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Redskins Welcome A Pair Of Players Home

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 2, 2011 – 7:04 pm

AP Image

When cornerback Josh Wilson and Tim Hightower found out they were the newest members of the Redskins, it wasn’t unfamiliar territory.  They didn’t need a map or a hotel when they got to town, and they didn’t need anyone to show them around.

As DMV natives, both of these men are returning to their old stomping grounds as part of the opportunity to play for their hometown team.

Josh Wilson is a graduate of DeMatha Catholic High School–“DeMatha University” as he called it–and played his college ball at Maryland.  He said of returning to DC:

“I thank God every day that I had an opportunity to make it home, to play for my home team.  My family no longer has to root against me some times because playing the Redskins.  Some of my family members say ‘man, I can stop wearing these two jerseys every day.’  I’m glad I had the opportunity to play for the home team.”

I love his family’s priorities.  You can take a man out of Redskins Nation, but you can’t really get his family to cheer for you.

Check out Wilson’s full presser below:

Hightower is a graduate of Episcopal High School in Alexandria, and he played his college football at the University of Richmond.

“I’m here for a reason.  I love coming home.  Growing up in this area, you can’t help but watch the Redskins.  Y’know, I know a lot about them.  To have a chance to come back and play here is a childhood dream.”

See kids?  Dreams do come true, as long as you’re really good at football and your dream is to play for the Redskins.

Check out the full video of Hightower’s media session below:

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Many Hands Make Limited Work

Posted by Ross Leonhart on August 2, 2011 – 6:08 pm

Just because the horn blasts to signal the end of morning practice doesn’t mean that players leave the field.  With 11 wide receivers on the roster, balls thrown by quarterbacks in practice are harder to come by than a cool breeze in early August.

As a result, players are resorting to catching balls off a Jugs machine immediately after morning practice to get some much needed reps.

Rookie Leonard Hankerson was one of the first to jump on the machine, and he uses his enormous mitts to put on a clinic.

Read more »

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Fun Facts: Gaffney vs. McCardell

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 2, 2011 – 4:34 pm

AP Image

On a team that’s in the middle of a youth movement, adding a 10-year veteran makes him instantly one of the oldest players on the roster.  Such is the case with wide receiver Jabar Gaffney.

One of the most interesting aspects of Gaffney, is that he’s one of the only players left who played against Keenan McCardell, his current position coach.  The two overlapped in the NFL for six seasons between 2002 and 2007.  While they never played on the same team, they played against each other five times.

Well, sort of.

I started out looking for head-to-head stats, but as it turns out, they were never both active in the same game.  Four of the times that they met, only Gaffney recorded stats.  Once, only McCardell recorded stats.

So I guess this isn’t the first time that McCardell has watched Gaffney from the sidelines.

Gaffney was very complimentary of McCardell’s effort to get him up to speed with the playbook so far in camp.

“He helps out a lot, ’cause he knows all this is new for me,” he told the media after practice.  “I’m here early, and he’s in there with me, going over stuff, and I stay here late with him.  He doesn’t mind staying late with me or being in here early with me or stuff, to make sure I’m picking it up.”

Check out the full video below:

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Looking The Part Of An NFL Star

Posted by Ross Leonhart on August 2, 2011 – 3:11 pm

One of the many alternative reasons to come out to Redskins Park during training camp (aside from football) is the chance to take a picture as one of the Redskins superstars.

An important element of my job is people-watching, and it’s fun to watch Redskins fans of all shapes and sizes pour into the facilities.

Chip Sher brought his two sons, Joey, 8, and Johnny, 5, to their first Redskins training camp and stopped by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and Play60 tent that provided such great photo opportunities.

Here’sss Johnny:

Read more »

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Moving Past The Reputation Of No. 92

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 2, 2011 – 2:48 pm

Courtesy of mvictors.com

For this generation of Redskins fans, No. 92 will always hold a special place in our hearts (a dark corner, perhaps?).  Maybe it’s because he made you laugh.  Maybe it’s because it made you cry.  Maybe it’s because every time Albert Haynesworth comes up in conversation, you say some very unbloggable things.

But you’ll never forget him.

The fact is that Redskins Nation is skittish about a Burgundy and Gold No. 92, and it’s going to take some time–and the right person–to move past that.

