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Notes On My Mock Draft

Posted by Matt Terl on March 28, 2011 – 4:00 pm

Over at the Redskins.com homebase, Gary Fitzgerald has posted our mock top ten picks for the upcoming NFL Draft. (“Our” in this case is the Redskins.com writing staff of me, Fitzgerald, and Larry Weisman.) There’s nothing hugely unusual about it, as these sorts of things go — we predict who goes where in the top ten picks and include a sentence or to describing our reasoning — but I figured I’d take the opportunity over here to expand a little bit on how I reached my conclusions.

And I’ll start with the most relevant one: the tenth pick.

10. Washington Redskins – Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Falls because of injury concerns, but was projected to be selected much higher up. Is effective against the run and can play at defensive end in the 3-4 system. It may not sound like an exciting, glamorous pick, but a USA Today profile on Bowers does mention that he’s the lead guitarist in a gospel group, so that adds some blogworthy punch. Also blogworthy: the possibility of an improved defense.

In case you hadn’t guessed, he’s the guy pictured up top of this post, dragging Maryland running back Ronnie Tyler down with one hand back in 2009. And here’s how I reached that conclusion:

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Ryan Torain Is The Face Of The 2010 Redskins Season

Posted by Matt Terl on March 24, 2011 – 9:49 am

NFL.com has posted NFL Films’ six minute distillation of the 2010 season, and it is (predictably) awesome. What it is not (equally predictably) is a showcase of Redskins highlights. That’s fair enough: the team finished 6-10 and most of the primary storylines wouldn’t condense well to two-second film clips. (I guess you could show Albert Haynesworth lying on the ground or Donovan McNabb on the sidelines and it would get the message across, but neither of those really suits the tone of the piece.)

Of course, that also means that the team suffered ten losses, none of which are shown here. And there were three Redskins in the Pro Bowl, and none of them show up either. No, the entire Redskins season is summed up in three seconds as follows:

First, Ryan Torain trucks Quintin Mikell on his way to the end zone. That looks like this:

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Devin Thomas In Fantasia's Bittersweet Video

Posted by Matt Terl on June 28, 2010 – 12:05 pm

Oh, sure, Donovan McNabb and Fred Davis were in a video welcoming Wizards draft pick John Wall to D.C. But were they cast as the nameless love interest in a stylish R&B music video for the latest single by a former American Idol?

No they weren’t. And Devin Thomas was. Fantasia’s “Bittersweet” video debuted this week, and there’s Thomas. Here, look.

Thomas explained this side project to the DC Sports Bog earlier this month.

“She just needed a young sexy man in her video, and my name came up,” joked Thomas, who said he plays Fantasia’s fiance in the video. “This is my first time ever being in a video. It was a great opportunity, just to get a chance to be with somebody of her stature, to be a main role in her video.”

Mission accomplished — and I think Thomas actually acquits himself pretty well, all things considered. Read more »

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Kyle Shanahan Inspires Red Sox Player To Root For The Redskins

Posted by Matt Terl on May 3, 2010 – 1:52 pm

A nice story in Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback today about a newly-created Redskins fan. In his official “non-football items” (as opposed to the items that are incidentally not about football, he tells the story of Boston Red Sox call-up Darnell McDonald, an outfielder that King refers to as “a 31-year-old minor-league lifer” (and, incidentally, a first-round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles).

Well, McDonald was also, it turns out, new Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s high school football teammate, and King asked McDonald about Shanahan’s rapid ascension through the coaching rank

He and Kyle Shanahan and other teammates used to go to the Broncos practice facility back in the John Elway days, and he saw how dedicated Kyle was to his dad’s team, and to the sport. He’s sure that hasn’t changed much, with Shanahan now the offensive coordinator under his dad with Washington. “What Kyle’s done isn’t a surprise to me,” he said. “He grew up around football, and he loved it so much. I saw what a great job he did in Houston [as offensive coordinator]. Now I’m going to switch teams. I’ve always loved the Broncos, but now I’m going to have to root for the Redskins.”

So if the Redskins offense starts the season on fire like we all hope and there’s a national bandwagon behind them, I think you’ll be able to safely say that Darnell McDonald was one of the first guys onboard. Read more »

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Monday, February 1: A Pro Bowl Weekend

Posted by Matt Terl on February 1, 2010 – 10:26 am

I used to be a relatively big fan of the Pro Bowl, possibly the only one in the world. It was the last gasp of football for the year, and thus something to be treasured no matter how mediocre it might be. And it usually wasn’t all that mediocre; the rule changes more or less guarantee a high-scoring game, and by the fourth quarter the players have realized that — financially, at least — they’d like to win, so the game turns competitive.

Last night, though, I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t know if it’s the move to before the Super Bowl (which removes the whole “last gasp of football” thing) or what, but after watching some of the early touchdowns, I pretty much tuned out.

(As it turns out, I was apparently alone in this feeling; excellent ESPN PR guy Bill Hofmeier reports via Twitter that ratings were up 39% last night. Go figure.) One person who definitely didn’t tune out, though? London Fletcher.

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