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Redskins Employees Cheer The Team For Dallas Week

Posted by Matt Terl on September 10, 2010 – 1:53 pm

This isn’t a picture that’s been taken before, I don’t believe. You can click to enlarge it and examine it more closely, but here’s what you’ll see: a big chunk of the staff at Redskins Park — folks from the business side of the building, marketing people, administrative assistants, and more — decked out in gold Beat Dallas shirts, cheering the team as they head into the building from the practice fields.

It was an unusual scene, but that doesn’t make it an unwelcome one. “This is the first time since I’ve been here where the organization’s involved — not just the team and the coaches, but the business side — for something like this,” linebacker Andre Carter said. “It brings the whole organization together, and you’ve gotta have that. It was great.” Read more »

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Redskins Players Seem Pretty Unified In Predicting The Pick

Posted by Matt Terl on April 12, 2010 – 12:43 pm

As we begin the final approach to the 2010 NFL Draft — just 10 days and six-plus hours as I write this, according to ESPN’s handy-dandy draft countdown! — and we’re at the point now where everyone and their sister will be offering predictions of what’s going to happen.

Most of those predictions will be wrong.

Many of the predictions will be offered by current and former NFL players. The theory seems to be that these people are much closer to the action and therefore have a better understanding of what teams need. Or, in some cases, they’ve dealt (or are currently dealing) with the coaches and general managers, and therefore have better insight on which to base their predictions.

Most of those predictions will still be wrong.

During his Lite Brite press conference last Thursday, Chris Cooley explained why this is. “As far as the draft goes, I’m out in the dark,” he said. “My knowledge is about as much as the fans’. I actually had to meet with my tight ends coach and he said, ‘I’ll be in the draft meeting.’ I opened the draft door where our entire staff was and basically got the boot. So I don’t think they wanted me to know anything going on in there.”

But that didn’t stop Cooley from saying what he thought the team SHOULD do in the draft.
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Friday, January 29: Another Honor For London Fletcher

Posted by Matt Terl on January 29, 2010 – 9:46 am

ESPN’s Matt Mosley released his All NFC East team yesterday afternoon, and …well, the Redskins didn’t fare all that well. When you’re 4-12, I suppose you shouldn’t expect to have a whole lot of players honored in these things, but seeing it in black and white is pretty stark.

The two guys who did get honored were Andre Carter and London Fletcher, which isn’t really a huge surprise — one of them is going to the Pro Bowl, and I was pushing hard to get both of them there. The most obvious snub is the Redskins’ other Pro Bowler, Brian Orakpo. Here’s Mosley’s reasoning on all three: Read more »

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The Giants Are Very Aware Of Carter And Orakpo

Posted by Matt Terl on December 18, 2009 – 3:22 pm

When I was in junior high, putting someone’s picture up in your locker meant that you, like, TOTALLY had a crush on them. (I think. It was a long, long time ago.)

I suspect that’s not exactly what’s going on in this screenshot taken from Giants offensive lineman David Diehl’s morning media session yesterday, but if you look at what’s inside the yellow circle there, it’s clear that Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo are very much on Diehl’s mind.

Diehl doesn’t just have pictures up; he’s also TOTALLY talking about these two ALL the time. Okay, he’s actually just asked a question about blocking Orakpo. Here’s his response:

“Obviously you see a rookie that’s made a lot of progress throughout this season. He’s a guy that they’ve drafted TO pass rush, to bring that presence out thtere. And he plays hard, he plays fast, and he comes off that with a lot of steam and is looking to attack the quarterback. So I’m just continuing to watch film on the guy, continuing to see if there’s any tendencies, to see if he shows anything and just most importantly make sure I’m on top of my game.”

You can see it for yourself on the Giants’ website.

Quarterback Eli Manning also discussed the Redskins’ sack tandem during his Thursday media chat: Read more »

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Brian Orakpo Talks About The Sack Race

Posted by Matt Terl on November 16, 2009 – 1:52 pm

For all that went well for Brian Orakpo yesterday, there were a couple things that could’ve gone a little better. For example: he broke the Redskins rookie sack record, but he did it after the team’s PR staff and a large chunk of the media contingent had already gone down to the locker room. So there was no announcement of the feat — in either the press box OR the stadium.

Which also meant that the press didn’t realize there was anything specific to discuss with the rookie, so he got dressed and left, talking to only a couple of people and avoiding the usual media hordes. Which is, of course, why he didn’t actually get any say in my post from yesterday about the sack competition that’s developing between him and Andre Carter.

I thought leaving in a hurry might have been a deliberate move, actually. Orakpo had been extremely frustrated after the Falcons loss, and it was possible that he just didn’t feel like facing the press even after a win. But, based on his demeanor at his press availability today, that didn’t seem to be the case.

“You just feel so much better,” he said, when asked to describe the atmosphere at Redskins Park today. “Everybody’s just so upbeat, you know, everybody’s real excited. You can use this as momentum to the next game, ’cause it feels so good when you win. At the same time, you don’t wanna feel like, that’s it, we’re done, and then go back and lose four more. We gotta continue to keep progressing as a team, take this game as motivation, and keep moving forward.”

And, fortunately for this imaginary sack race that I’ve been babbling about, he also addressed Andre Carter’s 2009 sack total. Read more »

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Morning Practice – Linemen Battling

Posted by Matt Terl on August 10, 2009 – 1:34 pm

Practice today was yet another hot one, with even hotter temperatures predicted for this afternoon’s special teams practice. Coach Jim Zorn, presumably as yet another way of demonstrating his now-legendary quirkiness, is thrilled by this. “The heat is wonderful,” he said after practice. “It’s going to be hotter this afternoon. We cannot wait. It helps us.”

Less wonderful, of course, are the still-nagging injuries. “Not to my liking,” he said. “We still have little nicks, and the nicks are with some of the key guys.” The main guys he was referring to were Santana Moss and Devin Thomas, both of whom sat out of practice today. Jeremy Bridges and Reuben Riley were held out of offensive line work, and Anthony Alridge was completely absent from practice.

I caught up with Alridge afterward, walking around with a boot on his foot — not what you hope to see from a guy known almost entirely for his speed. But Alridge — who was injured in preseason last year in Denver — seems optimistic. “I’m fine, man,” he told me. “I’m ready to play. I’m wearin’ the boot ’cause they want me to wear it, but I’m ready to go.”

Like, ready to play in the game on Thursday? “Oh yeah. I’d better be [ready on Thursday]. Just tape me up and I’m ready to go.”

Jason Campbell seemed to be looking downfield more, which was good to see, but his accuracy was down, which wasn’t. Colt Brennan was spotted having his arm looked at by the training staff and seemed unusually tentative during his work in drills, but said afterward that he felt fine and that his arm was just tired from a combination of strenuous throwing and weightlifting yesterday, an assessment that Coach Zorn agreed with. “We threw a lot of balls yesterday and all of the arms were a little bit tired today,” Zorn said. “He’ll be fine.”

But the high point of practice — for me, at least — was the linemen’s 1-on-1 drills. In fact, this has become far and away my favorite thing to watch at practice in general. There’s usually a pretty clear winner and loser, some solid hitting, and the guys who aren’t participating tend to chime in with some enthusiastic chatter.

Today’s practice was no different.
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