Meet the new No. 92, Obi Ezeh, undrafted linebacker out of Michigan. Read more »

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One Man’s Injury Is Another Man’s Opportunity

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 2, 2011 – 1:43 pm

AP image

Few players out on the field can appreciate their spot in the NFL more than outside linebacker Rob Jackson.  Jackson joined the Redskins as a seventh round draft pick in 2008.

In his short career, he has survived a coaching change, and the transition from 4-3 defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker.  He has found a niche on special teams and as a reserve linebacker.  Last season he appeared in two games, collecting five tackles, one sack, and a forced fumble.

And then in April, the Redskins drafted outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan with their first round pick.  For good measure, they drafted another outside linebacker in Markus White with a seventh round pick.

For Jackson, what else is new? Read more »

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Defense Doesn’t Duplicate Dominance

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 2, 2011 – 12:26 pm

This title has been brought to you by the letter “D.”

The team is doing some contact drills now that they have practice shells on, but there isn’t full-contact or tackling yet.  Therefore it’s hard to define what “tag” or “hug” would constitute a tackle during 11-on-11 play.

So far during camp, the pass defenders have kept the ball out of the receivers hands.  Today, the offense was able to gain a little traction:

What I saw: Read more »

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And Then There Were Three Specialists

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 2, 2011 – 12:01 pm

Kicker Shayne Graham is in camp to compete with the incumbent Graham Gano.  I suddenly have a craving for Teddy Grahams…

The group didn’t do much kicking today, but lots of stretching and feeding the ball back to the Jugs machine.

The group is pictured below with Shayne (second from left), talking to special teams coordinator Danny Smith (left) in specialists row:

As I wrote yesterday that the Redskins are expecting veteran punter Sav Rocca to be in camp any time, pending visa issues.  The former Australian rules footballer is still coming up from the Land Down Under, and will presumably solve the Redskins trouble at the position in recent years.

Maybe in the next time I talk about kickers, there will be six people in the photo.

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Practices Building Speed: Offensive Notes

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 2, 2011 – 10:37 am

Some Redskins were still shaking off some soreness this morning as the team continues to build up the tempo.

While the team was still doing unit drills, Brian Orakpo was seen on the sidelines getting some extra stretching for his hamstrings.  He looked just fine once 11-on-11 started, so no need to worry.

Here’s some morning notes…

On offense:

The offense didn’t match up yesterday after the increase in tempo, but looked a little better today.  There are so many running backs and receivers in camp, it has to be hard to sync up with anyone right now.  Beck looked better.  Rookie free agent quarterback Marc Verica (UVA) looked to have pretty good touch on his short passes.

There were finally a couple big plays worth mentioning.  Running back Evan Royster looks really good and ripped off a couple big runs.  Head coach Mike Shanahan has said that this guy doesn’t jump off the paper at you, but he runs hard and he follows his blocks.  Not much more that you can ask.

Anthony Armstrong had his drops earlier during drills, but looked good in the 11-on-11 session.  At one point, defended by cornerback Kevin Barnes and safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, Armstrong came down with a Beck bomb for about 45 yards.

Fred Davis had the first drop that I’ve seen out of him all camp.  It was thrown way over his head, but he put both hands on it and probably could have come down with it.  Really good efforts on some other poorly thrown balls, so a good day for him.

Mike Sellers is trying to adjust to the tight end/H-Back position, but it’s not the smoothest of transitions.  His speed doesn’t seem to match up with the rest of the quickness on the the offense, and his hands aren’t his biggest strength.  Hopefully he’ll develop or they move him back to fullback.

Because you asked:

Malcolm Kelly looked better today.  He had one particularly nice catch from Verica on a 15 yard crossing route during 11-on-11.  He didn’t stand out as great today, but he didn’t stand out for the opposite reason either.  Probably his best day so far.

More to come on defense and special teams…


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Breakfast Leftovers With Niles Paul

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 2, 2011 – 8:20 am

AP Image

With 11 wide receivers on the current roster–including seven rookies or sophomores–it’s easy to get lost in the crowd.  Every route must be crisp.  Every catch must be clean.  And it wouldn’t hurt to bring the coaching staff breakfast.

Niles Paul was the best receiver out there yesterday, running great routes and using his size to get separation.  Two of the knocks on him, that caused him to slide to the fifth round of the draft, were questions about his routes and consistency in catching the ball.

If you ask Paul, he’s been miscast. Read more »

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