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Coach’s Turn: Mike Shanahan At The Mic

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 13, 2013 – 5:54 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

Well after nearly three long weeks of action packed two-a-days, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan took the podium just a few minutes ago to discuss a variety of topics ranging from an injury update on rookie Phillip Thomas to the brief scrum that took place between cornerback Chase Minnifield and wide receiver Aldrick Robinson.

Shanahan, who decided to slightly alter this week’s practice schedule due to Saturday’s practice session being rained out, has some tough decisions coming up as the team dwindles down the roster to a final 53-man version.

Here’s all that he had to say during his daily presser along with a brief cameo by Robert Griffin III to start with a followup message from his meeting with the media yesterday:

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Practice Happenings Day 14

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 13, 2013 – 4:55 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

After an initial brush with what appeared to be another rainy morning in Richmond, the ominous clouds have given way to blue skies and the warmest day of training camp 2013 thus far.

So this is what they were referring to as “training camp weather”.

Between a combination of being away from home for nearly three weeks and hotly debated position battles reaching a high point, the players have shown some edge to their play this afternoon. With the first of several roster trimming dates on the horizon, no one wants to leave a team that is this good.

The Redskins’ twitter account (@Redskins) is getting a nice little farmers tan in the afternoon sun, but more importantly, is on hand for today’s seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills happenings.

Here’s how things have gone so far:

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VIDEO: Pierre Garcon Starts Up The Jets

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 13, 2013 – 4:33 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

Albeit training camp.

We wrap up today’s video series with a look at the receiving core once again, only this time with a little more flair.

Sure it’s nice to move the chains with a methodical game plan of small gains, but there’s nothing quite like the long ball.

Pierre Garcon was pretty much a good luck charm last season (team went 9-1 when he was in the lineup) and if his training camp form carries over into the season, expect a lot more Dallas Cowboy-like corners eating his dust.

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VIDEO: Backs Show Versatility, Hands

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 13, 2013 – 4:20 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

Last season, Redskins running backs and fullbacks combined to record only 36 receptions for 340 yards and two touchdowns. While initially sounding like the group didn’t accomplish a whole lot, I’d just like to remind everyone (non Redskin fan readers too) that the burgundy and gold had the league’s top rated rushing attack.

With that friendly reminder, I’d also like to point you in the direction of today’s video of the backs in pass-catching drills.

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VIDEO: Skye Dawson’s Quick As A Wink

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 13, 2013 – 4:08 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

While Skye Dawson’s name hasn’t been bounced around too much with the rest of the receiving core (due mainly to his return duties) he’s been mixing it up with everyone else since day one of training camp 2013.

Today’s video series package starts with a look at the wide receivers working on short curl routes. At the :20 and 1:01 marks, Dawson shows you why he’s one, if not the, quickest player on the team.

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Griffin III Makes Straight Edge Life Choice

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 13, 2013 – 1:22 pm

(Ben Watts/GQ Magazine)

(Ben Watts/GQ Magazine)

Personally, I’m not one to get overly excited about magazines especially as we trend toward everything being downloadable on tablets and smartphones, but GQ’s September issue featuring one Robert Griffin III on the cover has raised the level of rare anticipation over a printed publication tenfold.

Griffin III, who is already a media magnet and has previous cover experience on Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine among others, has had a whirlwind experience since winning the Heisman Trophy on December 11, 2011.

He led Baylor to a shootout victory over Washington to end his collegiate career, was drafted with the second overall pick in the 2012 draft, won Rookie of the Week seven times, led the franchise to its first NFC East crown in 13 years on the back of his record breaking jersey, broke several franchise and rookie records, won AP Rookie of the Year and yes, even the unwanted knee injury.

Did I leave anything out?

Anyway, Griffin III by nature of his stature and position lives a pretty public life but he does have some down time upon occasion to get away from the field and the television cameras. He discussed some of the on the field topics in his discussion with GQ’s Brendan Vaughn.

He also gave a very rare dive into at his personal life where he discussed the reasoning behind his straight edged lifestyle.

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Imitating Read-Option Only 53 Days Ahead

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 13, 2013 – 12:15 pm

(AP photo)

(AP photo)

Chalk this one up as further proof that the read-option isn’t just a trend but a revolutionizing offensive scheme thanks to yours truly—the Washington Redskins.

The next game on the radar is the Steelers followed by bouts with the Bills, Buccaneers, Eagles, Packers and then the Lions.

So why would I stop you at Detroit and not the season opener?

Well even though the Redskins-Lions matchup is still 53 days away, reports are out that the Lions are game planning for the read-option already. While no one really knows just how many teams will line up in the pistol this year (even the Broncos with less than mobile Peyton Manning behind center ran it for a few plays during their first preseason game), the Redskins and maybe the Eagles are the only two teams on Detroit’s schedule that have the natural tools to fit the scheme.

But even then, if Nick Foles does indeed win the starting quarterback gig, the read option will be scaled down to no more than 20 plays—otherwise Philly will be in the head coaching market.

With that said, Lions quarterback Thaddeus Lewis has been doing his best Robert Griffin III impersonation during camp.

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Donte Stallworth: Historical Quote Buff

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 13, 2013 – 10:51 am

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George Washington, John Quincy Adams and Donte Stallworth—all three have more in common than you think.

Sure there aren’t any photos on the first president’s Facebook page of him wearing camouflage shorts nor did John Qunicy Adams ever rock a part of bright red kicks under his coattails, but the three share a love of the United States of America that is unwavering.

Stallworth, who’s entering his second stint with the Washington Redskins after spending a very brief stint in one of the fellow 13 original colonies  in Boston (aka the New England Patriots), fancies himself on being a star receiver and a history buff—in no particular order.

While most use Twitter to speak of how stellar girls night went or their thoughts on the ridiculousness that is Sharknado (because it is), Stallworth uses his as a platform to show his passion for the foundation of this great country.

Besides, nothing screams America more than social media.

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Leonard Hankerson’s Coach Strikes Gold

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 13, 2013 – 9:35 am

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

For those of you who didn’t watch any of this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony, I won’t call you out considering that there weren’t any Redskins in gold sport jackets.

As all of Redskins Nation saw, the Hall of Fame’s induction process is, at times, baffling. You’d think that if you garnished a few Pro Bowl appearances, broke prestigious league records and were a top target on three different Super Bowl champions, you’d be a shoo-in your first year of eligibility.

Of course the accolades above describe the career of one Art Monk who waited eight very long years before being enshrined. Although it was a magnificent night that evoked memories of the team’s dominant run when he and Darrell Green joined the Hall together, it should have never happened that way.

While his stint in the Hall of Fame waiting room didn’t last quite as long as Monk’s, Cris Carter patiently waited year after year, continually passed on for reasons unknown, before ending his long-winded snub last week.

As Carter grew emotional on the stage, draining years of his highest highs and lowest lows in the process, one of his former high school players watched on—Leonard Hankerson.

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