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Holliday Tips His Cap To Redskins Fans

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 20, 2011 – 6:24 pm

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While the Cardinals game was a redemption match for Tim Hightower, it was also a homecoming of sorts for departed defensive end Vonnie Holliday.

After the one-point loss, Holliday credited the Redskins fans for establishing a hostile environment.

“It is just a great environment, you know that coming in,” he said.  “I stressed the importance of taking the crowd out of this game. We were unable to do that. We felt that some times in the game were able to do it, but for the most part the crowd stood up.”

Obviously after playing here for eight games last year and several other times in his career, Holliday is familiar with the volume of the D.C. faithful.  Even being on the other side of it, it sounded like it still gave Holliday a rush.

“It’s FedExField, it’s the Redskins,” he said.  “You have a lot of rich tradition here. It is a storied franchise. It’s always great to come in here and play them. We knew that. You have to get up early and you have to take the crowd out of it.” Read more »

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Week 3 Power Rankings Roundup

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 20, 2011 – 5:28 pm

This week, in ambiguous standards of ranking NFL teams, the Redskins are climbing once again.  Most sites had the Redskins making a huge leap last week, but they continue to trend upward after a 2-0 start.

It’s hard to ignore one of only seven undefeated teams left in the NFL after two weeks.

CBSSports.com gave the Redskins No. 13, up from 14:

FoxSports.com gave the Redskins No. 15, the same as last week:

NBC/ProFootballTalk.com gave the Redskins No. 16, up from 20:

ESPN.com gave the Redskins No. 15, up from 19:

NFC East blogger for ESPN.com, Dan Graziano, had commentary to go along with the rise: Read more »

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Adam Carriker, High School Flamethrower

Posted by Christopher Mudd on September 20, 2011 – 4:14 pm

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Watching Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg pitch brings Adam Carriker back to his younger days as a high school pitcher.

Not all that long ago, football was only a passing interest for Carriker, who as a kid had his sights set on pitching in Major League Baseball.

“Yeah, actually I was gonna be a pro baseball player,” he said.  “Growing up, literally my dad didn’t even let me play football until I was in middle school.”

His goal of playing in the majors was certainly within reach.

“That’s what I always thought growing up,” he remembered.  “I mean, that’s who told me I threw 93, was a scout.  He’s like, ‘By the time you are a senior you could be hitting 95,’ or whatever.”

Carriker was a power-pitcher in high school, and his reputation for high heat preceded him. Read more »

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Big Red Makes Big Impact For Redskins

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 20, 2011 – 2:06 pm

In the 2011 NFL Draft, the Redskins spent three consecutive picks in the middle rounds on players from the University of Nebraska: running back Roy Helu, wide receiver Niles Paul and safety DeJon Gomes.

But the storyline has transitioned from a draft-day novelty, to having all three make the 53-man roster, and contribute in the first two games of the season.

Gomes tweeted his excitement after the finals cuts were made before the regular season:

Read more »

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Shanahan Looks To Keep Backs Fresh, Healthy

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 20, 2011 – 12:32 pm

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Going into head coach Mike Shanahan’s first training camp in Washington, his selection at running back was a trio of aging stars  in Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker.  Parker didn’t make the team, Johnson didn’t make it for long, and Portis spent most of the season in the training room.

The running game struggled with the rest of the offense, gaining only 1,461 yards on the ground.

Already in 2011, Tim Hightower and Roy Helu have combined for 246 yards, which puts them on pace for more than 2,000 yards on the ground this season.

While Hightower may be the primary back on the depth chart, Shanahan explained that Helu has a defined role in this offense.

“What I think you’ll see throughout the year–not just at the running back position, but at the wide receiver position and tight end position as well,” he said, “is that sometimes people get tired.”

I’ve heard that this happens at other positions as well, but no confirmation.

