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Aldrick Robinson Overcomes the ‘Death Penalty’

Posted by Brian Tinsman on May 19, 2011 – 9:52 am


Wide receiver Aldrick Robinson has been part of groups from the moment he was drafted. He was the second of back-to-back sixth round picks. He was the third wide receiver selected by the Redskins. The closest he’s come to a spotlight on the blog was being one of the people featured in my look at draft day phone calls. Redskins.com intern Brian Tinsman was determined to change that. This is the result.


by Brian Tinsman

To be clear, Aldrick Robinson is a soft-spoken guy who has never committed a crime worthy of capital punishment, even by the standards of his native Texas. But much of his football story has been shaped by a different kind of “death penalty.”

The“death penalty” in the NCAAis when a collegiate athletic program is banned for one or more seasons due to multiple or particularly heinous infractions. At Robinson’s alma mater, Southern Methodist University, those infractions were improper benefits to players from boosters and alumni.

As a result, the 1987 season was canceled, and the school nixed the 1988 season as well. No recruiting was permitted until August 1988. The team was banned from television coverage and bowl games until 1989. The team was also only permitted to have half of the normal coaching staff and lost most of their athletic scholarships.

Stick a fork in the Mustangs — they were done. The program that produced NFL greats Eric Dickerson, Raymond Berry and Craig James was closed for business.

Read more »

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Evan Royster Tweeting A Much Happier Tune

Posted by Brian Tinsman on May 12, 2011 – 11:40 am

Redskins.com intern Brian Tinsman has already written about how Leonard Hankerson seemed fated to become a member of the Washington Redskins. Now he turns his attention to a draft pick whose first moments after being selected by the team were slightly bumpier.

by Brian Tinsman


Sixth-round pick Evan Royster one major shortcoming in his introductory conference call after the 2011 NFL Draft: his childhood team.Royster, a local product and graduate of Westfield High School, didn’t always cheer for the burgundy and gold.

“I had actually moved here from Texas and I was originally a Cowboys fan,” Royster told the media.”That didn’t sit well with my friends.”

He did add, “I kind of, slowly, converted into a little bit of a Redskins fan, I follow them a little bit.”

Nice save.

But in the weeks that have followed the Draft, Royster has had a change of heart about the Redskins, tweeting much happier vibes.First there was this twitpic:


Next, Royster made nice with Redskins Nation, tweeting about his knowledge of certain important lyrics:

Read more »

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How Leonard Hankerson Wound Up With Redskins Gear On Draft Day

Posted by Matt Terl on May 5, 2011 – 4:27 pm

There are a lot of awesome things about newly-drafted Redskins wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, most of them covered here (his kids wearing Redskins gear) and here (his outsized hands). Perhaps the most fascinating thing about that first link is Hankerson’s offhand reference to “[his] buddy Jack Doucette,” whom he calls “a big Redskins fan” and credits with providing Skins gear before the selection was even made. That seemed like a throwaway detail that cried out for further explication.

So when I found out that Doucette is on Twitter, I got in touch with him to find who he was and how he came to be at the draft with Hankerson and a whole bunch of Redskins gear on draft day. The story he told is pretty cool, and contains some of the most unbelievable coincidences I’ve ever heard. I’m not a big believer in NFL Draft picks being pawns of destiny, but … well, here, check it out. Read more »

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'Rogue Scout' Likes Redskins Draft

Posted by Matt Terl on May 4, 2011 – 2:32 pm

Dave Razzano was one of the more interesting supporting characters of the weeks leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft. An ex-NFL scout with blunt opinions and a whole lot of enthusiasm, he gained a bunch of notoriety as “The Rogue Scout” after a profile by Yahoo!’s Michael Silver; that notoriety manifested on this blog in the form of a 2,000 word post exploring Razzano’s comparison between Jake Locker and Brett Favre. (This was back in the day when writing about Jake Locker seemed like a potentially relevant pasttime here at the Redskins Blog; I wonder if there’s a Titans Blog somewhere that would like a whole bunch of slightly-used Jake Locker posts.)

Anyhow, John Keim of the Washington Examiner caught up with Razzano to get The Rogue Scout’s scoutcentric p.o.v. on the Redskins draft, and the result is a bunch of remarkably favorable commentary. I’ve excerpted Razzano’s thoughts on DeJon Gomes below, mainly as a way to balance out the pictures of Gomes and a porcupine from my last post, and you can click on through to Keim’s article to see the rest of the analysis. It’s good stuff.

Here’s what Razzano thought of Gomes: Read more »

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Draft Coverage: The Phone Call Story

Posted by Matt Terl on May 2, 2011 – 3:15 pm

The phone call anecdote is a staple of post-draft coverage, and why wouldn’t it be? It grounds a newly drafted player in something concrete and relatable, and there are so many potential variations: who called you? Where were you when you got the call? What’d they say? And so on.

