 17, 2011 – 12:09 pm

It’s easy to forget how good of a cartoonist Ben Ceccarelli actually is. Every week he turns in a remarkable likeness of a Redskins player — past or present — and a depressingly accurate rendition of me as well, and every week I say to myself, “Wow, that’s impressive work.” But every so often something comes along to remind me just HOW impressive, and another of the photos from the treasure trove at 86Dope.com is one of those somethings.

Here’s the photo, cropped a bit:

Which reminded me of this Hail! strip from September, which featured this image:

Heck, even this image from the end of that strip looks accurate, what with the thick-framed glasses. The hair, maybe not so much.

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London Fletcher Mic’d Up At Players-Only Practice

Posted by Matt Terl on June 17, 2011 – 11:05 am

So this is pretty cool: CSN Washington got London Fletcher to wear a wire at the Redskins’ players-only practice. The resulting video gives a pretty good sense of Fletcher not only as defensive leader, but as teacher and de facto coach — I think my favorite spot comes just before the 1:00 mark, when Fletcher gives some firm, efficient feedback to rookie Ryan Kerrigan. Good stuff.


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An Update On LaRon Landry’s Monkey, Among Other Things

Posted by Matt Terl on June 17, 2011 – 10:30 am

In the wee hours of this morning, LaRon Landry tweeted a link to 86Dope.com, along with a message imploring his 14,000+ Twitter followers to “support art!” I like art and always enjoy supporting a good cause, so I clicked on over, and found … well, I’m not quite sure how to describe it, actually.

86Dope is a personal shopping, wardrobe consultation, and wardrobe coordination service run by a friend of Landry’s, and that’s fascinating in and of itself. If you’re the type of person who is impressed by shoes — literally closets full of shoes and tubs full of shoes and a bed full of Louboutins and an MCM Worldwide leather dog wearing spiked shoes — then 86Dope’s actual services are for you.

If you’re just a Redskins fan who’s not all that interested in high-end fashion, then you’ll be more intrigued by the Photo Gallery’s various pictures of LaRon Landry serving as a model for the high-end fashion stuff, including Louboutins and a guitar and an expensive-looking watch with a Redskins hat.

If you’re a Redskins fan who likes ice cream, this photograph of Landry holding tubs of ice cream while sporting an ice cream cone shirt is for you.

And if you, like me, are irrationally intrigued by Landry’s white-faced Capuchin monkey Gucci … well, the 86Dope photo gallery can help you out as well.

Here’s Gucci examining a milk carton:

On the slightly higher end, here’s Gucci (with 86Dope) examining a bottle of Champagne:

And Gucci, well-studied in the art of ducking paparazzi, giving the camera a stiff-arm, Heisman-style.

And it’s not just still pictures. The Video Gallery delivers as well. There’s video of Landry lifting, of course, but there’s also — wait for it! — video of Gucci drinking a glass of orange juice and then wiping his mouth on a wood railing. I will give you one guess which of those videos is posted after the jump.

Read more »

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The Fastest Hail! Throwback In The NFL

Posted by Matt Terl on June 17, 2011 – 9:26 am

In the year-plus that he’s been doing these comic strips, Hail! writer/artist Ben Ceccarelli has learned my tastes pretty well, and this week’s strip provides a perfect example: (Redskins great of the 1980s) + (classic cartoon reference) = a happy day for me.

As always, click the Read More link or this first panel to see the rest of the strip.

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