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Antwaan Randle El Discusses His Ex-Teammate, Now Coach

Posted by Matt Terl on February 2, 2010 – 3:52 pm

It’s been noted that the Redskins have something of a history of hiring their coaches’ sons; apparently the current regime is instituting a new tradition: hiring the players’ ex-teammates to coach them. It seems a little unusual to me, but it works out well for blogging purposes.

I’ve already talked to Mike Williams about Kyle Shanahan, with whom he and Derrick Dockery were college teammates. Today’s announcement of Keenan McCardell as new wide receivers coach meant that I was able to ask Antwaan Randle El about the above picture of McCardell apparently doing the whole “coach on the field” thing during his 2007 final stint with the Redskins. Read more »

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Coach Zorn Discusses Antwaan Randle El Some More

Posted by Matt Terl on December 16, 2009 – 3:43 pm

Antwaan Randle El‘s punt returns this year have been disappointing, to say this least. Heading into the Oakland game, he had thirteen returns for 58 yards — a 4.5 average — with two fumbles and seventeen fair catches, numbers that left people fairly disappointed.

In Sunday’s game, things got even worse. The Raiders punted the ball six times. Two of those were for touchbacks. One more was downed after Randle El misjudged its landing spot and let it roll eighteen yards into Redskins territory. Randle El fair-caught another one. Of the remaining two punts, Randle El received both of them, for 0 yards and one fumble. This left people even more disappointed, and left Randle El’s statistics even more ravaged.

On his radio show this week, head coach Jim Zorn promised “some adjustments,” and during his chat with the media today he went into that issue in a little more depth.
Read more »

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Redskins Distribute (And Discuss) Coats

Posted by Matt Terl on December 15, 2009 – 11:02 am

It’s the holiday season, so I’ll be heading out to a Santa-themed charitable event at FedExField today. But Antwaan Randle El was ahead of that curve: on Friday, his El Foundation partnered with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation to hold his “Randle El Warms Up Washington’s Youth” event at a local Macy’s, giving away 300 coats to underserved area youth alongside a bunch of his teammates.

December in this area isn’t all holiday cheer; we all know how bitterly cold it can get. So the gift of winter coats is a valuable one, something Randle El understands. “They certainly deserve these coats and need these coats,” he said Friday. “And it’s a good thing. It not only warms their bodies with the coats, it warms their hearts too knowing that somebody is thinking of them.”

But we all know that — even for kids who need them — coats are about more than just warmth. There are all sorts of style and status implications of a new coat, or at least there were back in the day.

“My favorite coat growing up was the Starter coat,” Randle El said. “I never had a Starter coat, but that was the coat I wanted. I would’ve wanted the Chicago Bears Starter coat. I never got one, but that’s the one I would want.”

He wasn’t the only one who had that response.

Read more »

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Monday, December 7: Update On Antwaan Randle El's Injury, Weird Bike

Posted by Matt Terl on December 7, 2009 – 2:11 pm

Antwaan Randle El had a pretty solid receiving day yesterday, four catches for 73 yards including one gorgeous 44-yarder that drove him from the game with a pretty frightening looking shoulder injury. Well, the shoulder injury turned out to be a minor separation, and head coach Jim Zorn today said that Randle El will be fine.

Which is good, because it also means that he hasn’t managed to kill himself driving his crazy three-wheeled bike thing. I wrote about this before, but now the Military Times has video, so I figured I’d share that as well. (I’m not sure WHY the Military Times is interested, but there you go.) It’s worth watching; the vehicle is even weirder when you see it in motion.

More from Zorn’s day-after-the-staggeringly-depressing-defeat press conference in a little bit.

http://gannett.a.mms.mavenapps.net/mms/rt/1/site/gannett-militarypubs-21772-pub01-live/current/home_page_player/singleplaylist/client/embedded/embedded.swf Read more »

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Punt Returner Situation Remains Unsettled

Posted by Matt Terl on November 4, 2009 – 4:51 pm

Around noon on Monday, reports surfaced via Rick Maese’s Twitter that DeAngelo Hall would be the primary punt returner for the Redskins, replacing Antwaan Randle El. By a little more than an hour later, Ryan O’Halloran was tweeting a conflicting report — one that squared with what I had been told here at Redskins Park — that both Hall and Randle El would be involved in the return game, along with Santana Moss.

Randle El talked about this during open locker room today, and he wasn’t particularly happy about the change, and he was doubly unhappy that he had learned about it via questions from reporters.

“I gotta find out the logistics of it myself in terms of the punt return,” Randle El said. “My whole thing is I’m still gonna … you know, given the opportunity, when I get the chance, I gotta go out and be little more productive, but, you know, it’s not always just one guy there. So it’s just a matter of … you take it as it is: go out and play when you get your opportunity and be thankful for it and make the best of it.”

A reporter mentioned that he didn’t look thrilled about this change. “Not at all,” Randle El responded. “But that’s part of it sometimes.”

In case that wasn’t clear enough, another reporter asked if this was a tough pill for Randle El to swallow. “Little bit,” he said.

