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Departed Redskins Say Goodbye To Fans

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 3, 2011 – 11:55 pm

AP Image

The process to compose the final 53-man roster is always bittersweet, as quality players and people are left on the outside looking in.  It’s never personal, but a simple numbers game that determines how the roster is constructed.  Every coach and organization has their strategies, but at the end of the day, only 53 can stay.

Anthony Armstrong pretty much nailed the feeling for players:

For clarity’s sake, Armstrong and Doughty were speaking for everyone–both made the cut.

But for some of the Redskins that didn’t make it, there was nothing but positive sentiments for the Redskins fans: Read more »

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Out-Of-Town Redskins Get Used To The Snow

Posted by Matt Terl on December 16, 2010 – 5:10 pm

That’s a shot that Chris Horton took of Redskins Park much earlier today, before the bulk of the snow had fallen. (And let me keep things in perspective here: this is nothing like the blizzards of last year. This totaled out at maybe three inches of snow. Maybe.)

Anyhow, here’s how Horton, a Louisiana guy who went to school in Los Angeles, reacted to that initial snowfall: Read more »

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Chris Horton's Teammates Discuss His Haircut

Posted by Matt Terl on December 8, 2010 – 1:12 pm

Chris Horton made an impact on the field his rookie season, but a big part of the reason he became a fan favorite was his distinctive hair. It helped him stand out visually on the field, and it earned him the nickname The Predator. After being put on injured reserve this season, Horton, as his blog puts it, “shed the dreads” and is now sporting a shorter haircut that looks a bit like a tentative mohawk.

Yesterday’s charity coat handout was my first chance to ask Horton about the makeover — and to ask his fellow DBs for their reactions.

Horton, for his part, is completely excited about the change. “I love it,” he said. “I feel younger; I don’t have to worry about walking around with my hair all messed up and waiting weeks to get it retwisted. Now I can just go to the barbershop and kinda feel good. It was just one of those things that I really wanted to do. I got tired of it and I told myself after this year I was gonna get rid of it; it’s been eight years and it’s finally gone.”

But the reaction he’s been receiving … that’s been a little more mixed. Read more »

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Redskins Distribute Coats For The Holidays, Discuss Starter Jackets

Posted by Matt Terl on December 8, 2010 – 10:18 am

No matter what it may have seemed like, the entire roster of the Washington Redskins was not sitting around talking about Albert Haynesworth yesterday. Brian Orakpo and Chris Cooley, for example, found time to pose for photos with the local high school All-Met Team. A whole bunch of guys were in the trainers’ room trying to get healthy for Sunday’s game. And many of the defensive backs were at Macy’s in Dulles Town Center distributing warm coats, hats, and gloves to underserved kids brought in from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

“Anytime you can give anything back is huge,” DeAngelo Hall said, “but to actually give coats back in this area where it’s always cold … I mean, this is something they can really use.”

Kevin Barnes saw things the same way. “These little kids, sometimes their parents don’t have the means to provide them with warm coats, and seeing them out here, laughing and joking around,” Barnes said, “it’s definitely a good time.”

Chris Horton joked that he could use one of the coats himself, “’cause it’s my third year up here and I still don’t own a coat.” And that comment sparked — for the second straight year — a discussion of the Starter Jacket phenomenon of the 1990s. Read more »

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Kareem Moore's Alter Ego

Posted by Matt Terl on September 23, 2010 – 1:43 pm

Safety Kareem Moore says that he feels “a hundred percent” and that he expects to be back on the field in some role against the Rams this weekend. He couldn’t say how much playing time he’d get, or if he’d be starting, or if he’d be carrying a full special teams load, referring all those questions to head coach Mike Shanahan. But one way or another, Moore will likely be seeing his first onfield action since his impressive training camp and preseason work.

Which seemed like an appropriate time to dredge up a whole bunch of old quotes that were rendered slightly useless by Moore’s preseason knee injury. So here, then, is the training camp story of Kareem Moore’s alter ego, KMo.

When Moore started referring to himself as “KMo” on Twitter, it didn’t seem like that big a deal — Kareem Moore to KMo isn’t the most shocking nicknaming of all time.

But it quickly became clear that KMo is less a nickname and more a state of mind.

“It’s an alter-ego,” Moore explained to me during training camp. “You know, Kareem is the nice guy. Laid-back. Cool. KMo’s the guy who goes out there and makes stuff happen.”

“Kareem’s more laidback, joking and that,” Rocky McIntosh explained. “KMo’s just wild. He’s all over the place, making plays that he shouldn’t even be making.” Read more »

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A Whole Lot Of Redskins Take Responsibility For The Loss

Posted by Matt Terl on September 19, 2010 – 10:13 pm

Someone in the postgame locker room asked me which one play most turned this game, and I found myself completely stumped. Not because there was any shortage of disappointing plays, but because it seems impossible to point at any one of them for causing the loss.

