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Mike Williams Is Relieved Not To Be An Offseason Story

Posted by Matt Terl on March 17, 2010 – 11:46 am

Today, in Cheap Irony For Dummies, an offseason story about how glad Mike Williams is not to be an offseason story.

For a stretch during last year’s offseason, Williams was the only thing going. He showed up at Redskins Park weighing northward of 400 pounds, and the next thing you knew there were blog posts about bison meat and graphs with his head on them. Then the season started and Williams moved from position to position, sometimes looking like a guy who had been out of the league, other times looking like he was starting to settle in. The whole time, though, the story was that he was a guy who had lost a bunch of weight.

This offseason, though, is much quieter for Williams. He’s got his deal signed already. There are no writers analyzing his choice of food. No long diet plans or calls for a personal chef. No graphs with his head on them. And he’s okay with that.

“That’s pretty much last year’s story,” Williams told me. He declined to reveal his current weight — “I’m definitely nowhere near where I was when I came in in April, put it like that,” he said — but he looks like a completely different guy. Leaner, with a bit more muscle definition than previously. Oh, and the jacket he’s wearing is baggy and ill-fitting, because he hasn’t replaced his whole wardrobe from a year ago.
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Friday, March 12: Inside The Revamped Weight Room

Posted by Matt Terl on March 12, 2010 – 1:16 pm

The Redskins voluntary offseason conditioning program begins on Monday, which means that a whole bunch of football players — all of them, if new head coach Mike Shanahan gets his wish — will be cycling through the weight room. For some players, it’ll just be another weight room, worse than some and better than others.

But Redskins veterans, guys who are returning to the Redskins Park for the first time since last season ended … well, they’re going to find a dramatically different experience.
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Free Agency Update: Mike Williams & Phillip Daniels signed, Lorenzo Alexander Extended

Posted by Matt Terl on March 5, 2010 – 1:30 pm

The Redskins announced today that they have signed Lorenzo Alexander — now officially being listed as a linebacker! — to a contract extension, and have signed defensive end Phillip Daniels and offensive lineman Mike Williams. These are not barn-burning, exciting moves. They’re not the kind of moves that lead to press conferences and “Breaking News” tags on ESPN.

In fact, general manager Bruce Allen explicitly told Larry Weisman of Redskins.com that the Redskins were not involved in the pursuit of high-priced free agent defensive end Julius Peppers, despite rumors (and nearly universal expectations) to the contrary.

And I’m absolutely in favor of all of that. The front office keeps saying that they have a plan for this offseason, and the deliberate pace they’ve taken reinforces that impression. It’s been a pleasure to see.

To celebrate, here’s some video of new signee Phillip Daniels squatting an insane-sounding 722 pounds back in 2008.

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Thursday, February 11: The Elusive Kyle Shanahan/Mike Williams Photo

Posted by Matt Terl on February 11, 2010 – 10:49 am

A few weeks back I posted a brief interview with offensive lineman Mike Williams about the possibility of having his old college teammate as his offensive coordinator. I noted at the time that I hadn’t been able to track down a photo of the two of them together.

Well, thanks to the excellent media relations department at the University of Texas, that’s no longer the case.

That’s big Mike Williams wearing number 63, of course. And Kyle Shanahan was #87, a wide receiver who played in 24 games at Texas and caught 14 passes for 127 yards, but was called “a student of the game” by his offensive coordinator even then. (And he also, according to the Personal section of his Longhorns media guide bio, “aspires to be a coach himself.” Mission accomplished.)

More details on Shanahan’s college career: Read more »

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Friday, January 22: Mike Williams Discusses His College Teammate (And Offensive Coordinator)

Posted by Matt Terl on January 22, 2010 – 1:23 pm

I haven’t been able to dig up a picture of offensive lineman Mike Williams and new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan together during their playing days at Texas. I’ve done the internet searches, I’ve called the Texas media relations department, and so far no luck, which is a bummer. The picture above — the 2002 class of outgoing Longhorns — was unearthed by poster Pez over at ExtremeSkins, and gives a bit of the same vibe: that’s Derrick Dockery, fourth from the left in the top row, while Shanahan is second from the left in the middle.

