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Training Camp Memories With Mike Nelms

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 15, 2013 – 5:49 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

The Washington Redskins had a special visitor during Tuesday’s practice and none of the thousands of fans in attendance knew it.

While most in his shoes would have had adoring fans screaming his name and requesting his John Hancock, he stood there pensively observing the action on the field.  Watching on as physical play and skirmishes broke out, 80 Greatest Redskin Mike Nelms looked on like everyone else.

Perhaps it was the hat he was wearing or his natural calm personality, but he seemed more than content with going incognito 30 years after making the same fans jump for joy after his 70-yard punt return against the Cowboys in the NFC Championship. His return helped the Redskins advance to their second Super Bowl appearance.

Nelms, who refused to settle for a fair catch and strictly followed the old traditional saying “football is a game of inches’, is second all-time in franchise history in total punt return yards (1,948) and led the NFL in combined kick and punt return yards in 1984 (1,288).

While he only played in Washington for four seasons, the impact he made on the team is still being felt today. Remove his contributions and the Redskins may only be a two-time Super Bowl champion right now.

As he watched on he recalled memories of when he was going through two-a-days in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and Hogs legend Mark May started skirmishes like the one he saw as part of his daily routine.

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Coach’s Turn: Kyle Shanahan At The Mic

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 15, 2013 – 4:29 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

Like father, like son.

Normally Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan addresses the media directly after practice, but today son Kyle, who double as offensive coordinator, spoke.

From the improvement of quarterback Robert Griffin III (never heard of that guy) to the return of 2011 leading rusher Roy Helu, Jr. here’s all that the younger Shanahan had to say thanks to the Redskins’ Twitter (@Redskins).

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VIDEO: D-Line Prepping For Speedsters

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 15, 2013 – 2:54 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

The biggest trend with the defensive lineman throughout camp has been the pace at which they go about individual drills. Whether it’s slamming the sleds back 10 yards or footwork drills, defensive line coach Jacob Burney is making it look like a track practice out there.

Want to know why? Because, Burney is prepping them for the season opener against a Philadelphia team that, with already speedy weapons in pace, is coached by Chip Kelly. The first year NFL coach is known to keep his offense at hyper sonic speed at all times.

Here’s video of the defensive lineman making the sleds whimper:

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VIDEO: Don’t Forget Evan Royster

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 15, 2013 – 2:49 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

Forgotten by some, Evan Royster is still as important as ever to the success of the Washington Redskins. The third-year back out of Penn State has recorded 79 carries for 416 yards and two touchdowns on the ground along with one receiving touchdown in his career.

Said touchdown came against the Seattle Seahawks in the first quarter of their playoff matchup in January. It was the first touchdown in a Redskins home playoff game in 13 years.

Royster along with Roy Helu Jr. and the two rookies he’s attempting to fend off for the backup gig, worked on pass-catching drills once again.

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VIDEO: Offensive Line’s Got Some Wheels

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 15, 2013 – 2:43 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

Name me another team in NFL history that has two quarterbacks with the speed of Robert Griffin III and Pat White.

Before you peruse through a Google search with countless hours of shortcomings, let me make it easy on you and let you know that there has never been a team with two quarterbacks who run sub-4.6 40’s.

Their speed has a direct impact on the way the offense operates. Instead of a traditional drop back style of play, they can move out of the pocket and gain yardage with their legs. Hello lethal read option.

Anyway, their speed also has an influence on the way the offensive line attacks the defense. While Hogs, and the meaning behind it, has become synonymous with the franchise, that style of play probably wouldn’t fit the current team’s style of play.  As a result, offensive line coach Chris Foerster wants a sprightly group of men.

Here’s how they looked today:

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VIDEO: Different Day, Still Same Garcon

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 15, 2013 – 2:40 pm

(AP photo)

(AP photo)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before—Pierre Garcon made the catch of the day.

Since day one (both preseason and regular season apply) Garcon was a lightning rod for the burgundy and gold. Against the Saints not only did he burn their secondary, but he recorded 100 receiving yards in the first half; quickly building a rapport with Robert Griffin III today.

Starting at the :41 mark of this video, you’ll see why the tandem of No. 88 and No. 10 is one of the best in the game today.

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16 Game Prediction To Chew On

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 15, 2013 – 1:34 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

It’s hard to believe that only one year ago, the media was considering the possibility of a 3-13 finish. No one was really sure how Robert Griffin III was going to transition to the NFL, especially when factoring in the fact that first round quarterbacks seem to either be perennial Pro Bowlers or out of the league in five years these days.

Given that quarterback play can have the single most important outcome on any given game, “experts” took the glass have empty mindset to the unknown. Well the glass runneth over and then some.

Of course there was also the unpredicted rise of fullback prospect, turned late round running back selection, turned starter Alfred Morris, too. Even if he hadn’t cracked the starting 11, either Roy Helu Jr. or Evan Royster could have carried the load under Mike Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme. Maybe not to the tune of 1,613 yards, but enough to warrant consideration as solid backs who could contribute to victories.

I could go on and on all day breaking down the mindboggling ridiculousness of a 3-13 season, but for a while it did seem the team was at least trending towards another lost season at 3-6 entering the Bye Week.

Now, 52 weeks later with a division title in hand, CBSSports’ Pete Prisco is once again predicting the Redskins season, and everyone’s for that matter, game-by-game.

Perhaps a little teaser before the numbers crunch:

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Coach’s Turn: Jim Haslett At The Mic

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 15, 2013 – 1:10 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

Ahh yes, a little audible in the early afternoon presser (Mike Shanahan will still speak later).

Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett is no stranger to press conferences nor is he afraid to field any questions thrown his way.

Since joining Mike Shanahan’s coaching staff in 2010, Haslett has worked with several Pro Bowlers to include Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, London Fletcher and Brandon Meriweather among others.

After an incredible draft where the team got three ball-hawking defensive backs (Phillip Thomas, however, is out for the season) Haslett spoke with the media ranging from game planning for the Eagles to David Amerson’s improvement.

While Amerson loves to pick off anything that comes his way, we promise you he didn’t intercept the wireless microphones.

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Military Men, Women Take In Practice

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 15, 2013 – 11:11 am

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Under cool August skies yesterday, the Washington Redskins hosted practice in front of another packed crowd at the Bon Secours Training Center. Unlike most days during training camp where the majority of fans are decked out in burgundy and gold, the team practiced in front of some of America’s finest: our military men and women in uniform.

USAA, an official military sponsor of the Washington Redskins, hosted soldiers from Fort Lee, Naval Station Norfolk and Langley Air Force Base at practice.

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Horticulturalist’s Dream: Redskins Lawn

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 15, 2013 – 10:07 am

(Courtesy @SuperSkin1)

(Courtesy @SuperSkin1)

It isn’t everyday you’ll see someone take their front lawn and use it as a symbol for team pride, but for one Redskins fan they did just that.

Walk around any neighborhood and you’re guaranteed to find as many Redskins flags and stickers in back windshields as you are leaves on the ground during a blustery fall day.

But for one fan the small ornaments, while still showing admiration for the burgundy and gold, would only box in his loyalty.

Solution to the dilemma—use the lawn, which is just a tiny bit bigger than a Prius’ back window. But only a tiny bit.

I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that might have taken longer than a Robert Griffin III touchdown run to complete.

Still, it’s one of the coolest things I have ever seen.


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