“You want everybody that’s playing to be close to 100 percent, and sometimes it’s a good change-up,” Shanahan explained.  “Especially if your guy gets a few carries and he looks a little tired, to put somebody else in.  Give [one player] a chance to recover, and another to show people what he can do.”

This is a delicate strategy for Shanahan, who has to take Hightower’s history into account.  Already in 2011, Hightower has rushed 45 times, good for second in the league (Ben Tate, 47).  In 2010 with Arizona, Hightower rushed a career-high 153 times, and did not reach 45 rushes until the end of Week 5 (46).

How Shanahan is able to pace Hightower is largely dependent on the success and development of Helu.

“When you get a guy like Helu, you don’t know why guys make plays, but the great ones do,” he said of the 2011 fourth-round pick.  “It’s going to be an ongoing evaluation of him. Can he pick up blitzes? Can he hold onto the football? I was pleased with what he has done thus far through the preseason and our second regular season game. Hopefully, he just continues to grow.”

Check out yesterday’s full Shanahan media address below: Read more »

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Capitals’ Owner Rocks The Redskins

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 20, 2011 – 11:26 am

Among the many D.C. faithful in attendance on Sunday, NHL Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis was present to cheer on the Redskins.

Leonsis posted about his experience on his personal blog, Ted’s Take:


We had a blast.

I bought tickets and sat in the Dream Seats near the end zone – me, my son and two of his friends. The seats were perfect as was the service in our area. The weather was great, the sight lines were terrific and the fans were friendly.

The parking lot was easy to get in and out of. Traffic wasn’t bad. We grabbed burgers at Johnny Rockets before the game. Quite tasty I must say and everyone was friendly, nice and supportive.

The game was tense, hard fought and terrific. I am happy the Skins won and played before a passionate and loud crowd. It is great to see success for all teams of late here in DC.

I really enjoyed myself and will definitely try to catch another game soon. Hail to the Redskins! See this goofy photo of me in our seats at the game. Thanks.

I think it’s great that there’s appreciation between and among the sports teams in Washington, especially now that there seems to be renaissance of sports in the district.  This is the second Capitals encounter in as many months, after Caps coach Bruce Boudreau paid a visit to training camp in August.

Rock the Redskins, and hail to D.C. sports.

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Hightower Is A Big Fan Of Helu

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 20, 2011 – 10:38 am

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Sunday was supposed to be a redemption week for jettisoned former Cardinal running back Tim Hightower.  He started out the first half on a torrid pace, piling up 83 rushing yards and 10 yards through the air.

But in the second half, he gained on 13 yards on the ground.  He had his statement game with 106 all-purpose yards against his former team, but was edged for 112 all-purpose yard by rookie back Roy Helu.

Don’t expect Hightower to be jealous, though, as he said after the game that getting Helu his touches was “just good coaching.”

“Just like in basketball when someone has the hot-hand you go with them,” he said.  “I was doing well, I had some good runs in the first half, and they stuck with me. He played well in the second half and they stuck with him. You ride that wave and you let them lead us into victory.”

Hightower has been very supportive of a two-to-three-headed monster in Washington, and expects his teammates to be successful.

“All three of us together we are gonna make this team better, and I’m proud about Roy,” he said with a smile.  “It’s not surprising at all–it’s actually encouraging to see what I’ve seen in practice actually manifest on the field.  Any given week, sometimes they’re gonna need me to do it, sometimes they’re gonna need Roy to do it. Don’t forget about Ryan Torain, that guy still, he’s a heck of a back.”

“It’s just good in my position to have guys who you get along with, who can encourage you, who can push and motivate you.”

The Alexandria, Va. native also made sure to give proper attribution of his Sunday performance to his fans in the stands.

“The support is unbelievable,” he said.  “When I’m out there on that field, and sometimes get a little bit tired I think of all those people.  They’re pulling for you, and that’s what keeps me going, that’s what keeps me motivated. Again, I love it, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Check out his full post-game presser below: Read more »

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