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Cool Atogwe Complements Fiery Landry

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 7, 2011 – 6:56 pm

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The Redskins defense is recreating the X-Men, with Pyro and Ice Man patrolling the secondary.

Oshiomogho “Ice Man” Atogwe described himself and fellow safety LaRon “Pyro” Landy as opposites out on the gridiron, but good complements in terms of style.

I’m more cool, you know soo cool, mild-mannered, and he’s a high-strung, get-after-it kind of guy,” he said with a laugh.  “But there’s a definite natural balance given our personalities and I think our playing styles have a natural balance as well.”

Landry is fiery-Louisiana-hot, and Atogwe is a Canadian-West-Coast-cool.

Landry’s intensity has been his calling card since joining the Redskins in 2007.  He described his practice strategy in the locker room this morning. Read more »

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John Beck Learning How To ‘Deal With It’

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 7, 2011 – 5:52 pm

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The offseason lockout prevented all organized team activities that would normally allow players to grow in an offense.  Redskins quarterback John Beck turned to friend and Saints quarterback Drew Brees for advice on how to be a starter.

After he failed to unseat incumbent quarterback Rex Grossman, he’ll be using Brees’s guidance to help him be a backup as well.

“Drew always wore this shirt when we were working out that said ‘D.W.I.–Deal With It.’  It was in reference to the offseason and there being a lockout because every team was going to have to face it.”

The good kind of D.W.I.

When head coach Mike Shanahan named Rex Grossman the starting quarterback on Monday, it didn’t sit well with Beck.  He admitted that he had envisioned himself as the starter, prepared himself as the starter, and was peeved that he wouldn’t be the starter.

But at the same time, he knows that he still has a role on the team and a duty to prepare.

“I knew that was going to be a part of it, and I tried to do everything that I could on my own,” he said.  “Did I? I did everything I could.  Now it’s just about what can I do now to prepare myself because I have to be ready, and I’m going to be ready for if something happens.  I also need to be ready at practice so I can help our defense.”

Beck has displayed a fiery competitiveness since the end of last season, and made it clear that he will not be discouraged by his backup status.

Full video after the jump: Read more »

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Grossman Blown Around In Windy City

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 7, 2011 – 4:42 pm

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On Monday, Rex Grossman was named the Redskins starting quarterback for Week 1, following an open competition throughout training camp and the preseason.  While he’s had about six weeks to prepare himself for the season, he told the media today that his training period stretches back to his days at the helm of the Chicago Bears.

“Chicago was a great experience for me,” he said.  “The reaction was kind of extreme both ways. In 2006, I was offensive player of the month and, at times, I did play like that and, at times, I was inconsistent. I was kind of a lightning rod with what’s going to happen.”

“I take a lot of experience from that and I am a better quarterback than I was then. I like my chances going into this season a lot better than I did then. I’m a much more grounded quarterback and more confident in my abilities.”

Whenever Grossman has talked about the things that make him successful in this offense, he has mentioned his relationship with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and his comfort in the system.  For Grossman, not all systems are created equal:

“If you look across the league, I’m not knocking Chicago, the team was set up differently for success. I fit well in this offense. I played well in Chiacgo–not everyone makes it to a Super Bowl.”

Grossman is looking to make his fourth consecutive start for Washington, dating back to last year.  His thoughts and focus are on the Redskins though, and he made it very clear that he’s not interested in reliving Chicago anymore.

Check out the full press conference video below: Read more »

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ESPN Blog Names Curious Top Redskins

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 7, 2011 – 3:36 pm

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Dan Graziano’s NFC East Blog on went through the division and named the All-Division Team going into Week 1.  In general, it names all of the obvious favorites on paper, and you can see that the division is pretty stocked with talent.

The Redskins were selected for a respectable five of 27 positions, but there were a few surprises:

Inside linebacker London Fletcher

Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo

Kick returner Brandon Banks

Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe

Fullback Mike Sellers

There were no explanations provided, so there’s an air of mystery here.

