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The Offensive Line Gets In Some Post-Practice Reps

Posted by Matt Terl on August 18, 2010 – 6:20 pm

A whole bunch of offensive linemen stayed behind today after practice,doing technique work and some individual drills. The group included all five presumed offensive line starters, as well as Chad Rinehart, Edwin Williams, and coaching intern Chris Samuels.

“We do that after every practice,” Derrick Dockery told me, “not just today. We have to, you know, lead this group. If we don’t do our job up front, we’re gonna have a tough season this year. We have to bounce back from the terrible season we had last year, giving up almost 50 sacks. We have to do better this year.”

So one of the ways they thought they might be able to achieve that was by deciding — “collectively, as a group,” Dockery says — to do extra technique work as often as possible.

“At the end of the day,” Casey Rabach said, “it’s always good to end on a little technique.”

Artis Hicks agreed. “It helps out a lot,” he said. “Any extra you can do definitely pays off in the end, and when you’re out there it’s kinda hard to pay attention to a lot of the fundamentals. Things are moving at 100 miles per hour, and you’ve got big guys in front of you. But when practice is over, you can stay out, take an extra few sets, and really kinda work on your craft a little bit.”

Which is good to hear, especially (as Dockery notes) after some of the performances last season. And, really, I figured that was the whole story — after a spirited practice, the offensive line made a point to get some extra work in. Everyone is happy. Hooray.

Then Hicks decided to explain Edwin Williams’s main role in the technique sessions, and that was clearly something that needed to be mentioned as well. Read more »

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Jammal Brown Explains His Knee Braces

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

I largely ignored the announcement that the Buffalo Bills — tomorrow night’s preseason opponent! — were making it mandatory for all their offensive linemen to wear braces on both knees. Then I noticed that new Redskins tackle Jammal Brown, a two-time Pro Bowler with no history of knee problems that I could find, chose to brace both knees at practice. And that made me a little curious.

“It’s ’cause of college,” Brown told me. “You know, in college they made us wear ’em. It just got to a comfort level to where I feel more comfortable wearing ’em.”

That’s primarily “comfortable” in a psychological sense, of course, not a physical one. “If somebody falls into your knee or what-not,” Brown said, “it’ll always give you some type of comfort on the ACL.”

For Brown, though, the braces also do provide a bit of physical comfort. “I’m a little slew footed,” Brown said. “And real, real flat footed. Like a lot of people see me walking and think I’m walking with a limp. But no, I’m just real flat footed. And it helps that, too. It helps that for me.”

(Actually, that last bit came as something of a relief, since more than a few people had asked me about Brown’s apparent limp after seeing him at open practices, and it’s nice to have an answer to give.)

The obvious follow-up question, then, is why EVERYONE doesn’t wear them. Read more »

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The Offensive Line Gets Used To Chris Samuels, Coach (And To Someone Else Wearing 60)

Posted by Matt Terl on May 21, 2010 – 2:28 pm

Redskins seventh-round draft choice Selvish Capers is learning a lot as he gets used to life on the professional level.

“It’s different,” Capers says. “It’s a lot faster, there’s a lot more that they’re putting in and installing at one time, but I can pick it up. The veterans are there helpin’ me out throughout the process. I’ve been grateful and it’s been fun.”

And Capers isn’t just dealing with the usual rookie whiplash. He’s also wearing number 60, which — for the entire last decade — belonged to all-pro, all-star, all-everything left tackle Chris Samuels.

The pressure doesn’t daunt Capers, though. “Not really,” he says. “Not much. I just keep hearin’ that I’m wearin’ a big-time jersey, and it’s probably gonna be retired, and all this other stuff. We’ll see what happens.”

So far, the only thing that’s happened is that his teammates are slightly confused. I ask center Casey Rabach how he feels about seeing someone else wearing 60 after all this time.

He says, “Who is?”

Selvish Capers, I say.

