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Understanding The Essence Of Evan Royster

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 15, 2011 – 7:26 pm

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Evan Royster probably got more hype than a sixth-round running back typically gets, but any late-round Shanahan running back has a chance to be special.  Royster looks to be no exception to that rule.

In his first preseason game, Royster shouldered the load for the team with 15 carries and a game-high 66 yards.  His 4.4 yard per carry average was good for a share of the team lead as well, and he seemed to settle in the more carries he got.

He said after the game that playing pro football in the backyard of his childhood wasn’t really a rattle to his nerves.  In fact, he was pretty much calm, cool, collected. Read more »

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Hightower Calls On Inner Super Hero

Posted by Ross Leonhart on August 15, 2011 – 5:01 pm

On the practice field, Tim Hightower wears his white jersey with burgundy lettering, just like all other Redskins on offense. But, it’s what’s underneath of his jersey every practice that makes him stand out.

This summer, Hightower started something new; wearing a shirt recognizing his inner super hero: the Green Lantern.

Read more »

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Redskins Welcome Wounded Warriors To Camp

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 15, 2011 – 4:30 pm

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Three of the fans witnessing the action at Redskins Park today, were military servicemen that had been injured in the line of duty in the Middle East.  After practice today, players and coaches took time to thank these men for the service to their country.

“They’re the real heroes of what happens today,” head coach Mike Shanahan said of the soldiers Freedom Alliance.  “The man I just talked to lost his leg in Afghanistan.  You get a chance to talk to him and tell him how much you appreciate everything that he’s done and what he means to us.  They’re the real heroes.”

Quarterback Rex Grossman also took time to meet with the men after practice, and said that it gave him a renewed perspective of what’s important. Read more »

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Sights And Scenes From The Last Open Practice

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 15, 2011 – 3:26 pm

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With tomorrow’s final day of training camp closed to the public, today was the last day for fans to glimpse their Redskins in practice this season.

Here are a few of the things they may have seen:

  • The team huddles before every practice, and Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen frequently have their hands up first in the huddle.  These guys are contributors on defense, but their teammates are also following their lead, despite being new in Washington.
  • Leonard Hankerson had a perfect practice today, catching everything that was thrown his way.
  • The one-on-one battles between left tackle Trent Williams and Brian Orakpo have been nothing short of incredible to watch.  One on repetition, Williams will stonewall Orakpo, and on the next play Orakpo will wrestle past him.  The development of both players has obviously been accelerated by the ability to line up against each other every day in practice.
  • Brandon Banks was back in pads today and took some repetitions in receiver and the returner drills.
  • Rex Grossman hit Jabar Gaffney in the back corner of the endzone after a march down the field to end practice.
There are still more back-logged fan stories to come, but the dog days of training camp have almost come to an end.  The Redskins still have three games to go before football that “counts,” but these three weeks will be anything but meaningless.

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Redskins Draw Largest Preseason Audience Ever

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 15, 2011 – 1:19 pm

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The Redskins celebrated their 16-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in front of the largest preseason crowd in team history.  Between the simulcast on Comcast SportsNet and WRC-TV (NBC 4), the team attracted 16.3 percent of households in the area.  The previous record was 15.1 percent against the Baltimore Ravens last year, so this was a significant improvement.

The other indicator of ratings is the percentage of televisions in use that were tuned in to the game.  The Redskins attracted about one-third of all TV-watchers that night (30 percent), which tied the previous record.

The team also reached major demographics at record rates as well.  For men ages 18-to-49, 11.9 percent tuned in, as well as 12.9 percent of men 25-to-54.

Couple this with the Redskins 359th consecutive sellout of FedExField, and a lot of fans are excited to see what this team can do.  Regardless of whether fans came out to the stadium or enjoyed it at home, football is officially back in the Nation’s Capital.

The next Redskins broadcast will be this Friday, Aug. 19. against the Colts on the road in Indianapolis.  Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet and NBC 4.

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Dialing Up The Blitz

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 15, 2011 – 12:38 pm

Turnovers on defense are primarily created by pressure.  Whether the pressure reaches the quarterback and forces a fumble, or a hasty pass is picked off down the field, turnovers happen when the blitz is dialed.

Today, defensive line coach Jacob Burney worked specifically with linemen, safeties, and cornerbacks on how to blitz effectively, get to the quarterback, and strip the ball.  Linebackers (not shown) were working on the same drill with linebacker’s coach Lou Spanos.

First up are the big boys on the defensive line:

Read more »

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Redskins Try Out A Prospect At Long Snapper

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 15, 2011 – 8:14 am

One advantage of the special teams’ schedule during practice is that there are more opportunity to interact with the fans.  Yesterday’s practice wasn’t open to the public, but a few people still got to tour the facilities and check out practice close-up.

For one lucky boy, close enough to touch.

After practicing a few field goal snaps off the Jugs machine, special teams coordinator Danny Smith called over to young Daniel to come over and snap the ball.  It took a little coaxing by the gruff coach, but Daniel came over and set up behind the machine with long snapper Nick Sundberg. Read more »

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