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Who Is The All-Time Best Redskins Safety?

Posted by Matt Terl on June 9, 2011 – 10:20 am


In an effort to fill this eerily quiet offseason, the folks over at Hogs Haven have been doing polls on the all-time greatest Redskins players at various positions. Most of these have gone as you’d expect, and haven’t really inspired me to weigh in either way. But today, the question is about the safety position, and I’m finding the answer a little bit … surprising.

Maybe “surprising” isn’t the right word, because I completely understand WHY the late Sean Taylor is leading this poll. I don’t have any details on Hogs Haven’s demographic reach, but I’m guessing their readership includes a lot more folks from the age bracket that remembers Sean Taylor than the bracket that remembers Kenny Houston.

It’s also true that Taylor’s abilities can’t be argued. He was an atheltic marvel, capable of insane, game-changing plays. Had he lived, he might very well have been the obvious, no-brainer answer to this question.

And it isn’t just fans who believe that Taylor is the best ever. When I somewhat skeptically posted about the poll on Twitter, former Redskins safety and current National Football Post writer Matt Bowen weighed in. My question: Sean Taylor is winning this poll in a runaway. Should he be?

Bowen’s blunt answer: Yes.

He elaborated a bit after a follow-up question:

I can’t argue with anything there, and Bowen obviously has a MUCH more informed perspective on this … but I think, when you’re voting for the best of all time, that “would have been” is a crucial note.

Because we’ll never know what Taylor “would have been,” and it’s not realistic to judge his “would have been” against what Ken Houston was.

And what Ken Houston actually was was … well, it was an awful lot like what we all believe Taylor would have been. Check out this excerpt from the summary on Houston’s Hall Of Fame page: Read more »

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The Two Sides of Niles Paul

Posted by Brian Tinsman on June 8, 2011 – 1:52 pm

Intern Brian Tinsman checks in with a look at two very different aspects of Redskins fifth-round draft choice Niles Paul.

It’s not very often that a fifth-round draft choice comes with as much intrigue as Niles Paul. We learned that he is the nephew of former-NFL running back Ahman Green. We learned he’s a budding male model (train-tracks and all). And perhaps most importantly we learned that he’s a talented, self-motivated football player.

But sometimes that drive and motivation is based on deeper emotional scars that fuel the fire. The Washington Examiner’s John Keim wrote an excellent piece on how the memory of his late mother, Marjorie Paul, continues to motivate Niles: Read more »

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Redskins Coach Bill Walsh?

Posted by Matt Terl on June 3, 2011 – 7:05 pm

Remember when Bill Walsh coached Art Monk and the Redskins to a big win in Super Bowl XVII? No? Me neither. But someone at FiOS certainly does. Honestly, I have no idea what’s going on here, but it seems like a terrific way to start off the weekend.

From the
DC Sports Bog’s images of the week, via @mastro72
Read more »

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Anthony Armstrong Caddies For A Wax Tiger Woods

Posted by Matt Terl on June 2, 2011 – 8:57 am

Anthony Armstrong, never a dull guy, is finding new ways to amuse himself during the protracted NFL labor issues this offseason. Hot on the heels of the news that he’s coaching youth soccer, Armstrong seems to have taken up another hobby: going to the wax museum and posing with the statues. At least, that’s the conclusion I’m drawing from his current Twitter avatar:

Yep, that’s Real Anthony Armstrong reading the green for Wax Tiger Woods. Not sure what more there is to add to that.

(I had completely overlooked this, so hat tip to the Sports Junkies for talking about it this morning, even if they did call it “bad schtick”. Personally, I think it’s pleasantly entertaining schtick.) Read more »

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A Redskins House, Redskins Tooth, And Other Things You Can Vote For

Posted by Matt Terl on May 31, 2011 – 2:55 pm

The Redskins Fan Draft Photo Contest — last seen on this blog as an excuse to post pictures of pets in Redskins gear — has entered the public voting stage. Twenty finalists have been selected, and now you all can go vote for your favorites. And boy, is there some remarkably fanatical stuff for you to choose from.

Like this submission from Rosey King, an entire house painted in Redskins colors:

Or those old friends of this blog, via Tim Thompson, Uncle Skins and Bet-skins Ross:

Or the Knestricks, a couple who incorporated Redskins attire into their wedding:

Or, perhaps most unsually, this Redskins permanent dental crown:

Read more »

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Various Reports From Players-Only Practice

Posted by Matt Terl on May 25, 2011 – 10:54 am

Around forty Redskins players met at an area field for a players-only practice yesterday. Here’s a few of the more interesting things to emerge from that session.