Later in the day, speaking after practice — and, apparently, after a meeting with Randle El — head coach Jim Zorn clarified the situation. Mostly.
Read more »

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Players Generally Pleased By Zorn News

Posted by Matt Terl on October 23, 2009 – 9:24 am

With Vinny Cerrato confirming that Jim Zorn will remain as head coach for the rest of the year and “hopefully into the future” (which conjures up images of Zorn standing on the sidelines in a jetpack and a shiny silver jumpsuit coaching the robots from the old Cyberball arcade game), I was interested to hear what the players had to say.

As a rule, players aren’t used to being asked for comment on things at 9:00 in the morning as they wait to go to meetings, but the general sense of the guys I talked to was relief, and hope that maybe this would drastically reduce the soap opera quotient of the workweek.

“It’s good news, and it’s comforting,” Antwaan Randle El said. “I mean, that’s one thing you always look at in terms of a team: you want to BUILD a team, and it’s hard to do it in a year and a half span. If he was to be let go now or in the next couple of games or something, it would just be almost all for nothing. So it’s just good to hear that he’s here and we can kinda rest our hat on that a little bit.” Read more »

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Antwaan Randle El Talks About NOT Catching A Pass

Posted by Matt Terl on September 15, 2009 – 3:09 pm

Antwaan Randle El
was one of the offensive bright spots for the Redskins on Sunday. Playing largely from his more natural slot position, Randle El caught 7 passes for 98 yards. Talking to the media on Monday, he found himself about where you’d expect: pleased that he did well; disappointed that the team didn’t win.

“We left some stuff out there,” he said. “When Jason [Campbell] got the ball knocked out, we had open guys. The deep guy was covered but the underneath guy was open. In the redzone, they all-out-blitzed us and we didn’t get it off quick enough.”

Which was interesting and all, but — now that Randle El had converted his strong training camp into a solid start to the regular season — I was curious enough to ask him about his biggest miss of the preseason, the long pass from Campbell in Jacksonville that went straight through his hands. Read more »

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Afternoon Practice – The QB Trashcan Challenge Is A Bit Of A Letdown

Posted by Matt Terl on August 6, 2009 – 5:48 pm

This afternoon’s practice is the first one of 2009 training camp that’s felt routine. The guys came out, did their position drills, did their full group work, and wrapped up. It seemed like an efficient, clockwork practice. (Not that it was quick or easy. At an hour and 45 minutes in muggy, post-rain heat, guys were clearly getting tired even just in shells.)

Out of practice this afternoon: Lorenzo Alexander, Alfred Fincher, Santana Moss, Rueben Riley, Carlos Rogers, J.D. Skolnitsky, Devin Thomas, and Eddie Williams. Again, I get the feeling that most of these guys are being handled cautiously, and would be available if they were fully needed.

Cornelius Griffin
, Albert Haynesworth, and Malcolm Kelly did their now-traditional light second-practice work, and even Randy Thomas and Mike Williams were able to get a little light work in.

My vote for best practice performance of the day — and his best performance thus far in training camp: Antwaan Randle El. He’s been something of … not a forgotten man, as such, but an afterthought at the wide receiver position. We’ve been spending a lot of time monitoring how Kelly and Thomas are doing and wondering who’s going to emerge at the fifth receiver position, all while pretty much ignoring Randle El’s camp.

This afternoon he made a few nice catches — getting ahead of DeAngelo Hall and a safety to pull in a perfect pass on one — and just generally looked like a guy determined to show that he could still compete. Also, a guy electing to pull his shorts up very, very high. “You’re as goofy as those shorts,” Devin Thomas told him, as Randle El whooped it up after a catch.

Biggest letdown of the day? The quarterbacks and their trashcan competition. Read more »

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Wednesday, July 1: Happy Canada Day (But Not For Campbell And Randle El)

Posted by Matt Terl on July 1, 2009 – 2:01 pm

This morning, Congressional Country Club in Bethesda played host to the Earl Woods Memorial Pro Am, the opening event in the AT&T National hosted by Tiger Woods. As you may have heard, Woods himself elected to have an NFL player in his foursome, but since it wasn’t one of the Redskins I didn’t see too much of that.

Instead, I walked the back nine with Jason Campbell, Antwaan Randle El, Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau, and PGA Tour pro Mike Weir while they hit balls. (And, in the case of Campbell and Randle El, hit and hit and hit and hit….)

Here’s how Campbell described his performance to me after the fact: “I had a couple good shots, but a little too much inconsistency. I’m nowhere near the professional level at golf, but I had fun.”

Anyone who has followed athletes and their post-game quotes at all can translate this one, with its telltale keywords “inconsistency” and “had fun”. Read more »

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Friday, June 12: DeAngelo Hall is Very, Very Hungry

Posted by Matt Terl on June 12, 2009 – 10:34 am


Antwaan Randle El
likes being on TV. Last season, he hosted Redskins Gameday on Fox-5, and he’s attending the NFL’s Broadcasting Boot Camp at the end of this month. So when NFL Network was looking for a guy to interview a few of his teammates, El was a logical choice.

And if we learn nothing else from his off-the-practice-field interview of DeAngelo Hall, we learn this: DeAngelo Hall is hungry. He even says “hungry” with some serious enthusiasm, drawing it out into a near-drawl to emphasize just how much he wants to succeed this year.

Here, for those of you who hate moving pictures and audio, is a transcription of the relevant portion of the interview.
Read more »

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