If the offense can punch in either of the early red zone possessions, maybe the game’s not even close. If Graham Gano hits either of his two missed field goals, maybe the fourth quarter goes very differently. If Trent Williams doesn’t go down, if Joey Galloway can just reach that long pass from Donovan McNabb, if, if, if. It’s a pointless exercise, and — in the case of this game — a deeply frustrating one.

That said, there are a few guys who are going to have fingers pointed at them by fans and commentators alike for contributing to the loss, and — to their credit — they all seemed to be standing up and taking responsibility in the locker room. In fact, everyone was rushing to take responsibility. “We just didn’t make plays,” DeAngelo Hall said. “The plays were sitting right there for us to make, and we didn’t make ’em.”

“There are always plays where you feel like, man, if I just did this differently, maybe the outcome would’ve been different for us,” London Fletcher said.

But neither of those guys was being pointed to as someone who gave up a crucial play.

Chris Horton, for example, came in for LaRon Landry in overtime, jumped offsides, and seemed to be specifically targeted on the play that put the Texans in field goal position. And he took responsibility for that.

“It’s one of those things where when I’m the game in a crucial situation, I gotta be smarter,” Horton said. “I’ve just gotta be smart. I’ve gotta watch the ball. I’ve gotta know, given the situation, what’s goin’ on.”

And Reed Doughty was frank about Andre Johnson’s game-tying fourth-down touchdown catch, which came (as you can see above) right over Doughty’s head.

“You’ve gotta make a play,” Doughty said. “It was one of those things where there’s nothing the coach can tell you — you know, ‘Box him out!’ — whatever it is, you’ve just gotta make the play. And I thought I hit it out and l looked up and he had the ball.”
Read more »

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Chris Horton Is Ready To Fill In Again As Well

Posted by Matt Terl on August 27, 2010 – 11:15 am

When I wrote the other day about Reed Doughty preparing to fill in for the injured Kareem Moore — a post that focused almost entirely on how tired Doughty was of the same “Can you step up” questions — more than a few people suggested that I was overlooking Chris Horton. And those people were pretty much correct, so I decided to rectify it.

Horton, of course, had the breakout rookie campaign in 2008, proving himself to be an opportunistic safety with a knack for being in the right place at the right time to make a play — and a more important knack to actually make the play when it presented itself. Injury derailed his 2009 season, and by the time he was healed up and ready to return, the safety depth chart had been reshuffled and Horton found himself slated pretty firmly to be a backup.

Now, for what seems like the twentieth time in the last two years, he’s being positioned as the 1A behind Doughty as Doughty — you guessed it — steps up to fill in for Moore.

So I asked Horton if the whole situation made him feel like the forgotten man, like his NFC Defensive Player Of The Week and NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Month days had just vanished down a memory hole.

“No,” Horton said, “not at all.”

“Yeah,” DeAngelo Hall said, from the locker next to Horton’s, “a little bit.” Read more »

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Terrence Austin Will Not Be Completely Baffled

Posted by Matt Terl on June 11, 2010 – 2:56 pm

Since the Redskins drafted Terrence Austin in the seventh round, this YouTube reel is almost all we’ve seen of the return specialist from UCLA. His school finishes classes late, and NFL rules prohibit Austin from any workouts besides a single mini-camp until after final exams are complete

“We are trying to avoid interfering with a player completing his final semester at his school,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told writer Paul Domowitch in a Philadelphi Daily News Piece. “The players who want an education should not feel that they are at a disadvantage in competing for an NFL roster spot.”
Read more »

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Chris Horton Discusses Two Position Changes

Posted by Matt Terl on March 24, 2010 – 9:57 am

A few leftovers from my Chris Horton interview:

THEORETICAL POSITION MOVE #1: Chris Horton or LaRon Landry to Linebacker

I get an alarming number of questions about the idea of moving either Chris Horton or LaRon Landry to linebacker, so when I was talking to Horton yesterday, I figured it was at least worth asking him. I’ll be honest: I expected his answer to be completely dismissive, but … well, that’s not exactly how it went when I directly asked Horton if he or Landry could move to linebacker. Read more »

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Chris Horton Follows Up On A Down Year

Posted by Matt Terl on March 23, 2010 – 4:36 pm

Entering last season, Chris Horton was one of the real bright spots from the Redskins’ 2008 draft class.

There was a lot of hope as 2009 began: that wide receivers Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas would break out, that tight end Fred Davis would make an impact, that Chad Rinehart would contribute along the offensive line. (And, of course, among that ever-vocal subset, the fond wish that Colt Brennan would become the gunslingin’ quarterback of the future.)

But Horton was the closest the Redskins had to a sure thing. The seventh-round pick had surprised in his rookie season, leading the team in interceptions, being named to the Pro Football Weekly Rookie All-Pro Team, earning multiple NFL honors, and was a highlight of a down year. In 2009, it was hoped, he’d develop further down the path to stardom.

It didn’t really happen. Read more »

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