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Phillip Daniels Tweets The Last Word On Redskins

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 8, 2011 – 7:54 pm

It’s not everyday that a player let go during cuts has anything nice to say about his former employer.

In fact, it’s usually quite the opposite.

But recently-released Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels has nothing but praise for Redskins owner, Daniel Snyder, and set the record straight in Twitterverse.

Unfortunately, some of the tweets are extended, so bear with the graphics:


Read more »

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How Shanahan Learned His Lesson On Tackling

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 8, 2011 – 4:34 pm

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Despite head coach Mike Shanahan’s reputation as more of an old-school coach, he doesn’t find a whole lot of value in beating his players up.  So far this training camp, he has gone out of his way to ease players into contact and rest his starters when necessary.

But that wasn’t always his style.

Shanahan shared the history of his strategy with media after practice, and how he had a change of heart: Read more »

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A Healthy Ryan Kerrigan Is Ready For Friday’s Opener

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 8, 2011 – 2:41 pm

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Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan had the green light for the second consecutive practice and said that his knee feels good out on the field.

“I felt pretty good,” he said.  “I’m still getting adjusted to the brace but that will come with time. Overall, I felt good and it felt good to be back out there.”

Whether he’ll be able to go on Friday’s preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers remains to be seen, but for what it’s worth, Kerrigan will ready no matter what.

“I’ve got to be ready, I have no choice,” he said. “The game is in four days so I need to keep practicing hard throughout this week and try to be as ready mentally and physically as possible.”

“It’s my first NFL game. I’m dying to get out there and play.”

And I’m dying for him to meet Ben Roethlisberger.

Check out the full video below: Read more »

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Sideline-To-Sideline: Sights And Scenes From Camp

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 8, 2011 – 2:03 pm

Sometimes during practice, the best material isn’t happening on the field; it’s off to the sidelines and after the whistle.  Here are a few observations from today’s morning practice:

1. Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe is a cycling fiend:

Atogwe was held out of practice today with a sore hamstring, but was flying on the bike.  Head coach Mike Shanahan said after practice that it was merely precautionary and, “we don’t want to overwork him. He’s getting the mental reps.”

Running back Ryan Torain and wide receiver Malcolm Kelly were also both relegated to the bikes today.  Neither could keep up with Atogwe’s stationary speed though. Read more »

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Offense Is Becoming Much More “Wrinkly”

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 8, 2011 – 1:00 pm

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A common phrase in football circles is to say that offenses are “adding a wrinkle to their gameplan.”  What that actually means, is that it’s getting more specific, more innovative, and more creative.  The offense is certainly not up-to-speed yet, but everyday I see new routes and new patterns introduced out on the field.

Today, the receivers and quarterbacks were working on routes that put them in the back corner of the endzone.  Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan worked specifically with the receivers to improve the crispness of their routes.  Check out some of the video below: Read more »

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Practice Spotlight: Defensive Line

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 8, 2011 – 12:28 pm

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During unit drills in practice, the fans get dazzled on the near field by quarterback throwing sessions and running back drills.  It’s fun, it’s important, but it’s not the only drills worth seeing.  If you look on the far end of the back field, the big boys are putting in work on the defensive line.

Here are a couple of the drills, starting with agility training and footwork: Read more »

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Former Teammates Give Tyrone Grant High Marks

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 8, 2011 – 9:00 am

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Undrafted rookie defensive back Tyrone Grant may have been a pro for a week, but he already had a fan club present at Saturday’s Fan Appreciation Day.

Former college roommates Cody, Brad and former teammate Phil Thaxton from Delaware came down to see how he was doing in his pursuit of a roster spot.  According to Cody, Grant had been in contact with a couple NFL teams, but the Redskins showed the most interest in bringing him in.

“Washington called him and said, ‘Get your butt down here,'” Cody said with a laugh.

So that’s how it works.

Since Grant played in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, there isn’t a whole lot of analysis on his play.  So why not ask the guys that saw him the most over the last four years?