Maybe it’s appropriate that I couldn’t find a picture of Williams and Shanahan, though, because Williams seemed singularly unfazed at the idea of being coached by a former college teammate. “He was like any other teammate,” Williams said, describing the architect of the Houston Texans league-leading passing game, “cool, gets along well.”

Williams — who has already begun his offseason workouts — was actually pretty insistent that there was nothing unusual about this situation.
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Reed Doughty Goes To IR Somewhat Satisfied

Posted by Matt Terl on December 30, 2009 – 3:53 pm

The Redskins moved Reed Doughty to injured reserve today with a high ankle sprain, ending his season with one game left to play. This may seem like only a small step up from last season, when he went on injured reserve with a back injury with ten games left to play, but Doughty doesn’t see it that way.

“I’m thankful I got to play as long as I did [this season],” he said. “I’m healthy and an ankle injury is NOT my back, so I’m thankful for that.”

Here’s the other thing Doughty can be thankful for: he’s quietly had a very good year.
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Wednesday, December 2: Redskins Discuss Easy Bake Ovens

Posted by Matt Terl on December 2, 2009 – 10:52 am

One last bit from yesterday’s “Holiday Wishes Come True” event, hosted by Renaldo Wynn and his wife LaTanya (along with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, the Family of Faith foundation, and Target).

Even though the event was about giving tangible gifts to kids as we get into the meat of the holiday season, Wynn made absolutely certain to remind everyone what the real purpose of the event — and the holidays — is. “Whenever we’re given the opportunity,” he said, “that’s our goal as human beings: to serve others. And it’s just a great feelin’ when you come and you give yourself to someone else, I think that’s the greatest gift you can have.”

And he’s probably right about that. Still, though, the kids seemed really enthusiastic about the material gifts they were getting, too. Read more »

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New Looks For Stephon Heyer and Mike Williams

Posted by Matt Terl on October 21, 2009 – 4:55 pm

When Mike Williams gets a haircut … well, it’s honestly not that worthy of note. Williams’s hair was fairly unremarkable. If you had stopped me on the street and asked me to describe it, I probably would’ve stammered a lot and said something like, “Um, it’s dark?”

But when Williams shows up to the locker room bald AND fellow offensive lineman Stephon Heyer shows up with his characteristic dreadlocks gone, at that point it start to looks more like a story. Like it’s something they’re doing out of solidarity in the face of a world turned cruel. Read more »

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Mike Williams Contemplates Moving Back To Tackle, Away From Casey Rabach

Posted by Matt Terl on October 12, 2009 – 2:07 pm

Head coach Jim Zorn really didn’t waste much time getting to the most newsworthy part of his press conference today, and he didn’t need any prompting to get there.

“The guy that I’m concerned about is Chris Samuels,” Zorn said, after explaining that Phillip Daniels is expected to be able to play despite his torn biceps. “[Samuels] got an MRI; he’s been playing with a stenosis, which is a narrowing — that was three or four years ago, this is something that he’s been playing with; you know, he’s got that big [neck roll] thing to protect himself. But he got popped and he got some tingling and we’re just checking this out. So right now, he will NOT be available to play next week, just to quiet this thing down.”

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The Mikes Talk Piggyback Rides And Nicknames

Posted by Matt Terl on September 1, 2009 – 4:46 pm

I’ve done what I could to make this picture a little clearer, but it was a split-second shot and didn’t turn out as perfectly as I might’ve hoped. The whiteish blob on the right is the new, svelte version of Chris Samuels, helmet tucked under his arm as he walks back from the practice fields.

On the left, the whiteish blob is fullback Mike Sellers, perched on the back of the blackish blob, offensive tackle Mike Williams.

“The amazing thing,” Sellers told me today, “is that I ran up behind him and jumped on his back, and he didn’t even break stride. Just kept going like he didn’t even notice.”

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