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Veteran Moss On Young Moss In New York

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 2, 2011 – 1:33 pm

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Redskins receiver Santana Moss is synonymous with production and professionalism in Washington, where he has been a rock of stability over the last seven years.

But in light of the upcoming game against the New York Jets, he reminisced on some of the mistakes that he made with the media in The Big Apple.

“I came in young, went through something real rough my first year and not knowing how to handle the media, not knowing how to talk to the media,” he said.  “Even though I came from the University of Miami–you would have thought I would have know a little bit more about talking to the media–but I didn’t.”

Moss is a go-to in the Redskins locker room, willing to answer any and all questions, and never backing down from even the most skeptical of media.  The picture he painted of himself as a rookie was foreign compared to the Moss we know now.

“I really took out my frustrations of me not being able to play against the media–I just didn’t talk to them,” he said.  “When I didn’t talk I didn’t know that the responsibilities of their job, was just like my job.”

Sadly, many athletes can go their entire careers without realizing the role of the media in sports.  Just like players react to what they see on the field, writers react to what they see from the players.  If a player doesn’t produce–or can’t, in Moss’s case–it’s the responsibility of the media to talk about that.

“When you are young and you read that stuff, you are like, ‘Why are you talking bad about me,’ but I just didn’t know,” he said.  “I talked to some people here and there but I really just didn’t wanna talk that much because I felt like the media used to play tricks with me for some reason.”

“They never got a chance to really know me.”

A decade later, Moss is a happy camper in Washington, having built his career as a top-flight receiver and beloved member of the Burgundy and Gold.  Looking back seven years later, he can appreciate the path that he took through New York to find his happy place.

“When I left there I think being there it made me grow up,” he said bluntly.  “It made me know what I had to do, my responsibilities to you guys (the media) and know that your job relies on me to be able to be here and talk to you.

“So I swallowed all my pride and I do that.”

And for Redskins media and fans alike, we appreciate it.

Catch the rest of his thoughts on the Cowboys, Seahawks, Jets, and Rex Grossman, below: Read more »

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Atogwe Turns The Tables On The Media

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 21, 2011 – 12:48 pm

[Editor’s Note: The audio picks up about 34 seconds in…give or take a second].

Redskins Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe enjoys reading his opponents eyes and making adjustments.  When he catches them off guard, he wins.

This was his approach to the media yesterday, as he was asked to be interviewed after practice. Rather than taking his customary spot in front of the camera, he relieved the CSN Washington crew of their cameras, and panned the crowd of assembled media.

“Let’s see how you like having the cameras pointed at you,” Atogwe said, as CSN’s Kelly Johnson attempted to avoid being on camera.  “Everybody gets shy all of a sudden.”

Here are some of the more amusing screen shots from the CSN Washington footage of the interview: Read more »

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Shanahan Not Buying Into The Hype

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 4, 2011 – 4:35 pm

The role of the media in sports is to capture the essence of the team.  If a team is doing well and winning, the media will focus on why they’re finding success.  If the team is doing poorly and losing, then the media will focus on the negatives.

Regardless of what they’re saying, though, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan doesn’t want his players buying into it.

“This is a game-by-game league,” he explained.  “You’re saying we arrived on defense — it takes one game for it to go the opposite way very quickly.  It does the same thing on offense.  Our guys are smart enough to understand what happens in this league. I try to tell our guys, ‘Don’t pay attention about what anybody says. Understand that we’ve got to do it each and every week, and you’ve got to find a way to win. You’ve got to find a way to be at the best at what you do.’ And at the end of the season, we’ll decide on what type of team we have.”

This is a team that has found success so far, by staying in the moment and focusing on each opponent as they come.  If the team can come back refreshed from the bye week and plug in for the next 12 weeks, then this team could live up to its potential.

“The one goal that I tell our players and our coaches is that you have got to take it day-by-day,” he said.  “Once you start listening to how good you are or how great the defense is doing or how poorly an offense is doing week-by-week, it’s easy to get lulled into a trap. Don’t get lulled into a trap. Just concentrate on the job at hand.  Try to find a way to win and get better every day. Don’t listen to people that are negative. Believe in yourself and just keep on working and if you do that, then you’ve got a chance.”