“He’s quick,” Cody and Brad both said.  “He’s undersized, but he plays a lot bigger than he looks. He’s not afraid to come up and hit somebody. He’s got good feet, good hands. Y’know, he’s a pure athlete.”

“I mean if you’re in the NFL, you definitely are.”

Grant was a four-year starter and a team captain and All-American his senior year.  He led the nation’s stingiest secondary in interceptions, returning two for a touchdown.  Even though he may not be a household name, Grant is clearly no slouch.

After practice I was able to catch Grant coming off the field and ask him about adjusting from football in Newark, Del. to football in the capital of the free world.

“The game is a little bit faster, but that’s professional,” he said nonchalantly.  “You gotta be professional. The playbook is ridiculous, we’re just trying to learn as much as we can in a little bit of time. So really just the speed and playbook, I’m getting adjusted to both, so it’s not bad.”

Grant is one of six players from the Blue Hens team that was invited to a pro roster this training camp.  If he can stick around long enough for the third game of the preseason in Baltimore, he will match up against a famous U.D. alum in quarterback Joe Flacco.

“My freshman year I played with Flacco, so I’ll definitely say hello,” he said with a smile.  “He definitely put our school on the map. We’re all out here because of Joe Flacco, so he did a good job with that.”

I guess Grant doesn’t think much of former Blue Hen Rich Gannon, but that’s beside the point.

This past season at Delaware, the Blue Hens played in the national championship against Eastern Washington, giving up a late lead and taking home second place.  Getting back out on the field again offers Grant a shot at redemption.

“I still think about it to today,” he said sadly.  “Y’know, we were up and just let it slip through our fingers. It just makes you wanna get back out on the field and this is the best way to do it.”

“It was a tough loss, and I’m not over it, but I’m just trying to look forward now.”

Depth in the secondary is wide-open, so look out for red No. 38 this preseason.

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Anthony Armstrong Getting A Kick Out Of Camp

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 8, 2011 – 7:30 am

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It’s amazing the difference a year can make.

When Anthony Armstrong came into camp last year, it was his first Redskins training camp, and the team had more questions than answers at the wide receiver position. He was seen as an intriguing addition: an unknown with low risk and moderate reward.

Over the course of last season, Armstrong showed the Redskins that they had found a gem, and he comes into camp this year as a favorite for a starting nod. He reported in terrific shape and has set the tone for the rest of the receiver corps–veterans and rookies alike.

Part of his ability to be a leader on the field comes from his experiences going though the Intense and Arena Football leagues before getting a crack at the NFL. Another part of it was his summer gig as a 7-8 year old soccer coach. His Loudoun County rec team, the Ninjas, learned as much from him as he learned from them.

“We ended up, I think it was like 6-1-1, or something like that,” he said. “I think that the kids kind of got comfortable with me, and I got comfortable with them. They were able to just go out there and have fun and play.”

In turn, this experience helped Armstrong prepare the rookie receivers for the transition to the pro game.

“This summer when we were locked out, and we had those workouts, I was trying to coach those rookie receivers a little bit,” he said. “I was trying to help those guys out and give them information into what we were doing. It’s hard to get everybody on the same page and coach everybody up.”

As a polished veteran at age 28, but only in his second year in the NFL, Armstrong has both perspectives out on the field. He sees the rookies adjusting well to the pros, but also knows what they’re going through midway through their first camp.

“Right now, they’re hitting that wall, to where you’ve been doing camp for a little while, you start getting a little frustrated,” he said. “Mentally and physically you might have a little setback, they have to be able to fight through that and go further.”

“But they’re picking up on it well, and they’re going out there making plays. They’re going to make a strong push as well, so it’s gonna be a good competition at receiver.”

Armstrong learned a long time ago not to take anything for granted.  When the organization added three receivers in the draft, Armstrong knew that he would be tested.  He’s approaching his job right now, one day at a time.

“Shoot man, right now I’m just right in the middle of things,” he said about his role on the team.  “I’m just a guys who’s trying to make the team just like everybody else. Whatever it takes to get on the field is whatever I’ve gotta do.”

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