The reasonable picks:

The Redskins were well-represented at linebacker with inside linebacker London Fletcher and Brian Orakpo getting the accolades.  This is a tough division for pass-rushers, so it was a tip of the hat to Orakpo, who was listed behind DeMarcus Ware.  Orakpo will look to improve his stock in 2011 after a shift to the 3-4 and outside linebacker in 2010 that led to a bit of a sophomore slump.

Fletcher was named to his second Pro Bowl in 2010 and has been too consistent for too long to choose anyone else.  He is the captain on defense and undisputed field general, so he makes a logical pick.

Brandon Banks also qualifies for his accolades as a kick returner, although I think he’ll have better opportunities in punt returns under the new rules.

Oshiomogho Atogwe was brought in to patrol center field and be a ball-hawking play-maker in the Redskins secondary.  Although he’s new to the division, he’s very talented and deserves consideration as one of the best.

The curious pick: Mike Sellers Read more »

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Redskins Players Recall 09-11-01

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 7, 2011 – 2:17 pm

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Ask anyone in the United States where they were on 9/11, and most can tell you with exact description.

I remember that I was at home getting ready for school in Georgetown, Del. when I got a phone call from my mom to turn on the news.  I just sat on the couch all day and watched reports roll in.

Redskins players have some of their own vivid memories, and shared them in the locker room today.

Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan was in middle school in Muncie, Ind. at the time:

“I remember I was sitting in my seventh grade social studies class when I found out,” he said.  “It really is one of those thing that you don’t forget where you were.”

Defensive end Adam Carriker had just begun his final year at Kennewick High School in Kennewick, Wash. at the time:

“I was driving to high school, my senior year actually,” he said.  “I was going down the hill and it came on the radio.  I couldn’t even believe what I was hearing, to be honest with you.”

Free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe was a freshman at Stanford University in California:

“Yeah, I was in Stanford, and we were at training camp.  I think I had just woken up, about to start the day and I was hearing all of these reports on the news about everything that happened.  So it was especially tragic.  There were a few guys on the team that had family members in the area.”

“I remember, that might have been the first time that I had ever missed practice, because coach definitely canceled practice.  And it was really just, I would say, a somber day because of how the country was attacked, and the tragic event that had just taken place.”

In the Redskins locker room, there’s a pretty incredible cross-section of memories, especially given the differences in age.

For example, in September 2001, defensive patriarch London Fletcher was already a Super Bowl Champion in the pros with the St. Louis Rams.  Kerrigan, who will start alongside him on Sunday, had only been able to get into PG-13 movies for a month.

All of these perspectives and emotions will come into play during the pregame ceremonies on Sunday.

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Thunderstorms Delay Wednesday Practice

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 7, 2011 – 1:10 pm

Another soggy afternoon practice at Redskins Park got delayed thanks to torrential downpours for the third day in a row.

Just as players were taking the field, thunder rolled across the sky, to the delight of some veteran players:

Read more »

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Ben’s Chili Bowl Coming To FedExField

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 7, 2011 – 9:43 am

No Redskins jersey is complete without a few unfortunate food stains somewhere down the front of it.

Ben’s Chili Bowl will add another flavor to your favorite gameday gear, as the Redskins have announced a partnership that brings them to FedExField.

Starting this Sunday against the Giants, Ben’s will be serving its world-famous Chili Half Smokes, Chili Dogs, and Bowls of Chili on both the Club Level and the Upper Level. My personal favorite, the Chili Cheese Fries, will be offered on the Upper Level. Ben’s Chili Cheese Nachos will be served on the Club Level.

What’s better than a third quarter bowl of chili to warm your inner-fan back up?

For those of you who have had not had the U Street Ben’s experience, Ben and Virginia Ali first opened Ben’s Chili Bowl in 1958.  The iconic eatery has brought a wonderful sense of family and community to the entire Washington, D.C. metropolitan area through its ongoing service.

Bringing them to FedExField brings another authentic D.C. establishment to the mecca of D.C. sports.

“This is a passion for us,” said Kamal Ali, Ben’s CEO.  “Being there with the ‘Skins just feels natural, and our family loves the idea of supporting them at their home base.”

You can find Ben’s at Club Level section 341 and Upper Level section 420, and you can also check them out online.

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