For the rest of Shanahan’s wisdom, check out the video after the jump: Read more »

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Assorted Media Members Predict The Pick After The Presser

Posted by Matt Terl on April 27, 2011 – 5:15 pm

Head coach Mike Shanahan held the traditional pre-draft press conference today, which contained the tradtional abject lack of any information. (It’s always struck me as strange that there’s an annual press conference held on the day that the actual disclosure of information is LEAST likely, but I’m assured that it’s a longstanding and reasonable tradition.) Gary Fitzgerald has the intricate details of the presser over on the Redskins.com homebase if you’re interested.

Personally, I found myself more intrigued by the what the local media would take away from the presser — the first time the coach has spoken in a while, and the only real chance to get a glimpse of his draft plans — so I surveyed a few folks after Shanahan finished speaking. This is the result:

(Full disclosure: there’s actually a longer version that’s been lost to technical difficulties, so this is actually a much shorter result. I’ll post the full version if I can manage to recover it.) Read more »

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Lorenzo Alexander Eludes The Media In A Prius

Posted by Matt Terl on April 26, 2011 – 1:20 pm

The media was outside the gates when I showed up at work this morning, cameras pointed out toward Loudoun County Parkway in the hopes of acquiring footage of a player showing up at Redskins Park in the lull between Judge Susan Nelson’s ruling yesterday and the NFL’s appeal. They waved cheerfully at me but made no move to actually record my arrival; no matter how long I work at Redskins Park, no one will ever mistake my beat-up Hyundai for a player’s car.

Media Sits Outside isn’t much of a story, but it beats writing up yet another mock draft, so I grabbed my Flip Camera and walked out to join them. At the very least, I thought it might be a cute bit for the blog — “How long have you been waiting, how late will you stay, etc.”

And that’s all it started out as. It was a gorgeous morning, one of the few we’ll have that feels more like Spring and less like late Winter or early Summer, and the media folks were happily reading tweets and texts from their opposite numbers in much less temperate places like Minnesota and Green Bay.

The banter was solid, and would’ve made for a mildly entertaining if unremarkable blog post. AP reporter Joseph White had biked to the stakeout and was still dressed for cycling, and threatened to stick around for two years. WUSA-9’s Dave “Satch” Satchell joked good-naturedly about NBC4 having beaten him to the site that morning … and then a car turned into the driveway.

“There’s a car coming,” I said, “so I’ll let you guys get back to work.”

It was a clean white Toyota, with an Eastern’s Automotive front tag, and the entire media corps reacted to it pretty much as they had to my Hyundai. “What d’you think the chance is of that being a player’s car?” Satch asked, rhetorically, as the car approached.

And then it drove by and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander waved out the window and continued on through the guard gate.

“Daggumit,” Joe White said. “I really thought that would not be a player’s car.”

Maybe not in New York, where — according to a Twitter report from ESPNNewYork’s Rich Cimini — Bart Scott blew past reporters in a white Ferrari. But Lorenzo Alexander has always been a different kind of guy, so maybe the white Prius shouldn’t have been a surprise. At least the weather stayed nice.

After the jump, the whole encounter in video form. Read more »

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Brian Billick Has Some Different Opinions On The Redskins Draft Needs

Posted by Matt Terl on April 1, 2011 – 10:15 am


There’s not a lot of uniformity in the projections of what the Redskins will do with the tenth overall pick in the 2011 Draft. Heck, I alone have projected no fewer than three different people in that spot in the last week. But some positions are definitely mentioned more than others.

The useful (if overwhelming) 2011 Mock Draft Database at DC Pro Sports Report currently covers 304 mock drafts; about 46% of them have the Redskins selecting a wide receiver. Roughly 25% (75 of them) suggest one of the quarterbacks — Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Mallet, Cam Newtown, Jake Locker, and even Colin Kaepernick are all mentioned. Another 17% suggest defensive end or linebacker.