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Edwin Williams Visits A Spa

Posted by Matt Terl on May 11, 2010 – 3:58 pm


When I saw the above NBC-4 video of Edwin Williams and Devin Thomas getting spa treaments in the Men’s Zone at the Robert Andrews Spa, I thought it was a blog post all on its own. In fact, the accompanying text version of the story at NBCWashington.com pretty much sums everything up in the first two paragraphs:

It’s generally considered a woman’s getaway, a day at the salon, but there’s a growing trend where even the most manly of men want to get pampered, too.

Don’t believe it? With the help of some Washington Redskins, we put it to the test.

Then Williams walked into Redskins Park heading to his work out, and I couldn’t resist getting the answers to a few of the questions prompted by the whole story.

First and foremost: how on earth did this come about?
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Mike Sellers Discusses Edwin Williams's Weight

Posted by Matt Terl on May 4, 2010 – 4:24 pm

The Associated Press has done an excellent job covering the meat of what Mike Sellers and Edwin Williams told area high school students at yesterday’s ATLAS and ATHENA training session. AP reporter Joseph White was on the scene, and he’s got the two players explaining the value of hard work, the danger of steroids, and the importance of eating right.

The only thing White missed, really, were the fat jokes.
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Redskins And The Obama Daughters At The Easter Egg Roll

Posted by Matt Terl on April 8, 2010 – 11:00 am

While the TV news copters were hovering over Dulles waiting for Donovan McNabb to arrive, ‘Eagle has landed’ puns at the ready and camera crews camped out at the doors of Redskins Park, life actually went on. As President Obama threw out the first pitch in front of thousands of Phillies fans at Nationals Park, a whole bunch of the Redskins were running football drills in his backyard.

The players were there participating in a Play 60 event at the White House Easter Egg Roll, part of the NFL’s program to combat youth obesity. Different players rotated in throughout the day, but media access was tightly controlled. When I was there, it was offensive linemen Edwin Williams and Will Robinson, and safety Reed Doughty arrived just before I was required to leave.

Williams is a local guy, as I’ve mentioned countless times before, and played his high school ball at DeMatha, just a twenty minute drive (in the traffic-free roads of my imagination) from the White House, but this was his first visit to the Presidential residence.

And he was typically enthusiastic about the outing. “This is awesome, right? I mean: the White House! It’s crazy,” he said, “I’ve never been here before. I haven’t been to an Easter Egg Roll. It’s really big — it’s really hard to find parking.”

He continued, “Growing up I didn’t do a lot of sight-seeing. I did some, obviously, but I didn’t really get a chance to be right here, monument there, White House right here. I got here about an hour before I was supposed to and got a chance just to walk around.”

Being a football player and volunteering at the event didn’t let him actually meet the President, though. “No, they just gave me the wristband and said ‘Get to work,’ which I’m doing, and it’s good.” He craned his neck to peer at the vacant stage just down the hill toward the Washington Monument from his post and added, “I told ’em though, when Justin Bieber comes on, I’m out. Gotta check him out. “

Williams may not have gotten a chance to meet the elder Obama, and he ultimately wouldn’t get to meet teen sensation Bieber, either. But — before my access period started — he and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander did get a chance to meet two teen idols of a different sort: Presidential daughters Malia and Sasha Obama.
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Monday, November 30: Edwin Williams Reflects On His First Pro Start

Posted by Matt Terl on November 30, 2009 – 2:02 pm

This hasn’t been the greatest start to a week in Redskins history. To compound yesterday’s loss — which was disheartening enough in itself — came the news that rookie defensive lineman Jeremy Jarmon suffered an ACL tear and is joining the growing list of players on injured reserve. And — later — that Chris Cooley has joined that list as well.

(The only guys who could be remotely happy today would be Alvin “Ace” Bowen, the Compliance Linebacker, who is expected to be signed to Jarmon’s spot on the active roster, and defensive end Rob Jackson, who takes Cooley’s spot.)

One guy who might have been happy is offensive lineman Edwin Williams. He’s the undrafted rookie out of Maryland who got his first NFL start yesterday, which is a pretty big deal. And to look at the stats and see that Jason Campbell was only sacked once, you might think that the offensive line had a good day today. Unfortunately, that number is more a testament to Campbell’s underrated elusiveness than to the offensive line keeping him clean.

