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Injured Redskins Players Back In The Mix

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 2, 2012 – 5:45 pm

Open locker room on “Black Monday” is generally headlined by quiet, somber reflection for the teams and players that don’t make the playoffs.

But for injured players, this is the first time that many of them have been permitted to sit in on team meetings and team functions.  Rather than feeling like outsiders looking in, this is an opportunity for these players to stand alongside their teammates and look forward to next season.

“As a player who hasn’t produced for my team for what feels like forever, I’m really excited about starting over and moving forward,” tight end Chris Cooley said.  “Today is good for me because it feels like I’m back to the team.”

This was a fairly common sentiment in the locker room today, as injured players like Cooley, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Baker, Kedric Golston, Leonard Hankerson, and Tim Hightower all showed up to meet with coaches and clean out their lockers.

One advantage that the injured players have over their teammates is that they have already reflected on the disappointments of the 2011 season.  For Cooley, today was the first day of his preparation for the 2012 season, and it’s something that he was encouraging his teammates to do as well.

“I think a fresh start’s probably good for everyone right now, in terms of record and in terms of what we have going on right now,” he explained.  “I don’t think it sounds daunting, we just need to get back to work.”

After a quick shower and change into his sweatpants, he told teammate Logan Paulsen that he was off to go get in a workout.  From the sounds of it, we can expect to see Redskins No. 47 back on the field in 2012.

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Shanahan Explains Exit Meeting Strategy

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 2, 2012 – 3:47 pm

AP Image

When the 2011 Washington Redskins huddled in the locker room after the game yesterday, it was the last time that head coach Mike Shanahan would address the group as a team.

“I never address the team on the final day,” he told the media today.  “I talked to the team after the game about our schedule for today, and about some of the things coming up in the near future.  I talked about some of the different things coming up in the next few weeks.”

Over the course of the season, Shanahan has addressed his players individually or as a group, everyday for the last five months.  He didn’t want to risk that his offseason message would be ignored, so he chose to have two Navy SEALs and a Marine address the team on the importance of teamwork and staying on task.

It certainly resonated with the players, but Shanahan said that he was impressed as well.  Read more »

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Marine, SEALs Lead Team’s Exit Meeting

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 2, 2012 – 3:05 pm

AP Image

Late last week, the Redskins “exit meeting” was scheduled for Monday morning at 10 a.m.  Players were told to meet in the main auditorium/team meeting room at Redskins Park, for the last time as the 2011 Washington Redskins.

But when players arrived, it wasn’t head coach Mike Shanahan that was running the meeting.  It was assistant head coach Bobby Turner, or either of the coordinators, general manager Bruce Allen or even owner Daniel M. Snyder.

Standing on the stage in front of the room, were two Navy Seals and a Marine, waiting to address the team about the importance of teamwork in the offseason.  Who better to discuss preparation than those whose lives depend on it? Read more »

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Philadelphia Eagles In Rear-View Mirror

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 2, 2012 – 1:35 pm

AP Image

Before beginning any coverage of today’s locker room cleaning, I would be remiss not to look back on yesterday’s Eagles game.  Please appreciate that I finally found a rear-view mirror photo of the stadium for this weekly blog post.

Yesterday was supposed to be a feel-good game, sending the team into the offseason on a high note.  It would have been a redemption game over a division opponent that had beaten the Redskins two straight times, including earlier this season.  It would have been a showcase of young talent, and potentially a claim-staking performance for offseason free agents.

A young, depleted Redskins team played with a lot of heart yesterday, but just didn’t get the ‘W.’  On Monday morning, it hurts.  But in a week or more, it will be nothing more than one-of-11 losses this season.

The important thing is the exposure and maturation of the individual players, which will hopefully translate to wins in 2012.

Here are the Redskins superlatives for outstanding play in the season finale against the Eagles: Read more »

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