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Hilliard Teaching, Learning On The Job

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 26, 2012 – 5:17 pm

In his first address to the media since joining the club, Redskins wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard admitted that he isn’t necessarily a finished product on the sidelines.

Being only three years removed from his playing days might make this statement obvious, but it’s also unusual to hear in a league dominated by ego over insecurity.

What attracted him to the Redskins job is the fact that he’ll have a chance to work in a situation where he’ll be able to learn on the job, while sharing his expertise.  Check out the interview below: Read more »

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Nationals’ Gonzalez: ‘Hail To The Redskins’

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 26, 2012 – 4:42 pm

via Nationals.com

For whatever reason, it’s not terribly often that there is legitimate crossover in Washington area sports.  Sure, there’s the occasional Redskins player that throws out the first pitch, or the Capitals owner in the stands at a Redskins game, but there isn’t a long-standing relationship.

Washington’s newest sports figure seems likely to change that, however, as newly acquired Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez has gone all in as a Washingtonian.

The Miami, Fla. native–who spent his first four seasons in Oakland, Calif.–is now a Burgundy and Gold-blooded football fan.  He announced as much on his introductory interview with “The Sports Reporters,” Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin, on ESPN 980.

Have a listen: Read more »

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Kerrigan Talks Senior Bowl, Off The Field

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 26, 2012 – 3:02 pm

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Earlier this week, I caught up with linebacker Ryan Kerrigan in-between classes, and he shared a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on off the field at the Senior Bowl.

After a superb senior campaign at Purdue, Ryan Kerrigan punched his ticket to the first postseason action he’d had in years.

“I just remember that it was kind of an eye-opener because you saw all of how the NFL Draft process works,” he recalled.  “You’ll be walking through the hotel lobby and coaches will just grab you at any time and ask you questions for a little while, and try to get to know you.

After his Boilermakers failed to finish with a winning season in each of his final three years, Kerrigan was a bit of an unknown to the national audience.  He had put up big numbers in college, but had rarely played on a big stage, which left coaching staffs curious.

“You really saw how every team is really just digging for information and really trying to find things out about you, and they’ll go to any lengths to find it.  It’s really just interesting from that regard, but it really gives you some perspective.”

This game and week of practice was a big stage for a player like Kerrigan, who had risen near the top of many draft boards.  Playing against elite peer competition, Kerriganse seized his opportunity with a strong performance throughout the week.

In addition to meeting with Redskins coaching staff while he was down there, Kerrigan also developed a bond with the Cincinnati Bengals’ coaching staff, which guided his North Team. Read more »

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Shanahan’s Mark Rypien Senior Bowl Story

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 26, 2012 – 12:28 pm

via. washingtonsportshof.com

After yesterday’s South Team practice at the Senior Bowl, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan sat down with Redskins Nation’s Larry Michael to discuss, among other things, a distant memory with Redskins great Mark Rypien.

It all began with a reminiscing of the last time Shanahan served on a Senior Bowl coaching staff in 1986, as an offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos.  In that year’s draft class, there was a senior quarterback out of Washington State University by the name of Mark Rypien.

Rypien was a mid-level prospect with a strong arm and one solid senior season under his belt, but lacked the résumé for an invitation to the Senior Bowl.

That is, until the three quarterbacks in front of him on the North Team went down with injury, including Ken Norseth who came out of the bowl game needing 40 stitches for his mouth.

Good grief, that’s major surgery.

The Redskins-related point here, is that Rypien went from a non-invite to the star of the show.  According to an AP story that ran in LA Times, Rypien went 13-for-17 for 168 yards and a touchdown, en route to a North Team victory.   Read more »

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Memories From Super Bowl XXVI Champs

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 26, 2012 – 11:17 am

[Editor’s Note: In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Redskins’ victory over the Bills in Super Bowl XXVI, I wanted to put together something that captured the emotion of the season, the title, and the players involved.  With the help of Jim Gehman and his book, Then Gibbs Said to Riggins: The Best Washington Redskins Stories Ever Told, we look back on the magical 1991-1992 Redskins Super Bowl victory.  For much more, I encourage you to buy the book, here.]

The stage was set for the biggest game of the year, featuring a matchup between the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills.  For the Redskins, it was their third trip in a decade, and their first appearance following a full regulation season without work stoppages.  For the Jim Kelly Bills, it was their second of what would be four consecutive trips to the Super Bowl (each in defeat).

The two teams were similar in stature, both boasting a Top-4 offense, with the Bills ranked No. 1 overall.  The Redskins had finished the season with a red-hot 14-2 record, balanced by their No. 3 ranked defense in the NFL.

The two teams would meet in the Metrodome in frozen Minneapolis, Minn., only the second time in Super Bowl history that the game was held north of the Mason Dixon Line.  A deep freeze put fan travel in jeopardy, but according to rookie runnning back Ricky Ervins, helped to keep the Redskins focused on the task at hand (via Gehman):

“We never got a chance to experience the whole week. We had it inMinnesota, and there was nothing but snow there,” laughed Ervins. “When you go to Super Bowls now when they have them inMiamiorPasadena, the whole week is a festivity of things going on. We never had that NFL experience.

“Once you get to the game and all the hoopla that’s going on, the singers and the balloons inside the building, it hit me. That year, we were constantly winning, so I was used to winning. So when we playedBuffalo, it was just another game. But once the game was over with and you see tapes that they make up, that’s when it hits you. Wow! I actually played in that game.”

The first man to put points on the board that evening was Redskins kicker Chip Lohmiller.  Despite the social deep freeze of holding a Super Bowl in the Twin Cities, this was a homecoming party for the kicker, who had played at the Metrodrome his entire life (via Jim Gehman): Read more »

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