On Wednesday, the Washington Redskins announced the return of former strength and conditioning coach Malcolm Blacken to the Nation’s Capital.
Blacken has twice appeared in burgundy and gold as he was under head coach Norv Turner from 1996-2000 and was part of head coach Mike Shanahan‘s revamped vision for the three-time Super Bowl winning franchise in 2010.
Blacken will serve as the Director of Player Development this go ’round and will play a key role in helping younger players become acclimated to the rigorous and trying lifestyle of a professional athlete.
His versatility and extensive knowledge of the game will be paramount for the younger players as they defend the title of division champions.
But what might be more interesting to fans is what Blacken does with his time away from the facilities. When not lifting weights and counseling young men, Blacken is actually quite the artist:
Blacken is as versatile with a paintbrush as he is on the football field, splitting his time between landscapes, football-themed portraits and good ol’ miscellaneous work.
Blacken became enchanted by art at a very early age and looked to capture the beauty of his surroundings. According to his official art website, unable to afford the necessary materials as a young artist, Blacken began sketching with charcoal and no. 2 pencils.
He grew up in Redskins territory, where he attended secondary school in Matthews County, Virginia and garnished recognition for his continual standout performances in football, basketball, and track. Ultimately he choose to continue his football career in the commonwealth at Virginia Tech.
In what is considered a rarity for football players, Blacken majored in art, piecing together picturesque moments on the field and in the classroom.
At Tech, Blacken was a four-year player and spent his last two seasons under the tutelage of Hokies living legend Frank Beamer. Twice he won the Super Iron Hokie Award, given to the strongest player at each position.
Despite the fact that his playing days and college career were over in 1988, Blacken’s love for both football and art continued to extend past the Blacksburg campus.
While his football career took several twist and turns from the Redskins to George Mason University to the Motor City and back, Blacken’s brush strokes on the canvas remained as smooth as ever and gave him an outlet from his everyday stresses of the game he holds so close to his heart.
As the DMV begins to dethaw from the winter doldrums and gusty winds, warmer weather is on the minds of many. To help ring in the Spring Equinox, Blacken has a painting that just many cheer you up from your winter hibernation entitled Morning, pictured to the right.
Notre Dame is one of the most successful college football programs in the history of the game. The “Golden Domers” have won 13 National Championships recognized by the NCAA, and appear destined to return to annual top five recognition in national rankings after appearing in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.
As the sport’s popularity boomed in the early 1900′s, Notre Dame became the school that every elite athlete wanted to attend. In the midst of their dominance in the early 1920′s, the Fighting Irish were lead by their backfield that consisted of some of the best players on the collegiate level. With the quarterback, the number one and two running backs on the depth chart and the fullback, on horseback together in an iconic image in college football lore, the quartet were dubbed as the “Four Horseman”.
Blacken meshed the historical shot together with the NFL Hall of Fame to create a painting that bonds the best of college football and the NFL.
Welcome back, Malcolm; it’s a great time to be a Redskin once again!
Tags: Alfred Morris, Malcolm Blacken, mike shanahan, Robert Griffin III
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