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John Beck Uses ‘Saintly’ Guidance

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 30, 2011 – 1:09 pm

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Second round draft pick.  Brought in to be the franchise quarterback.  Never given a proper chance to succeed and given-up on.  New town, new team, new opportunity.

That’s pretty much John Beck’s story.  It also belongs to Drew Brees.

This past offseason, Beck publicly embraced the opportunity to start for the Washington Redskins, and started training camp as the only quarterback on the Redskins depth chart.  But before he ever arrived in Washington, he started preparing himself to have the mentality of a starter, thanks in part to Brees.

Brees and Beck are personal friends and spent time together in their offseason residence of San Diego, Calif.

“We’ve talked a lot about [being in the spotlight],” Beck said yesterday.  “The whole purpose of being around [Brees] was to soak in everything that he does. What’s made him successful? His work ethic, the way he approaches the game. Before I left San Diego to come out here, we sat down for a couple of hours going over trying to be the best quarterback that you can be.”

Beck knows that he has a tough task if he hopes to duplicate the success that Brees has had in New Orleans.

“There’s so much on the table as a quarterback of the Washington Redskins that you have to prioritize yourself of what matters most, and that’s playing the game,” he said. “Really, the only taste I had of being a starting quarterback in the NFL was with the Dolphins when we were 0-9 and I became the starter. That was a tricky situation to be a part of.”

And Hurricane Irene was just a little rain cloud.

“Drew has been able to battle through adversity and come out on top and take his team to a Super Bowl,” Beck continued.  “I felt–although our adversities were different–it was still a battle against something. He came out on top and that’s what I was trying to do.”

If Beck is going to choose to model himself after a particular quarterback in the NFL, I’m not sure that he could pick a better role model.

Check out Beck’s full video below: Read more »

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Roster Downsizing Starts Today

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 30, 2011 – 12:24 pm

This morning’s open locker room had a rather somber atmosphere for anyone considered a “bubble player,” or “roster hopeful” (or their respective friends) this preseason.

This is the first day of roster cuts for all teams in the league, and the Redskins must go from 89 players (87 and two P.U.P.) down to 80.

Already at 11 a.m., there were three empty lockers around the room.

All of those cuts will become official this afternoon, but it’s certainly a part of the business that no one enjoys.

“I think that’s the hardest thing as a head coach is telling somebody that he’s not going to make your football team,” head coach Mike Shanahan said.  “Regardless of if it’s going from 90 to 80 or to 53 and the practice squad, those are the tough days for a coach.”

Shanahan talked about the difficulty of making cuts this year in particular, given the lack of exposure to certain players.

“[The lack of evaluation time] does make it tougher,” he explained.  “Even though you have 90, you don’t have those OTA days.  Those extra practice days help you get a good feel for everyone, but this is a little tougher than it has been in the past.”

Watch his full press conference below: Read more »

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Monday Special Teams Foot Races

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 29, 2011 – 4:15 pm

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After each practice, different units of players will run the length of the field, as a group, for conditioning purposes.

Today, one of those units happened to be special teams.

Kickers Graham Gano and Clint Stitser were out leading the group while Sav Rocca and Nick Sundberg were chugging along, 10 yards behind.  All-in-all, it was not an awe-inspiring race, but there were still reactions to the race.

“What a race!” receiver Anthony Armstrong sarcastically declared.  “They’re not really thoroughbreds–I don’t know what that is.”

Gano was a pretty clear winner, beating out an eager Stitser.  Armstrong remarked, “You see, Graham is quietly a pretty good athlete.  You might not know it, but he’s quietly pretty explosive.” Read more »

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Anthony Armstrong Looks Like A Linebacker

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 29, 2011 – 3:43 pm

A Sunday afternoon tweet from a follower brought back some old memories of simpler times for Anthony Armstrong:

That linebacker-looking player is Armstrong from his season in the Intense Football League with the Odessa Roughnecks.

Armstrong explained the uniform malfunctions as just part of the IFL experience. Read more »

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Redskins Are Back To The Gridiron

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 29, 2011 – 2:39 pm

Hurricane Irene is a distant memory at Redskins Park today, as players and coaches prepare for the final preseason test on Thursday against Tampa Bay.

