Whether a rookie or a 14-year veteran, the Bye Week is looked by all Redskins players at as a time to re-charge the batteries and stay mentally sharp and focused on their next game, which is Nov. 18 vs. the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField.
The rookie example? Cornerback Richard Crawford, who will be heading home to Dallas to work out with his old defensive backs coach.
“I really don’t take days off during the season,” Crawford said Tuesday. “The only reason I’m really going back to Dallas is to get in some work with my old DBs coach to get some work in because we can’t be with our coaches. I’m going to do that probably every day, work out with him, and then come back here ready to play.”
While he’s in town, Crawford said he’s also looking forward to catching his alma mater, SMU, play Southern Miss — and he said he hopes he doesn’t get too caught up in the college atmosphere.
“We’ll see how it is,” Crawford said. “Hopefully I won’t get too involved, because I was kind of like a player-coach when I was there. So I’m going to try to stay away from all of that this time.”
Though this is Crawford’s first Bye Week as a professional, it’s certainly the opposite for Redskins middle linebacker London Fletcher.
Fletcher — a 14-year NFL veteran whose wife and kids live in Charlotte, N.C., during the season — said Tuesday he was very much looking forward to seeing his family.
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Of all the guys currently on the Washington Redskins’ roster, punter Sav Rocca would probably enjoy a trip home during the Bye Week the most.
But he can’t, you see. Rocca’s got two strikes against him: first, he must stick around the team’s Ashburn, Va., headquarters to receive treatment for an injured knee; secondly, round trip, Rocca’s trip home would exceed 20,000 miles.
And that’s without connecting flights and layovers.
Rocca, a Reservoir, Australia, native, said the interesting part of his Bye Week won’t include a trip home down under.
“Well, it depends on if you call coming in here for treatment every day interesting,” Rocca said yesterday.
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Earlier this week, we learned that head coach Mike Shanahan wants his players to run several times over the bye week, to stay in the flow of the football season. Of course, he can’t follow players around the country and make sure that they make their runs, so he suggested the “God was watching.”
And it was good.
This morning, Ben Ceccarelli’s Hail! comic has an explanation for how Shanahan is able to trust his players to do what they’re supposed to do on their five days off:
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Wide receivers in the NFL are known for being flashy and outspoken; gaudy at times, and downright unbelievable at others. The Redskins great production out of their wideouts, but don’t really have to deal with the flashy publicity.
Take Anthony Armstrong for example.
While some receivers would use the five days off as an opportunity to vacation to, I don’t know…Mexico, for example, Armstrong has good reason to stay put and soak up the sun in Loudoun County.
“No big plans man, no big plans–I’m just kickin’ it,” he told me on Tuesday. “I would love to go to Puerto Rico or the Bahamas, but I can’t do that–costs too dang much, and I’m kind of inexpensive with my money. So I’m gonna hang out in Virginia, and make my own Puerto Rico in Virginia.”
Sounds delightful. What exactly does that mean, Anthony?
“I’ll probably put umbrellas in all of my drinks–non-alcoholic, of course,” he said. Of course, of course. “I’ll probably get me some sunglasses, sit outside on my patio, and go that route.”
A flawless plan. But what if the weather is in the 50′s and 60′s? Not exactly sunbathing weather.
“Then I’ll sit with my window open, next to the patio,” he said, unfazed. “I’ll bring the patio furniture inside, and I’ll look outside, and I’ll cut the heater on so I can feel that warm breeze.”
And what does a football player watch on TV in his mid-Atlantic tropical paradise? Why, football, of course.
“I’m a big fan of the game, so I’ll watch the Eagles play and see what they can do against the Bills,” he said. “I’m gonna see how they play–you wanna stay up on your opponent. I wanna see what they’re gonna look like coming into the game, so it’s a little scouting.”
And those are Armstrong’s “No Big Plans,” plans.
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While many players are staying in the area for the bye week, or have made their offseason homes in the DMV, others have returned to the place listed as “Home” on their iPhone contact lists.
A large contingent went back to the Sunshine State for the extended weekend:
One flew south, and one flew north: Read more »
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Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan is a “football head”–a man who dreams of grass stains and gatorade, and draws blocking schemes in his mashed potatoes. And for at least half the year, football is his obsession.
But when it comes time for the bye week each year, Shanahan turns his attention to his family at home.
“You have to make time, especially when you have kids and family,” he said. “You better make time. Those are an important part of your life. I think as you get a little bit older, like I am now, and the kids are grown, it’s not as important, but now there are grandkids. It’s budgeting time and making sure you get a little bit of time for everything and have some priorities – you better make that a priority.”
He mentioned that the team was about 72 days into the season, with the way the lockout compressed time, with about 84 days left to go. Time is a fairly precious commodity in the NFL, and finding personal time is even harder.
“You don’t get much, but you get a lot in the offseason and you try to make time,” he said. When you do have time, you want to make sure that it’s quality time – Thursday evenings sometimes, and Friday evenings.”
Shanahan actually has the benefit of working with a fellow Shanahan, and loves having his son Kyle with him on the staff.
“It’s a big bonus to have a couple of grandkids here and my daughter is in New York,” he said with a smile. “She’s only a couple of hours away so that’s worked out very well.”
Good planning, coach.
Check out the rest of his final press conference before the bye, below: Read more »
Tags: bye week, kyle shanahan, mike shanahan, washington redskins
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Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo said it best when he addressed the media on Sunday, saying, “we’re not into moral victories.” A loss is a loss, and there are no asterisks to go alongside it.
But the flip side of that discussion is that there is never a need to apologize for a victory. Winning is hard enough in the NFL, and the teams that find a way to win, find themselves where they want to be at the end of the season.
Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman has been on both sides of this equation in his NFL career, and wasn’t about to regret a win on Sunday.
“When you get a victory, you’ve got to appreciate the things that you did that got you those 17 points,” he said. “It was frustrating that we couldn’t finish [drives], but we did a lot of good things in this game.”
Overall, the Redskins are in a good place going into the bye this afternoon, but Grossman doesn’t even believe that we’ve seen the best Redskins football yet.
“I think we’re playing OK,” he said. “We can improve and we will improve. We’re 3-1. We’ve got a chance to rest a little bit and play a big game against the Eagles.”
Check out his full comments below: Read more »
Tags: bye week, rex grossman, st. louis rams, steve spagnuolo, win
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