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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.
Read more »

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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.”

Read more »

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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.”

Read more »

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Wednesday, July 29: The Conditioning Test Is No Joke

Posted by Matt Terl on July 29, 2009 – 8:53 am

Tomorrow, after a seemingly endless stretch of downtime, training camp starts back up. Once upon a time in the misty NFL past, “training camp” meant exactly what it sounds like: a bunch of out-of-shape players would show up, many having worked non-football jobs during the offseason, and the coaching staff would use a grueling camp to whip them into shape.

That’s not so much the case now. Between organized offseason team workouts, non-team-related but still organized workouts, and individual workouts, players now show up to camp in shape and use the training camp to get into game shape. But teams still need to be sure that players are prepared to go through the rigors of training camp (no matter how in shape they appear), which is why there is a conditioning test that everyone has to pass before training camp.

The conditioning test made its way into the spotlight last year when Coach Zorn talked about how then-rookie wide receivers Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly had not been able to pass it.

“If you can’t pass that physical test that we give, then something’s not right,” Zorn said at the time according to the Washington Post. “So I’ve been kind of jabbing at them with that. . . . I wish I could take the test just to show everybody that I was in good shape. It’s sort of a pride issue.”

Zorn isn’t the only one who wanted to take the test.

Read more »

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Friday, June 19: Mike Williams Actually Is Looking For A Chef

Posted by Matt Terl on June 19, 2009 – 12:27 am

When Mike Williams mentioned the other day that he was looking for chef, I — quite reasonably, I think — asked him why. He shrugged, said something about wanting to cook a meal for his wife, told me to let him know if I heard from anyone, and that was more or less that. I tweeted about it (thanks, @APStylebook!), got a few responses … and realized that I had no idea if Williams was serious or not — and, if he was serious, what exactly he was looking for.

“Okay, I’m gonna take this a roundabout way and then bring it in,” he told me. “This has NOTHING to do with my wife’s cooking. She said, ‘Oh, they’re gonna think I’m a bad cook.’ I said, ‘Oh, yeah, I didn’t think of that.’ No. Nothing to do with that at ALL.”

With that out of the way, he continued. Read more »

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Wednesday, June 3: People Who Are Not Albert Haynesworth

Posted by Matt Terl on June 3, 2009 – 10:36 am

One last bit of anecdotal observation from Monday night’s trip to Six Flags: people, even die-hard Redskins fans, do not yet recognize big-ticket free agent signee Albert Haynesworth. This was driven home over the course of two separate but similar incidents.

First, the autograph mob surrounding Mike Williams, pictured above. Mike Williams, as has been thoroughly documented, is an enormous man. At this point, his return and rapid weight loss may very well be the most-told tale of this Redskins offseason, narrowly outshining the signing of Haynesworth (more important, but lacks the same human-interest element) and the endless quarterback rumors (more salacious, but ultimately did not amount to much).

And the point of that well-told story is that Mike Williams has worked his way all the way down to huge from massive. Numerically, here’s how it shakes out: Williams stands 6-7 and is down to a reported 385 pounds. Haynesworth is 6-6, 350. Those 35 pounds may not sound like much, but you know it when you see it.

So I was a little perplexed by the number of people on the fringes of this signing who were saying things like, “That Haynesworth is even bigger than I thought,” and, “I can’t believe Albert Haynesworth can move as fast as they say when he’s that big.”

I didn’t think much more of it at the time. The folks in attendance knew there were Redskins in the park; they saw a notably large, unfamiliar-looking dude, and they decided it was Haynesworth. Fair enough.
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