Given that the roster currently sits at 87 (plus two on P.U.P.), some familiar faces will depart to get the roster down to 80 tomorrow.  The big cuts happen after the fourth preseason game, when the roster must downsize to 53, plus an eight-man practice squad.

These will be a stressful week for some players, but there should be some really hard-nosed football in there too, as players attempt to set themselves apart.

Here are some scenes from this morning’s practice. Read more »

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Davonte Shannon Plays Big ‘D’ In B’more

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 29, 2011 – 1:33 pm

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Tucked away in the stats pack against Baltimore was a really solid night by rookie defensive back Davonte Shannon.  He finished with a line of four tackles, two for a loss, one pass defensed, and a sack.  He also led the special teams in tackles with two.

He tweeted his excitement after the game:

And all of this for a guy who didn’t know if he was going to play on Thursday night.

“I didn’t even know I was gonna play until the night before, and I hadn’t played on defense yet,” he said after the game.  “I’ve been special teams a couple times but that was my first time. Coaches said that I could play second half, so I just try to go out there and be prepared and be ready, and try to get the ball.”

Not a bad showing for his first time on defense.   Read more »

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Shanahan Doesn’t Consider This A Rebuilding Year

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 29, 2011 – 9:30 am

With a dozen draft picks and 23 rookies on the roster, a popular label being placed on the 2011 Redskins, is that this is ‘a rebuilding year.’

While this phrase carries multiple connotations, head coach Mike Shanahan rejected the classification in his Saturday afternoon press conference.

“I never talk about anything as ‘rebuilding,” he said.  “When you use the term ‘rebuilding,’ that’s kind of an excuse for not winning.  So you always believe you can win.”

So far, Shanahan has led his young team to a 2-1 preseason record, with three solid showings by the starting units.  Much is still yet to be determined about the layout of this roster, but the coaching staff doesn’t appear to be making excuses for performance.

Check out the full video below:

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‘Beauties On The Beach’ On CSN

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 28, 2011 – 4:49 pm

Tomorrow, Monday, August 29 at 9 p.m. marks the first airing of the Redskins Cheerleader Swimsuit Special entitled “Beauties on the Beach,” on Comcast SportsNet.

If you have plans, cancel them.  If you’re too busy, DVR it.  If you’re too busy to DVR it (and you’re not), then just watch the sneak peek below:

This year, the squad is celebrating its 50th season of Redskins Cheerleaders on the Washington sidelines.  For the record, none of the cheerleaders were around for the original season.

According to the official production notes for the show:

The Redskins Cheerleaders continue to raise the bar with each swimsuit calendar and this year proves no different. This year’s calendar promises to deliver the most exquisite photos of some of the most spectacular women in sports, the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders.

These Beauties on the Beach represent the finest in the NFL and this year’s calendar definitely proves it. To see how their hard work paid off, watch the hour special on Comcast SportsNet.

The air-dates on CSN are:
Monday, August 29th at 9pm
Monday, September 5 at 1:30am
Saturday, September 17 at 11:30pm.

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Clint Stitser’s ‘Adventure Of A Lifetime’

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 28, 2011 – 1:42 pm

Two weeks ago, Clint Stitser had a lot on his mind.  At work, he had to manage realty properties, clients, escrows and listings.  At home, he had a 5-month old baby girl named Avery, and a wife that needed help around the house.

He was out walking the dogs before work, when his phone rang, with a call from his football agent.

“You’re going to New York,” the voice said, to try-out for the Giants.

“Well, holy crap, I’m three hours away from the airport,” Stitser remembered thinking.

From there, he had a lot different things on his mind for Monday morning. Read more »

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Redskins Players Tweet Support After Hurricane Irene

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 28, 2011 – 11:39 am

AP Image

It’s too early to breathe a sigh of relief, but Hurricane Irene has passed over the heart of Redskins Nation and left it mostly unscathed.

Perhaps a little wind-battered and waterlogged, but mostly okay.

At this point, Irene is responsible for 11 deaths from Florida to Connecticut, and millions of dollars in damage.  It’s also worth noting that CNN reported another earthquake in Altamont, N.Y. yesterday, before the rains set in.

This has been a wild week that has left the East Coast shaken…and stirred.

Here’s hoping that you, yours, and everyone you know, is okay this morning.  Several of the players took the time to tweet their thoughts during and after the hurricane moved through: Read more »

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