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Redskins Are Back To The Gridiron

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 29, 2011 – 2:39 pm

Hurricane Irene is a distant memory at Redskins Park today, as players and coaches prepare for the final preseason test on Thursday against Tampa Bay.

Given that the roster currently sits at 87 (plus two on P.U.P.), some familiar faces will depart to get the roster down to 80 tomorrow.  The big cuts happen after the fourth preseason game, when the roster must downsize to 53, plus an eight-man practice squad.

These will be a stressful week for some players, but there should be some really hard-nosed football in there too, as players attempt to set themselves apart.

Here are some scenes from this morning’s practice. Read more »

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A Snap-Shot Of Training Camp Competitions

Posted by Ross Leonhart on August 6, 2011 – 9:01 pm

With thousands of fans on hand for Fan Appreciation Day at Redskins Park, I took my up close view to try to capture some things the folks from the hill couldn’t see.

Suited up in their full upper-body pads, it was the first day of full-contact practice.  No more slap and hug tackles, break out some ferocity:

Read more »

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Fun Facts: Gaffney vs. McCardell

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 2, 2011 – 4:34 pm

AP Image

On a team that’s in the middle of a youth movement, adding a 10-year veteran makes him instantly one of the oldest players on the roster.  Such is the case with wide receiver Jabar Gaffney.

One of the most interesting aspects of Gaffney, is that he’s one of the only players left who played against Keenan McCardell, his current position coach.  The two overlapped in the NFL for six seasons between 2002 and 2007.  While they never played on the same team, they played against each other five times.

Well, sort of.

I started out looking for head-to-head stats, but as it turns out, they were never both active in the same game.  Four of the times that they met, only Gaffney recorded stats.  Once, only McCardell recorded stats.

So I guess this isn’t the first time that McCardell has watched Gaffney from the sidelines.

Gaffney was very complimentary of McCardell’s effort to get him up to speed with the playbook so far in camp.

“He helps out a lot, ’cause he knows all this is new for me,” he told the media after practice.  “I’m here early, and he’s in there with me, going over stuff, and I stay here late with him.  He doesn’t mind staying late with me or being in here early with me or stuff, to make sure I’m picking it up.”

Check out the full video below:

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Pass Defense Looks Sharp In Match-ups

Posted by Brian Tinsman on July 30, 2011 – 12:25 pm

AP Image

The highlight of any practice is when the offense lines up against defense for 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 drills.  The fans become really engaged and yelled out their encouragement (or frustration) to the players.  I found myself muffling my own outburst a few times, almost forgetting where I was.  And I may have pretended it was the guy next to me.

As they will throughout camp, the players circulated through different combinations on both sides of the ball.

Recap on offense: Read more »

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Malcolm Kelly On His Offseason And His New Coach

Posted by Matt Terl on March 11, 2010 – 1:02 pm

Wide receiver Malcolm Kelly didn’t have quite the breakout second year in 2009 that people were hoping for, but he did manage to stay healthy for all sixteen games, catch 25 passes for 347 yards, and save his best play for last — an 84 yard catch-and-run against the Chargers. That may not sound like much, but even 25 catches and 16 games is a marked improvement over the 3 catches in 5 games Kelly had as a rookie.

And maybe that’s a good sign: it’s in the third year that wide receivers legendarily break out, after all. And there are at least two developments so far this offseason that give Kelly some optimism for 2010.
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Tuesday, February 23: Meet The Coaches – Keenan McCardell, Wide Receivers

Posted by Matt Terl on February 23, 2010 – 9:13 am

Thinking of former Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan McCardell as “Keenan McCardell, wide receivers coach” is still unusual, to say the least — even for McCardell himself. “Sounds strange,” he says, as Larry Michael introduces their interview on Inside The Redskins, “usually Keenan McCardell, wide receiver, huh?”

But to a certain extent, that’s one of McCardell’s greatest assets as he starts his first season as a position coach: he knows the players, and he understands what he’s asking of them. That’s what Antwaan Randle El — former McCardell teammate, now McCardell protege — told me, and that’s what McCardell himself believes.

“I have relationships with guys,” McCardell says to Michael. “I understand the guys. And they believe in me. They know what type of player I was, what type of person I am. And I think that’s gonna push me so far ahead of guys that would’ve came in here that didn’t know these guys.”

Here’s the video of the interview; the full transcript is after the jump.

http://p.castfire.com/1Ll7r/video/247433/redskins_2010-02-12-114404.895.m4v Read more »

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Famous Faces In The 1991 Press Guide

Posted by Matt Terl on February 3, 2010 – 1:44 pm

As I mentioned yesterday, new Redskins wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell both started AND finished his playing career with Washington.

The wide receiver came on board as a twelfth-round pick of the Redskins in what turned out to be the Super Bowl season of 1991. He spent that entire season on injured reserve but was given a Super Bowl ring when the team won, and has his name on the Lombardi Trophy.

He signed with Cleveland in ’92 and began a productive-if-nomadic NFL career that included another Super Bowl win in Tampa Bay and a cup of coffee with the Houston Texans in Summer 2007 where he would’ve briefly worked with then-Texans-QB-coach Kyle Shanahan. He finished his career where he started it, finally donning a Redskins jersey in regular season games during the 2007 season.

With all that in mind, I checked the team’s 1991 press guide to see if there was any other interesting information on McCardell. I didn’t find much, but was able to get a look at his terrific early-90’s hairstyle.

He wasn’t the only one sporting the Kid ‘n Play-influenced look, though, nor was his the highest of the hi-top fades that year. No, that honor belonged to cornerback Sidney Johnson.
Ah, 1991. Here’s a contemporaneous profile of Kid ‘N Play in the then-one-year old Entertainment Weekly magazine, just to provide context for those of you who aren’t geriatric like me.

Anyhow, it wasn’t all tonsorial flashbacks in the media guide; there were a startling number of people on that roster who still have an influence on today’s NFL. For example:

Read more »

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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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