Of the remaining 22% consist mostly of defensive tackles and the occasional quarterback. (A lot of the mocks seem to believe that Prince Amukamara is going to fall to ten, which I don’t.) A total of seven of the listed mock drafts have the team going with an offensive tackle.

FOX Sports.com NFL analyst Brian Billick is reading from a different script than all those people, though. Read more »

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Donovan McNabb: Basketball Analyst, And Other Links

Posted by Matt Terl on March 18, 2011 – 10:34 am

As previously mentioned, quarterback Donovan McNabb made his debut as a basketball analyst on Comcast SportsNet yesterday, and acquitted himself pretty well at the basketball part of things.

He also fielded a ton of Redskins questions, where by “fielded” I mean “gave polite non-answers to.” Thankfully, Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog has already done the thankless work of transcribing those answers. Here’s one example:

“Only thing I can do at this particular point is just continue to stay focused on what my goal is, and my goal is to help a team win a Super Bowl. I said that was gonna work on my craft and continue to go back to the fundamentals of trying to be a better quarterback, and that’s something that I plan on doing. At this particular point, I’m working with my trainer, who I’ve worked with over the years, who I’ve had great seasons with, and just enjoying my time in this lockout of just trying to be better at what I do.”

If you’d like to read a few more answers like that, you can check ’em out here.

And here are a few other Redskins-related links that are worth checking out. Read more »

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Donovan McNabb Explains What He Can Improve This Offseason

Posted by Matt Terl on February 1, 2011 – 4:07 pm

Donovan McNabb is serving as part of ESPN’s Super Bowl coverage in Dallas this week, so it’s safe to assume that he’ll be talking a lot. (He’d be a pretty lousy TV personality if he didn’t.) And if Donovan McNabb is talking, there’s a decent chance that it’ll be something of interest to Redskins fans. Frankly, I expect to be transcribing a fair bit of Donovan McNabb for the next few days, especially if the alternative is hearing EVEN MORE about Maurkice Pouncey’s ankle.

But today was especially notable, as McNabb sat down with Mike Tirico to get the slightly awkward prelimnaries out of the way. Read more »

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The Media Day Ritual: Doug Williams At Super Bowl XXII

Posted by Matt Terl on February 1, 2011 – 2:18 pm

It’s Super Bowl Media Day, and around these parts that means one thing: the annual retelling of the story of the stupidest question Doug Williams was never asked — or, rather, wasn’t asked in the way that people currently believe. Here’s the efficient retelling, from Jeff Merron of ESPN.com:

The dumbest question in Media Day history came prior to Super Bowl XXII. You’ve probably heard the story. A mediot actually asked Redskins quarterback Doug Williams the following: “How long have you been a black quarterback?”

Can it get any worse than that? Probably not. Here’s the thing, though — the question was never asked. After Williams suffered through countless queries about being the first black QB to start a Super Bowl, Butch John, a reporter for the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger, seemed to have had enough. So he said, “Doug, it’s obvious you’ve always been a black quarterback all your life. When did it start to matter?”

John’s statement and question were jokes. Most reporters there got it, and they laughed. And then it was printed. But it has been twisted around and repeated, in the form it takes in this story’s first paragraph, ever since.

But that’s not to say that there weren’t any dumb questions asked at that particular Media Day. Norman Chad was writing WaPo’s Sports Waves media coverage column back then, and his piece on the Super Bowl coverage is pretty terrific. He breaks down what was done station by station — and (as an aside) there were two features I would honestly pay cash money to be able to watch today:

Read more »

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More Chris Cooley Interviews

Posted by Matt Terl on January 31, 2011 – 2:33 pm

Chris Cooley‘s week at the Pro Bowl wasn’t limted to pregame work for NFL Network. He also went to the teams’ practices and asked goofy questions there as well. In this installment: THRILL as you hear Matt Light compare his beard to Brett Keisel’s! GASP as Cooley confronts Larry Fitzgerald about a Pro Bowl celebration snub from two years ago! NOD as Cooley credits Tony Gonzalez as one of his inspirations at the tight end position! FEEL A VAGUE SENSE OF CONFUSION as Justin Tuck runs down his favorite Broadway shows and calls himself a geek! It’s that kind of interview package, really.

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