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A Positive Torain Looking For ‘Great Vibe’

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 7, 2011 – 7:50 pm

Running back Ryan Torain was one of the few bright spots on the Redskins offense last year, putting together three 100-yard games.  This season–outside of St. Louis (19 rushes for 135 yards)–Torain has had only 21 carries for 33 yards.

With such limited opportunities, the key to Torain’s focus has been his impermeable positivity–something that he’s trying to spread to the rest of his teammates.

“We’ve gotta stay positive, and we’ve gotta stay focused,” he said.  “I need to make plays when I get my opportunities, and I’ve gotta be an uplift.  Excited our teammates and make them want to do the same thing.  I’ve got to definitely give off a great vibe.”

Torain’s duties at running back? Run hard, pass protect, catch the ball out of the backfield, protect the football, and give off a great vibe.

Check out his full audio, below: Read more »

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Mike Shanahan Reflects On Hiring His Son

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 7, 2011 – 6:34 pm

On January 11, 2008, Kyle Shanahan became the youngest offensive coordinator in the NFL at age 28.  Over his first two seasons at the helm, his units were 17th and 10th in the league in scoring, and he had the offensive weapons at his disposal to continue to improve.

But instead, he wanted to coach with his father in Washington.  And so, after two years of success in Houston, he split for Washington.

“It was hard for me to leave,” he said at his introductory press conference with the Redskins.  “But when he got let go from Denver, I made a decision then that when he comes back, I’m only going to have so much time to work with my dad.  I realize I’m not going to have this option forever.”

“Even though it might not be perfect for me, regardless of the situation, I’m going to go with him.”

Perhaps what Kyle was referencing at the time, was a conversation that he had had with his father, who revealed today that he told him not to leave his situation in Houston.

“I’m the one that told Kyle not to come,” he said.  “I said, ‘This is going to be a work in progress.  It’s not going to happen over night.  And you were on an established team.  You’ve got your ducks in order.'”

And did he ever.

During his time with the Texans, Kyle helped to hone quarterback Matt Schaub from a talented backup into a premier pro passer.  During his time as the Texans receivers coach, he coached Andre Johnson into being one of the best in the business.

But Kyle wanted to coach with his father, and he wasn’t afraid of a challenge.  So his father brought him on board.

“I said, ‘We’re going to have to rebuild this football team, starting on offense.’  He understood that and he enjoyed the challenge–that’s what we’re doing.”

Kyle Shanahan has also earned the respect of his players, including fullback Darrel Young.  Young went undrafted as a linebacker, with only an outside shot at making the transition to the pro defense.  The Shanahans recognized the blocking ability that Young possessed, and have turned him into one of the best young fullbacks in the league.

Young defended the team’s play calling today, taking the burden of the blame on the players, not the coaches:
Read more »

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Your London Tour Guide

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 7, 2011 – 4:54 pm

AP Image

Redskins patriarch, 2010-11 defensive captain, 2010 Redskins Community Service Award Winner, and two-time Pro Bowl linebacker London Fletcher will be available tomorrow (11/08) at the AT&T Store at the Pentagon City Mall from 6-7 p.m.

And he wants to meet you.  So, don’t disappoint him.

Here are the details:

Who: Linebacker London Fletcher

What:Meet and greet for free

Where: Pentagon City Mall, AT&T Store

1100 S. Hayes St.

Space W04B

Arlington, Va. 22202

When: 6-7 p.m.

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Shanahan Praises Team Stick-To-It-iveness

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 7, 2011 – 4:41 pm

AP Image

After any tough loss–or tough streak–it’s hard for a coach to find the right things to say to inspire.  Egos get fragile under pressure, and the character and culture of a team can be lost in moments of frustration.

Following yesterday’s loss, head coach Mike Shanahan lamented the results, but praised the effort of his men, who did not give in to expectations or quit before the clock hit zero.

“I was pleased with our guys and how hard they fought,” he recounted to radio broadcasters Larry Michael and Sonny Jurgensen on the post game show.  “They were going after it for 60 minutes and there was nobody turning anything down.  That’s the sign of a lot of character, but obviously, you want the wins.”

The team doesn’t need to be reminded of the losing streak, and it’s certainly not from carelessness.  Running back Roy Helu was told about his Redskins reception record after the game by analyst Sonny Jurgensen.  He respectfully declined to celebrate in light of the loss, saying, “No, I didn’t even know that.  I don’t really care, to be honest.”

Kicker Graham Gano also booted himself into the Redskins record books with his 59-yarder to put his team on the board.  He similarly declined celebration after the game, saying, “Yeah, it’s exciting, but I think everyone hates losing.  It doesn’t mean as much since we lost.”

In head coach Shanahan’s address to the media on Monday afternoon, he discussed how this team is going to rebound and get back in the win column.

“We approach the season game-by-game,” he said.  “We got to grow up real quick.  Hopefully, we’ll find a way to win.”

Check out the full locker room coverage below: Read more »

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Whooah, We’re Halfway There

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 7, 2011 – 2:38 pm

AP Image

“Livin’ on a prayer.  Take my hand, and we’ll make it I swear…”

Coincidence?  Or is Jon Bon Jovi a prophet for the Redskins season?

In all seriousness, it’s been a tough second quarter of the season stretch for this team.  After starting out 3-1 and in first place in the division, the team has gone 0-4 and is looking up at the rest of the division.

From a team perspective, there’s nothing nice to say about four straight losses.  From a goals perspective, there’s nothing nice to say about four straight losses.

But it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing nice to say.  Believe it or not, there was a lot to build on from yesterday, and these are the top three reasons:

1. Youthful additions paying huge dividends.

Yesterday, the Redskins featured seven-of-12 picks from April’s Draft, starting a season-high four freshmen.  Not only did those players contribute to the team’s successes, but they also carried the team at different junctions in the game.

Here’s the numbers that rookies put up on offense/out of the total:

Rushes: 10/15 attempts

Rushing yards: 41/52 yards

Receptions: 18/30 receptions

Rec. Yards: 139/254 yards

Here’s the numbers that rookies put up on defense: Read more »

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