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Catching Up With The Man Formerly Known As ‘H.B.’ Blades

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 22, 2011 – 1:52 pm

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At the beginning of camp, two of the best-initialed players on the Redskins (O.J. Atogwe and H.B. Blades) requested to go by their given names of Oshiomogho and Horatio, respectively.

It turns out that after four years on the team, Horatio Benedict Blades just didn’t want to answer the same old questions.

“A lot of people ask me what ‘H.B.’ stands for,” he explained, “so I just simply changed it in the progam to ‘Horatio’ so that it would eliminate all of the gray areas.  Y’know, I thought it was an opportunity to put my regular name out there.”

As Blades went on to explain, the change was intended to be anything but exciting. Read more »

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New Names, New Numbers, Same Faces

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 3, 2011 – 7:31 pm

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Nicknames and initials are usually used when you have a complicated name.  Eventually though, you earn the right to be called what you want, and that’s exactly what two “new” Redskins have done.

OJ Atogwe has alerted the team and the media that he will no longer be called OJ.  He would prefer his give name, Oshiomogho.  Which is fine, considering his middle name is Isaac.

“Oshiomogho” is harder to work into a cheer though.

In other news, the Redskins signed back free agent linebacker HB Blades, but he is no longer HB.  He is also going by his given name, which is Horatio.  Horatio Blades.  Horatio Benedict Blades, Jr., to be exact.

He already had one of the coolest names in all of football, but when you add in “Horatio” to the last name of “Blades,” he sound like a super-hero.  Expectations just went up for you, Horatio.

On a seemingly clerical note, John Beck has changed his jersey number to 12.

But here’s the skinny on No. 12: Read more »

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Revisiting Some Special Teams Notes With H.B. Blades

Posted by Matt Terl on September 28, 2010 – 9:00 am

The Redskins’ gameday on Sunday was weird — almost snakebit — on just about every level. On a macro scale, the day started with a freak injury to the punter in pregame warmups and ended with severe technical difficulties at Mike Shanahan’s press conference. On a micro level, just about every player — and certainly every unit on the field — had at least one bizarre and inexplicable misstep, and the special teams was no exception.

Aside from the injury to the punter (which is weird enough on its own) and his replacement by kicker Graham Gano, the special teams unit’s day included the following occurrences, good and bad:

  • a punt blocked
  • a block of a field goal
  • a kickoff out of bounds
  • a turnover forced
  • a penalty for lining up offsides on a kickoff

There may be one or two others that I missed, but it gives the flavor of the thing. So yesterday I asked special teams stalwart H.B. Blades for a few of his thoughts on the strange, frustrating day that was. Read more »

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Kickoff Coverage Has A Spot For Everyone

Posted by Matt Terl on October 16, 2009 – 4:27 pm

Over at the Washington Times, David Elfin has a solid story today on the impact H.B. Blades and Reed Doughty are having this season on the Redskins special teams, in which Blades says, “People think special teams is a bunch of crazy guys running downfield, but there’s a lot of preparation and film study.”

This is true.

But after ALL that study is done, it all tends to come down to a bunch of crazy guys running downfield. That run downfield, though, is not the unorganized melee that some people believe. Each of those guys starts in a specific, numbered position — from 1 to 5 on each side of the kicker — and each of those positions has a specific responsibility on the play.

And all of the aforementioned crazy guys have a favorite spot in the lineup.
Read more »

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Joe Flacco's OTHER Redskins Roommate

Posted by Matt Terl on August 13, 2009 – 9:49 am

In the run-up to last-year’s ill-fated game at Baltimore, Intern Matt the First (Matt apparently being the most common name for Redskins interns) pointed out that Redskins linebacker H.B. Blades roomed with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco when the two were at the University of Pittsburgh together, before Flacco transferred to Delaware.

This made for a nice little pregame interview in which we discovered that Flacco has one forearm that’s notably larger than the other, and that Blades has “a lot of funny stories” about Flacco that he refuses to share. Disappointing.

Well, in the run-up to tonight’s preseason game at Baltimore, someone pointed out that undrafted rookie tight end Robbie Agnone, out of Delaware, not only caught passes from Flacco during Agnone’s best collegiate season, but ALSO roomed with him. So I caught up with Agnone after practice to see if he’d be any more forthcoming than Blades had been. (Short answer: no.) Read more »

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What To Watch Tomorrow: Linebackers

Posted by Matt Terl on August 12, 2009 – 4:42 pm

The Redskins linebacking corps finds itself in an interesting position this year. Perennial almost-all-pro London Fletcher is a rock at middle linebacker, and at weak-side linebacker, Rocky McIntosh is in his second year returning from knee surgery, usually a break-out time. And while strong-side linebacker was thought to be something of a concern heading into training camp given the departure of Marcus Washington, rookie Brian Orakpo has been impressive learning the position.

But while those have been the main LB stories so far, there are still a whole bunch of other guys working at linebacker, and they’re the ones we’re likely to see the most tomorrow night. You’ve got two drafted rookies in Cody Glenn and Robert Henson. You’ve got an undrafted rookie in Darrel Young, out of Villanova. Chris Wilson is making the same DE/LB position switch as Orakpo. Alfred Fincher showed in last year’s preseason that he has the potential to be a special teams ace. And H.B. Blades is establishing himself as an experienced go-to utility linebacker. Read more »

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H. B. Blades On His Ex-Roommate Joe Flacco

Posted by Matt Terl on December 5, 2008 – 5:05 pm


When I think about Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco, the first thing that comes to mind is ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper’s distinctive voice touting the strong arm of “Joe Flacco, quarterback out of Delaware.” But even before that, he was Joe Flacco, backup quarterback at the University of Pittsburgh.

And when he was at Pittsburgh, his roommate was guy by the name of Horatio Benedict Blades, better known as Washington Redskins linebacker H.B. Blades.

You roomed with Flacco?


What was it like?

“Flacco? Flacco was a good guy. Very smart guy, strong arm. His right forearm – his throwing arm – is way bigger than his left one. Way bigger.”

Read more »

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