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Garçon Calls Redskins ‘A Fresh New Start’

Posted by Brian Tinsman on March 14, 2012 – 5:39 pm

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Going into yesterday afternoon, Pierre Garçon was his own man, testing the waters of free agency for the first time in his young career.   He wasn’t waiting for Peyton Manning to pick a team.  He wasn’t waiting for any particular team to call.

He just embraced the insanity of free agency and waited for the first call.

“At 4 o’clock, phones just started ringing, and my first call was from Kyle [Shanahan],” he related in his first interview with the Redskins.  “He called me up and told me how much he wanted me, and I was like, ‘I wanna be in Washington.'”

He’s taking his talents to the Potomac.  Or the Chesapeake.  He’s coming to Washington, folks.

Garçon instantly fits into the starting lineup, and brings fresh legs to a well-seasoned position on the team.  Santana Moss will be 33 at the start of the season, and Jabar Gaffney will turn 32 during the season.  Garçon fits the mold of a productive in-between for the vets and last season’s rookies.

“It’s gonna be a great new feeling, it’s gonna be a fresh new start,” he said today.  “We got a lot of great receivers around us, and we’re gonna make things happen.

Part of what Garçon ‘makes happen’ is his ability to create yards after the catch.  Even though he opens himself up to great contact and blindside hits, Garçon is unafraid to cut back to the inside for extra yardage, and finds seams running across the field.

He rumbled for 366 extra yards after the catch last year, more than one-third of his total yardage.  And when he needs to fall down after a catch, he usually makes it worth it:

Garçon is also a dedicated individual off the field, both in the community and his family’s native Haiti.  The island was struck with a major earthquake more than two years, and is still recovering from the disaster.  Even though his family was largely unaffected, he’s been back as recently as 2010 to help aid in the recovery efforts. Read more »

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Redskins Find Another Division-III Diamond

Posted by Brian Tinsman on March 14, 2012 – 4:17 pm

With today’s announcement of the Redskins signing wide receiver Pierre Garçon, the Redskins have guaranteed the preservation of a Division-III streak on the roster.

Garçon attended D-3 powerhouse Mount Union in the Ohio Athletic Conference.  There are 2,300 students at Mount Union, of the equivalent of about one spectator section at FedExField.

During his time there, he led the Purple Raiders in receiving, en route to two consecutive National Championships, falling just short of another.

You probably heard about it.

In his three seasons at Mount Union, Garçon caught 202 passes for 3,363 yards and 47 touchdowns.  And at least once a year, he lined up against conference rival–and London Fletcher’s alma mater–John Carroll University.

If the Redskins are able to re-sign Fletcher–as they have repeatedly expressed interest in doing–then there will be two D-3 conference-mates on the Redskins for the first time in a long time.

Possibly ‘ever.’  Probably ‘ever.’

In his time on the football field, Garçon has played with a Hall of Fame quarterback, but it’s not No. 18 from the Colts.  During his time in Alliance, Ohio, he played with world-class quarterback Greg Micheli.  According to a Mike Lopresti of the USA Today: Read more »

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Josh Morgan: ‘Redskins Are In My Blood’

Posted by Brian Tinsman on March 14, 2012 – 3:36 pm

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When Josh Morgan’s phone rang on Tuesday afternoon, he didn’t necessarily know who was on the other end of the phone.

But he recognized the northern Virginia area code.

The Washington, D.C. native said that he couldn’t believe the Redskins were calling him.  His hometown team.  His family’s team.  And now the team on the front of his jersey.

“It hasn’t even hit me yet, it was surreal,” said that soft-spoken receiver after signing his contract on Wednesday afternoon.  “This was a dream come true.  Not even in my wildest dreams did I picture I’d be coming home.”

Morgan says that he grew up literally in the shadow of RFK Stadium, only two blocks away.  He grew up on his father’s stories of Doug Williams throwing to Art Monk, and the brilliant return abilities of Brian Mitchell.  His godfather passed along a love for Darrell Green, who had already played two seasons in the NFL before Morgan was born.

Morgan went to H.D. Woodson for high school, where he starred in basketball and football.  He spent his college years at Virginia Tech, leading the Hokies with 1,817 yards and 16 touchdowns, and making quality contributions on special teams.

And after college, he went about as far away from the DMV as possible, ending up in San Francisco for four years.

“It doesn’t get much further away than that,” he said.  “I guess there’s San Diego or Seattle, but they’re the same distance.”

So after agreeing to terms with the Redskins, Morgan jumped on a plane and landed at Dulles.  When he turned his phone back on, he said he had 230 text messages, and about 190 of them were from family members living in D.C.

Can they expect tickets from Morgan?

“Naw, naw man, not at all,” he said with a laugh.  “I’m not spending all of my new contract on tickets.  They all have jobs and they went to games before me.  They can find a way to come see me too.”

Smart man.  Watch his first interview as a member of the Redskins with Redskins Nation’s Larry Michael, below: Read more »

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Josh Morgan Brings Depth, Grit To Corps

Posted by Brian Tinsman on March 14, 2012 – 3:14 pm

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The receiver corps are in full remodeling mode, as the Redskins ink two quality receivers in the first 24 hours of free agency, in Pierre Garçon and now Josh Morgan.

Morgan joins the team after a disappointing end to a promising 2011 season in San Francisco.  He began the year with 220 yards in the first five games, good for tops on the team, before a broken ankle against the Buccaneers ended his season on injured reserve.

At 6-1, 215 pounds, Morgan matches decent size with good speed, running in the mid 4.4-4.5 range as a senior out of the Virginia Tech.  He has the physical attributes to do it all, and the mental makeup to fight for the extra yard.

On the play that broke his ankle against the Buccaneers, the 49ers were winning huge late in the game.  Most starters had come out of the game, but Morgan remained in, and caught a pass to convert a 4th-and-three in field goal range to kill the clock.

Morgan makes the catch, gets two yard, and fights for the extra yard, exposing his legs to extra hits.  His ankle snaps out from under him, ending his season on a senseless play.  But a play that Morgan was willing to fight for.

For the record, Morgan passed his physical, and would have been cleared to play at the end of the season, had he not been on injured reserve.  But Morgan is clearly the type of gritty player that Redskins fans will embrace.

Here are highlight videos of Morgan from last year in San Francisco: Read more »

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Redskins Make First Splash With Garçon

Posted by Brian Tinsman on March 14, 2012 – 2:47 pm

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In what promises to be a big first day of free agency, the Redskins have already gone deep to former Colts’ receiver Pierre Garçon.

In response, sportswriters across the district begin searching frantically for the cédille key on their keyboard.  Via Redskins’ public relations, you can create your own ‘ç’ by pressing ALT+0231.  Or just copy and paste.

Either way, you’re welcome.

Garçon joins an aerial attack in need of a long-range bomber, a receiver that can do the proverbial field stretch and take the ball deep, take the top off the defense.  At least initially, he becomes Washington’s most accomplished 2011 receiver, with 70 catches, 947 yards and six touchdowns.

Specifically, he adds 13.5 yards per catch and 5.2 yards after catch in 2011, playing with quarterbacks Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky.  Presumably in Washington, he could have quite the upgrade, and at age 26 has an opportunity to grow in the Redskins reloaded offense.

Here’s highlight video of Garçon from his time in Indianapolis: Read more »

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