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Tim Hightower And His Single Biggest Fan

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 1, 2011 – 6:20 pm

If you want to learn the thoughts of a man, follow him on Twitter.  If you want to know his character, ask his proud mother.

After meeting Nikki Hightower, I learned first hand where Tim gets his congenial personality.  The woman, who Tim introduced to the students at the Play 60 event as his “lifelong hero,” channeled her inner-teacher to talk to the kids about healthy lifestyles.  Tim later affectionately admitted that she stole the show.

But at the end of the day, Mrs. Hightower is just a proud mom, who is happy to have her son living nearby again.

“Wow, when he was traded to the Redskins, it took me a moment to get used to the fact that he was coming home,” she said with a smile.  “And to see him play for the Washington Redskins–which is our hometown team–was very rewarding.  A privilege and an honor as a parent, to see him come back to a team that we know and we love.”

Mom revealed that ironically, although not surprisingly, Tim was a 49ers fan growing up, after being born in Santa Ana, Calif.  But growing up in Alexandria, Va., he developed a deep affection for the Redskins as well.

“He watched the Redskins a lot, obviously, and the whole community embraced the team,” she said.  “So he couldn’t help but be influenced by the Washington Redskins and their fans.  It’s always been ingrained in him: ‘go ‘Skins!'”

On the flip-side of that excitement, Mrs. Hightower was in the stands in Carolina two weeks ago when Tim went down with his season-ending torn ACL.  At first she thought he had just been tackled, but her instincts changed quickly after the play.

“I’m used to seeing him get knocked down, or I’m used to seeing him fall,” she explained.  “So I assumed that he was getting up.  But the moment that I realized that he was down longer than I expected, at first it took my breath away.”

Even two weeks later, her emotions were still present as she walked through her reaction to his injury. Read more »

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Vernon Fox: Patient Perspective Is Key

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 1, 2011 – 5:15 pm

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Former Redskins safety Vernon Fox is a former Redskins player, a Redskins fan, and a Redskins analyst.  But he is not a Redskins apologist, as he offers his weekly perspective on the direction of the team.

His advice to the players?  Keep swingin’.

His advice to fans?  Hang in there.

One of the highlights of this week’s assessment is his tip of the cap to Redskins linebacker London Fletcher.

“Listen, this is the sign of a key iron man,” Fox said of his former teammate.  “This guy went out and still played in the game injured.  Now there are guys all over the league that struggle with hamstring injuries, that are out multiple weeks.  He went out and fought through the pain, had 19 tackles, an interception, and a half sack.  It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Here’s Fox’s take on what everyone should do to ride out the rough patch: Read more »

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Shanahan: Team Has Leaders, Character

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 1, 2011 – 4:20 pm

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Despite all of the adversity that the Redskins have encountered in the last three weeks, head coach Mike Shanahan expressed his confidence in the leadership and character of his locker room.

“You’re always looking for guys to step up as leaders,” he said.  “Leaders come from playing at a very high level consistently and that’s how you become a leader. Some are a little bit more vocal than others, but you want as many leaders as possible as you can on your team.”

After the offense lost five starters in two weeks, there were concerns about a void of leadership on offense.

“If you take a look at the defense, I think we have more of a veteran club on defense than we do offense,” he said. “Any time you add a new center, a new left  guard, a new left tackle, you’re using two tight ends not as much, you’ve got a couple of [new] wide receivers in there, it’s not going to happen right away. It takes some time for those guys to work together. Some games will be better than others. All you’ve got to do is keep on working [and] try to get that chemistry to jell, and hopefully it will jell.”

Shanahan’s teams have had three-game losing streaks seven times in his career, including six with the dominant Broncos teams of the late-90’s and early 2000s.  In times like this, he falls back on that experience and observes his team more closely than ever.

“You find out what type of character you have by work ethic that the players have, how they come back,” he said.  “Hopefully, we’ll put a full game together.”

Watch his full video below: Read more »

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Carriker On Fans, Bands, and Weird Smells

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 1, 2011 – 3:41 pm

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A recent post by Dr. Aaron of “Joe Sports Fan” blog captured our attention, because it discusses almost everything you’d ever want to know about Redskins defensive end Adam Carriker.

Carriker is having a beastly start to 2011, already accumulating more sacks (4.5) than he had in his career combined (3.5).  He is also on track to break his season-high in tackles, with 18 through the first seven games.

It’s nice to see Carriker finally finding his groove, and it couldn’t be better for the Redskins.  After starting his career in St. Louis, he’s making a name for himself in Washington.

But how does he feel about the fans in Washington?  Dr. Aaron asks the tough questions:

JSF: What’s the biggest difference between playing for the Rams and the Redskins?

Carriker: The fans here. You go to the stadium and it’s sold out. It’s like a college atmosphere. We have our own band. I don’t know if any other team even has that.

There is only one other team with a band, and that would be our AFC neighbors, the Baltimore Ravens.  But they don’t have a fight song, so who cares? Read more »

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Backfield Four Horsemen A Hit At Play 60

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 1, 2011 – 1:51 pm

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The students at Steuart W. Weller Elementary School got a full taste of the Redskins rushing attack on Tuesday morning, as Tim Hightower, Ryan Torain, Roy Helu, and Darrel Young led the students in a Play 60 celebration.

The students and teachers arranged a big welcome for their hometown heroes, and were showered with hugs and high-fives from the students:

Read more »

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