“I thought Edwin did … okay,” head coach Jim Zorn said during his press conference today, and that ellipsis indicates a hesitation on his part, not missing words. He didn’t sound thrilled, to be honest, and immediately turned to discussing the possibility of Mike Williams getting the start next week against New Orleans.

This somewhat disappointing review would be hard on Edwin Williams, except that his own assessment of his performance wasn’t really much more favorable.

“I don’t know,” he told me. “I kinda felt like, by my personal standard, I didn’t play very well. Pass protection was a big issue for me. As far as going against [Eagles defensive end Mike] Patterson, and the power guys, I think I was fine. But the athletic guys, [Victor] Abiamiri and [Juqua] Parker … I just don’t think I fared well against them. They were beating me with a lot of quick inside moves, moves that I know I should’ve been prepared for [but] that I didn’t do well against.”

Even what should have been his most exciting play didn’t go the way he might’ve hoped. “The goal line play,” he said, “on Jason’s touchdown run, I was supposed to be the lead blocker. I tripped on Casey Rabach’s foot and couldn’t even get out there.”

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Edwin Williams Gets To Live His Dream (But Can't Understand Casey Rabach)

Posted by Matt Terl on November 23, 2009 – 5:02 pm

Getting to live your childhood dream isn’t the kind of thing that just happens to people. Say, as a purely hypothetical example, that you’re a kid who went to school at DeMatha and grew up rooting for the Redskins. You played football at the nearby University of Maryland, but went undrafted in the NFL.

Even if some team wants you, there’s no guarantee it’ll be the one you rooted for as a kid.

Even if that team does want you, there’s no reason to assume you’ll make the roster.

Even if you do make the roster, you probably won’t ever be active on gameday.

Even if you are active on gameday, the odds against you actually playing are still pretty slim.

And even if you do play, it’s probably not going to be against your favorite team’s biggest rival on the turf of their brand new stadium. I mean, that kind of thing just doesn’t happen.

Except to Edwin Williams, I guess.

“I feel like sometimes somebody’s writing my story for me, you know,” Williams said today. “The only thing that could be different is that I just wish we could’ve won that game yesterday. It’s different watching the game, but when you get into it, it hurts even worse.”

Much to his surprise, Williams even managed to avoid butterflies when he was called into action, at least initially. “To be honest, I wasn’t nervous at all, strangely enough,” he said. “I’m usually Mister Anxiety, but I wasn’t nervous at all until I got to the huddle and everybody was like, ‘You got to go out there and punch people in the face!’ all this, ‘play hard, keep your head back!’ All this stuff.”

He stopped for a beat, remembering. “Then I was like, ‘Okay, I’m nervous now.'”
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Tuesday, October 13: Edwin Williams Feels Your Pain

Posted by Matt Terl on October 13, 2009 – 9:43 am

Rookie offensive lineman Edwin Williams –a former Maryland Terrapin — grew up a Redskins fan. One of his childhood idols was Chris Samuels. So Williams is as familiar as anyone with the enthusiasms and frustrations of this particular fanbase. Now, though, he’s part of the team, active roster and everything. So, I asked him — not at all from personal experience, really — does this double the pain and frustration of losing games?

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NFL China Comes To Redskins Park

Posted by Matt Terl on September 8, 2009 – 3:11 pm

International media crews are not an entirely unexpected sight at Redskins Park. Even though NFL Europa is now defunct, the NFL still works to expand the brand overseas, and every once in a while a foreign broadcast network will send a crew to see practice, talk to the players, and so on.

Still, a contingent of 32 people is always going to raise some eyebrows, doubly so when they hail from NFL China and include not only cameramen, producers, on-air talent, grips, and so on, but also an entire Chinese rock band.

Rookie offensive lineman Edwin Williams, for example, was approached about speaking to the crew, and responded, “NFL China?”

Yep. China.
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