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Happy Belated Birthday To Coach Pardee

Posted by Brian Tinsman on April 20, 2012 – 4:38 pm

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Lost in the shuffle of yesterday afternoon was the celebration of former Redskins head coach Jack Pardee’s 76th birthday.  Pardee was one of the famous “Ram-skins,” brought to Washington to be part of head coach George Allen’s “Over the Hill Gang.”

During the final two years of his playing career, he started 17 games for the Redskins at outside linebacker and tallied 5 interceptions, one fumble recovery, and a touchdown on defense.

After his playing days were over, he returned to the gridiron on the sidelines, accepting a job in the Nation’s Capital as the head coach of the World Football League’s Washington Ambassadors.  The team would later move to Norfolk and retain the name, before moving to Florida and becoming the Blazers.  After one championship season, he was hired as the Chicago Bears head coach, before returning to the lead the Redskins in 1978.

Pardee might be best remembered for being the head coach of the team directly before Joe Gibbs, but he deserves credit for assembling players that would contribute to Gibbs’s championships. Read more »

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Dan Riley’s Weight Training And Disco Ball

Posted by Brian Tinsman on April 20, 2012 – 2:22 pm

In the latest interview with head strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright for Redskins Nation, he discusses his coaching mentor Dan Riley.

Riley was the Redskins’ strength and conditioning coach during the team’s glory days, serving for 21 seasons from 1981-2001.  Before coming to Washington, Riley was a dynamic strength coach for the Penn State Nittany Lions.  During his four years at the school, the team never lost more than four games in a season, and went 3-1 in bowl games.

When Joe Gibbs was hired as the head coach in Washington, Riley interviewed for the position, and brought his “High Intensity Training” to the professional ranks.  His system for workouts targeted specific muscles and worked them out to the point of exhaustion.  It was the style behind Don Shula’s ’72 Dolphins, and it helped build the Redskins’ 1980s dynasty.

Certainly the team’s success is a direct result of the right players in the right scheme.  But it shouldn’t be ignored how much Riley and his system prepared the players’ to perform.

Coach Wright also owes Riley a debt of gratitude for giving him his start as a strength coach with the Houston Texans.  After eight seasons of working under Riley with the Texans, Wright took the top job with the Redskins.

Funny how that works.

As you can tell from Wright’s description, Riley was a high-octane, borderline eccentric guy.  Sadly, he coached in the era before the team blog, because he used to have a disco ball hanging from the ceiling of the weight room at Redskins Park: Read more »

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Redskins Linebackers Fans At Caps Game

Posted by Brian Tinsman on April 20, 2012 – 12:02 pm

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It’s a city defined by its political divisions, the Washington sports community is coming together over one of their own in the playoffs.  The NHL Washington Capitals hosted the Boston Bruins last night for Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs, and several Redskins players had a night out at the Verizon Center.

Newly re-signed captain London Fletcher helped organize a linebackers’ trip to the game, and the starting unit (Fletcher, Riley, Orakpo and Kerrigan) Rocked the Red with the rest of D.C.:

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