Chris Cooley‘s draft day phone call story (pictured to the right) is legendary, as brother Tanner forgets that he left Joe Gibbs on hold … but most of them are a little more forgettable, just throwaways in the overarching So-And-So Got Drafted narrative.

Still, the Redskins picked twelve guys over the last few days, and most of them had at least one phone call or another mentioned in their draft stories; here are a few examples. Read more »

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The Universe Was Trying To Tell Leonard Hankerson Something

Posted by Matt Terl on May 2, 2011 – 1:43 pm

In hindsight, it seems like newly-drafted Redskins wide receiver Leonard Hankerson should probably have expected to wind up with the Redskins. Redskins.com intern Brian Tinsman has the story.

Story by Brian Tinsman

If an octopus can correctly predict the results of the World Cup, it shouldn’t be that surprising that a 5-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl can predict their dad’s NFL team.

After being drafted by the Redskins with the 79th overall pick, Leonard Hankerson revealed to Doc Walker on ESPN 980 that his toddler, Kienarria, correctly predicted the Redskins months ago.

Read more »

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Rounding Up The Redskins Draft Grades

Posted by Matt Terl on May 1, 2011 – 8:20 am

Let me get the obvious preamble out of the way quickly: draft grades are pointless. We all KNOW draft grades are pointless. In almost every case below, the writer has made sure to admit that the grades are all but meaningless. They’re meaningless because no one really knows how these picks will do, and they’re meaningless because all the grade is really saying is “Here’s how well the team’s evaluations matched my own.” I could go through and dredge up years of inaccurate draft grades coated in irony, but instead let’s just take all of that as given.

Still, these grades do give a quick snapshot of how various media folks view the team at the moment, and they can provide a glimpse at the likely narrative that’s being assigned to the team’s season. Also … it just wouldn’t feel like a draft without posting the draft grades. So here we go; my quick response follows each publication’s grade. Read more »

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Redskins Select Chris Neild, NT From West Virginia

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2011 – 7:27 pm

With their final pick in the 2011 NFL Draft — and the second-to-last pick overall — the Redskins finally selected a nose tackle, just like everyone predicted they would 11 picks earlier. The guy: Chris Neild, out of West Virginia. And I’ll tell you what: I know the point of a profile like the one below is to hype a guy up, but … man, this guy seems like a heck of a grinder, that’s for sure. (The Metallica music in the background helps create a mood of seriousness and reflection, which is appropriate for the end of this marathon of a draft.)

Speaking of the end of the draft, here’s the final tally for the Redskins: twelve picks, six on either side of the ball. Two linebackers, two defensive linemen, two defensive backs for the defense. Three wide receivers, two running backs, and a guard on offense. No new quarterback, despite literally MONTHS of pre-draft hype. And, because of the labor uncertainty, no immediate post-draft influx of undrafted free agents.

I’m not even remotely going to try to assign a grade to all of that, but I’ll say this: as a fan, I’m pretty excited to see what these guys can do, and I feel oddly sure that there are at least four or five immediate contributors in the bunch. I certainly hope so. Read more »

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Redskins Select Markus White, OLB From Florida State

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2011 – 6:10 pm

Technically that headline should read “Redskins Select Markus White, DE From Florida State, And Plan To Convert Him To OLB,” but that seemed needlessly wordy. The 6-4, 266 pound White has plenty of athletic ability, and reportedly was a team leader on the Seminoles, but he’s very definitely a late-round project. Here’s some shaky YouTube footage of his three-cone drill at his Pro Day; watching it makes me feel like a spy.

Read more »

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Roy Helu, His Father, And Rugby

Posted by Matt Terl on April 30, 2011 – 2:40 pm

If you ask a football player what pro his game most resembles, you sometimes get some pretty outlandish answers. A guy named Quinn Porter spent about thirty seconds on the Redskins practice squad, but he assured me that, comparison-wise, “I’m like an Emmitt-slash-Jim. I could be a Barry, or a Reggie.” (That would be Emmitt Smith, Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, and Reggie Bush, I presumed at the time.)

But when Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro asked newly-drafted Redskins running back Roy Helu the comparison question on ESPN980 this afternoon, they got an answer I had never heard before.

“No one in particular,” Helu said. “As a youngster, I watched film on my dad — everyone always praised my dad for being a very good rugby player. He played on the U.S. national team and was the captain for that squad, and I really admired him and his running style.”

That sounded like a fascinating story, and it turns out that it is — fascinating enough, at least, for David Ubben to have written it for ESPN.com. Some excerpts…. Read more »

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