When Bloomington, Ind. native Ben Chappell flew out to Washington D.C. three weeks ago, he knew that one way or another, he was coming back to Indiana when training camp ended.
Fortunately for him, he’s returning home on the Redskins team chartered flight, ready to take on the Indianapolis Colts.
“I get to see my mom and dad, and it’ll be fun,” he said. “I’m really excited.”
But don’t expect much fanfare or his own section of adoring fans. Even though he was a Hoosier hero and grew up only 45 minutes away, he doesn’t expect many people to show up for him.
“I think some people are gonna come out and watch,” he said, “but being a rookie free agent, I’m not buying anyone any tickets.”
Bloomington residents actually have twice the incentive to show up, considering fellow Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman hails from the same hometown. As a matter of fact, both signal-callers went to the same high school.
“I had met him before, definitely and knew he was,” Chappell said of Grossman. “Y’know, I watched him growing up, but I didn’t really know him well since he’s obviously older than me.
Training camp has given the two former Bloomington South Panthers a chance to bond.
“I’ve had a good chance to get to know him over the last couple of weeks,” Chappell said. “He actually grew up about five minutes away from me. It’s pretty crazy.”
As far as Indianapolis is concerned, Chappell admits that he was probably more of a Colts fan growing up. Since he was about 20-times closer to the Colts than the Redskins, I think he can forgiven.
But his familiarity with the team might give him a leg-up on their defense.
“I know that they play a lot of ‘Tampa 2’ coverage,” he said with a smile. “I obviously grew up watching them play a lot because they were always the team on TV.”
“Peyton [Manning]’s a pretty fun quarterback to watch too.”
I think that might depend on what sideline you’re watching him from.
In the past, some in Indiana circles have suggested that Ben Chappell reminds them of a young Peyton Manning in terms of skill set. These are notions that Chappell disregards–unless you insist.
“I don’t know anything about that, he’s probably going to be the greatest of all time,” he said with a smile. “But if other people are saying it, they can go right ahead.”
But at this point, Chappell is just worried about understanding the offense and staying in the organization.
“It’s a wait and see thing,” he said simply. “I’ve just gotta be ready if I get my chance. I feel good with the offense, and I’m getting better with it everyday.”
Tags: ben chappell, bloomington, indiana, indianapolis colts, Peyton Manning, rex grossman, washington redskins
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