What a day! I’ve prepared an ice bath for my fingers after a long day of typing and I’ll be available for a media session soon.
In real news, players have a good feeling about how today went, and they should. Head coach Mike Shanahan said in his evening news conference that five players needed to see the trainer after practice, and that was just IV’s for dehydration.
In addition to the work on the field, Shanahan also anticipated filling up his allotted 23 roster spots in the next couple days, so stay tuned for team announcements.
Here are the players in their own typed words: Read more »
Tags: mike shanahan, Training Camp, twitter, washington redskins
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You don’t have to drive all the way out to Ashburn to realize that head coach Mike Shanahan is an intense guy. He has the sternest poker faces in all of pro football, and could probably stare down Clint Eastwood himself. Whether he’s patrolling the sidelines in front of 90,000 fans or stalking to the kitchen to refill his water bottle, he is one of the most focused people I’ve ever met.
But sometimes he makes jokes–and nobody knows if they can laugh.
That’s what happened at tonight’s media session, on several occasions. I don’t mean to say that the man doesn’t have a sense of humor, but he often has to clarify that it was a joke afterwards.
He started off his comedic shtick tonight talking about the effort he saw out of John Beck today: “John’s done a good job on the first day of practice. I wouldn’t put him in the Pro Bowl yet, but he’s close…That’s a joke.”
Okay Coach, maybe you’re not ready for the Apollo, but that’s a solid start. What else do you have?
When asked about how the heat affected the players out on the field today, Shanahan shot back quickly with: “I think just the coaches were affected by the heat.”
This time it was accompanied by a smile, and the gathered media knew to laugh. He was on a roll. I could smell more wittiness on it’s way.
When asked about the more-intense-than-usual rush on free agent negotiations, Shanahan talked about spending the night on a cot at the Redskins facility last night: “Yeah, I have one of those rollouts. It’s about $200. I charged it to Dan though.”
Shanahan wrapped up the media session with a witty remark on solving the punter crisis by signing veteran punter Sav Rocca: “I sure hope we did. Well, first of all, I’m hoping we don’t have to punt. But if we punt, I’m happy it’s him.”
Comedy gold. Good for Shanahan, for showing a more relaxed side. I think that now that he’s in his second season with the team and the media, combined with the return of football, Shanahan is right back in his element.
Tags: mike shanahan, press conference, washington redskins
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I guess the good news for football fans is that Brett Favre won’t be returning to Minnesota for another year (sorry ESPN).
For the first time tonight, the organization confirmed and announced what many of you already knew: that Donovan McNabb is headed out of town. It has been a hot topic to sit on, and one that we can finally provide some information about.
At tonight’s press conference with head coach Mike Shanahan, he discussed the process that it took to deal McNabb after only one season.
“I thought he did fit within our system and did the right things that he could be a top notch player for us,” he said. “At the end of the day, it just didn’t work out quite the way we wanted it to. We would have had to make a commitment of three or four years and I was not wanting to do that with the year that I spent.”
Essentially this confirms what pundits had predicted all along: McNabb didn’t fit the system and the money that he was going to be receiving made it a deal breaker. Shanahan then went on to explain how much of a good guy he thought Donovan was.
“Doesn’t mean that Donovan can’t still play at a very high level,” he said. “I think the world of him. He really handled himself in a class manner. In the best interest of this organization in evaluating everything I thought it was better to go on.”
That’s pretty high praise for a guy that the organization traded for a pair of sixth round picks. This calls for a trip down memory lane to establish where it all went wrong.
Background- Welcome to town:
Donovan McNabb’s tenure with the Washington Redskins was a brief one, but it covered the full emotional spectrum. He was brought here to be a savior and provide the team with an opportunity to win now. Throw in the fact that he was the former franchise quarterback of a division rival, it was a dream scenario in the district.
Nine months later, those dreams had turned to nightmares, as the team finished at 6-10 and McNabb was benched for the last three games.
On the season, McNabb had a 58.3 percent completion rating for 3,377 yards and 14 touchdowns with 15 interceptions in 13 games.
Maybe the the pieces around him weren’t up to snuff. The running game was sputtered and struggled to stay healthy, forcing the offense to become one-dimensional. The receiver corps also struggled with injury and and a bad combination of youth and age. The offensive line took time to develop in the zone-blocking scheme and McNabb had no time to look downfield.
At the end of the day, for many reasons, it simply didn’t work on the field. Complicating matters off the field, was the fact that McNabb was due a large contract as part of his extension, an albatross under the new salary cap.
Why the trade makes sense: Read more »
Tags: donovan mcnabb, Jabar Gaffney, washington redskins
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Redskins rookie wide receiver Leonard Hankerson has always been No. 85 on the football field. In high school, 85. At the University of Miami, 85. And now as a member of the Washington Redskins, he will rock the same digits.
Hankerson was informed of his number on Monday night after talking to the coaching staff on the phone. He finally showed off his new digs today in practice. Ever since the draft in April, the team had earmarked the number for him, knowing he was interested. Hankerson celebrated on twitter (@HankTime85):
Before he ever set foot in Washington, Hankerson has already appeared in a No. 85 Redskins jersey as part of the Topps trading cards phot shoot (via twitter):
Looks like he gambled correctly on his jersey numbers or those cards would be worth a lot of money someday. Maybe.
The good news is that No. 85 officially belongs to Hankerson. If all goes well, No. 85 will be an occupied number on the roster number for a long time.
Tags: leonard hankerson, number, washington redskins
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