• A chance to hear from some rookies, via NBCWashington’s Capital Games blog:


Ten observations on the day, from the reliably observant John Keim of the Washington Examiner. Read more »

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NFL.com Celebrates a Crushing Redskins Defeat

Posted by Brian Tinsman on May 24, 2011 – 12:50 pm

by Brian Tinsman

Football analyst Elliot Harrison of the NFL Network’s Red Zone Channel recently began compiling his top-20 games of the 2010 NFL season. At No. 18 he remembers a game that many Redskins fans would like to forget: a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Texans in Week 2.

Harrison justifies this game’s inclusion, saying:

This interconference meeting was an offensive explosion of the highest order. And any time you have a game in which one guy can take over, or a tandem — like Schaub and Johnson — it adds to the experience. Especially with a guy like Johnson, who is one of the most dominant players in the NFL.

Despite the fact neither would be a playoff team, all of the deep balls and the crowd going crazy for four hours made this an easy inclusion into our top 20.

Regardless of the outcome for Washington, Harrison is dead-on in picking this game, which bore some historical significance for the NFL. Here are some observations that put the game in context: Read more »

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Fred Davis Throws Out A Disappointing First Pitch

Posted by Matt Terl on May 23, 2011 – 10:48 am

When Fred Davis was drafted in the second round of the 2008 drafts, one of the things you heard over and over about the USC tight end was that he was “athletic.”

“With his athletic ability and emergence as a receiver, it was not surprising that he was recognized as the best tight end in college football,” NFL.com gushed.

“Fred Davis is extremely athletic,” wrote WarRoomReport.com.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock used the word “athletic” twice in one quote in a USA Today piece on Davis: “He’s an athletic mismatch for a linebacker and can get down the field and challenge safeties. He’s extremely athletic with the ball in his hands after the catch.”

Apparently “pitching a baseball” isn’t one of the skills that qualifies someone as being athletic. Davis threw out the opening pitch at a Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens game, and WTOL-11 sports reporter Jordan Strack can barely contain his amusement in the recap.

“His first pitch? Not pretty,” Strack says. “Threw it past Robbie Weinhardt.” Here’s what the aftermath of that looked like:

In fact, the only person in the package harsher on Davis’ pitching abilities is Davis himself. “I usually catch the ball,” Davis says. “I’m not used to throwing it like that. I give credit to those guys that get on that mound, ’cause that … I embarrassed myself today. I think I did better than three years ago, though. I think I did a lot better.”

“Nice job, Fred,” Strack says from the studio, chuckling as he prepares to go to his next story.

As Davis himself noted, though, the Redskins will be expecting him to catch the ball, not throw it, so the ramifications of this aren’t TOO substantial. Check out the entire video after the jump. Read more »

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Leonard Hankerson Gets Some More Redskins Gear

Posted by Matt Terl on May 23, 2011 – 8:56 am

Almost from the moment he was drafted in the third round, wide receiver Leonard Hankerson has been tweeting pictures of himself in Redskins gear. It was a cool story, interesting enough that I talked to the longtime friend who provided Hankerson with the burgundy and gold accoutrements, but apparently a few twitpics of himself wearing borrowed clothes wasn’t enough for Hankerson: late Sunday, the former Miami wide receiver tweeted a picture of himself in a pretty authentic-looking Redskins uniform.

Before I re-post Hankerson’s picture, let me make it very clear that no uniform numbers have yet been issued; as far as I know, Mike Furrey is still on the roster and is still the person who would officially be wearing 85. [UPDATE: Furrey is apparently no longer on the roster; according to his website, he’s the head coach at Kentucky Christian University. Still, no numbers have been issued to draft picks that I know of, so that point remains accurate.] THIS IS NOT OFFICIAL IN ANY WAY. That said, it still looks pretty freakin’ cool.

Based on the background signage, it looks like this shot comes from a photo shoot for a Topps football card — presumably something to do with the one from the company’s high-end “Inception” line that Hankerson tweeted on Wednesday. Here, look: Read more »

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Markus White Gives Credit Where It’s Due

Posted by Brian Tinsman on May 20, 2011 – 12:50 pm

While I’m at the Mickey Steele Memorial Golf Outing, here’s Redskins.com intern Brian Tinsman with a look at yet another member of the Redskins’ 2011 Draft Class.

by Brian Tinsman

In a crowded draft class–let’s call them the “Draft Day Dozen”–it’s easy to forget some of the late-round picks. Realistically speaking, most of those guys won’t make the team, some will end up on the practice squad, and others will be looking for a new job next fall.

But if there’s a guy to really pull for in the late rounds, it’s seventh-round pick Markus White, outside linebacker from Florida State. Read more »

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