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The Triumphant Return Of Doug Dutch (And The Signing Of Two Other Guys)

Posted by Matt Terl on December 30, 2010 – 9:20 am

When the Redskins traded cornerback Doug Dutch to the Ravens for current #2 quarterback John Beck, it seemed likely that we had seen the last of the D.C. native (and Gonzaga grad) as well as his impressive cheering section. But Dutch never caught on in Baltimore, and — as the Redskins find themselves thin in the defensive backfield following injuries to Carlos Rogers and every safety on the team — Dutch was signed to the practice squad yesterday. The cheering section hasn’t returned yet, but I’m sure they’ll be here if Dutch is still on the roster when training camp rolls around.

(This signing also means that John Beck was acquired for absolutely nothing. Coincidentally, that’s the same thing he’s done on the field this season. But the coaching staff seems to be pretty high on him, so I suppose you could now officially chalk up the John Beck trade as an umitigated win for the Redskins. The way this season’s gone, I’ll take whatever wins I can find.)

Dutch wasn’t the only signing, though, and he probably wasn’t the most significant either — cornerback Reggie Jones was signed from the Saints practice squad straight to the Redskins active roster.

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Clinton Portis Headed To IR (And Other Running Back Moves)

Posted by Matt Terl on November 24, 2010 – 2:31 pm

Bad news by any measure: head coach Mike Shanahan confirmed today that Clinton Portis is headed to the Injured Reserve list, ending his season early for the second year in a row. Portis finishes with just 54 carries for 227 yards in five games this year — all numbers that would’ve been two solid games in his heyday (although if you ignore the 54 carries, those numbers could’ve been in one game during his early years). He looked strong in his brief return at Tennessee last week, averaging 6.4 yards per carry, but that’s where his 2010 run will end.

“It really is disappointing,” Shanahan explained, “because he’s worked so hard to get to where he was at, a lot of hard work. He’s encouraging all the other players. He’s a big part of this football team. You hate to see a person work that hard and not get an opportunity to finish the season. That’s the case there. He was ready to play and when he did play, he played exceptionally well. Right above the groin area, he tore in the lower abdomen. He’s going to have surgery in that area. It’ll take some time to get that well.”

And that sounds excruciating. The folks at venerable D.C. sports blog Mister Irrelevant — who are among Portis’ biggest fans — are preparing themselves for the possibility that this is the end of his time in Washington by looking back at some of the bloggiest images from Portis’ tenure in D.C. You should check them all out, but this one is unquestionably my favorite:
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Signings, OTAs, Pictures, and Even Some Smoot: A Monday Miscellany

Posted by Matt Terl on May 17, 2010 – 11:52 am

Today marks the start of OTAs for the 2010 Redskins. Last year, for some idiotic reason, I waited until the OTAs were three-quarters over to fully define what the acronym means. So let’s knock that out right now, quoting last year’s explanation directly:

OTA stands for organized team activities, fourteen offseason full-team training sessions that coaches are allowed to schedule.

Unlike the mandatory minicamp that took place earlier this offseason, the OTAs are voluntary — although all coaches leaguewide seem to strenuously encourage attendance — and they have more in common with regular in-season practices than they do with the more grueling training camp practices that are coming up in July and August.

If this were the analogy section of the SATs, you might lay it out like this:

 minicamp:training camp::OTAs:in-season practice days

(If the SATs no longer have an analogy section, just disregard that last bit.)

Anyhow, with the minor difference that there are currently just 13 OTA days scheduled, rather than 14, that definition pretty much holds true. So the short version is this: the team is getting some more practice in today.

In preparation for that, a flurry of signings were announced this morning: the team added veteran defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday and rookie undrafted free agents WR Brandon Banks, WR Shay Hodge, and DB Melvin Stephenson.

After the jump, a little bit more on each of those guys, including pictures from today’s on-field work. Read more »

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Redskins Sign Levi Jones, Quinton Ganther

Posted by Matt Terl on October 20, 2009 – 4:29 pm

Well, some depth for the injury-depleted offensive line has arrived. The team today has announced the release of running backs Marcus Mason and Anthony Alridge, and the signing of former Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Levi Jones and former Tennessee Titan running back Quinton Ganther.

Ganther, a seventh-round draft choice of the Titans back in 2006, was waived/injured back in September with a calf injury that Tennessee didn’t feel like waiting on. Apparently Redskins offensive coordinator Sherman Smith had liked something about him when he was working with the Titans RBs until last year.

Jones, meanwhile, was considered the top late-summer free agent tackle after being cut by the Bengals to make room for rookie tackle Andre Smith. Jones came into the league as a first-round draft choice in 2002, and is probably best-known recently for a fight with linebacker Joey Porter in a casino, an altercation that brought much levity to the world of sports blogs. Read more »

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So Much For Punter Battle 2009

Posted by Matt Terl on May 7, 2009 – 4:39 pm

I mentioned it on the Redskins Blog Twitter feed while I was away from my computer, but the team today cut punter Zac Atterberry and signed wide receiver Keith Eloi from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, thus confirming what we all suspected when Hunter Smith was signed: there should be no punter battle in training camp this year.

Eloi was, in my mind, the standout of the guys who tried out at the past weekend’s minicamp, and he’ll be back for another shot when the next round of OTAs hits in June. Also, he can do a standing high jump into the back of a pickup truck, which is impressive in and of itself. (Video here contains one instance of possible coarse language, but it’s impressive nonetheless. Also, the friend at the end shouting “JUMP OUT THE POOL ON THAT!” is pretty entertaining.) Read more »

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Jeremy Bridges Signs, Appears Ready For Local Commercials

Posted by Matt Terl on May 5, 2009 – 6:53 pm

The Redskins signed offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges today, after the offensive lineman impressed coaches at the team’s minicamp this past weekend.

Bridges has started 39 of the 62 games in which he’s played over his career, and is expected to join the competition along the offensive line, probably at the right tackle spot.

He’s got a long way to go to make the team, of course, both in terms of time and roster spots. And even if he does make the squad, there’s no reason to believe that he would make a substantial impact. But if all of that should somehow happen, based on his 2007 work in a commercial for CPI Security Systems in Charlotte, he should be adequately prepared for the rigors of an Eastern Motors commercial shoot.

See the security commercial after the jump. Read more »

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Wednesday, April 8: Another Linebacker Enters The Discussion

Posted by Matt Terl on April 8, 2009 – 12:24 pm

After the news last week that the Redskins would be looking at DE Chris Wilson as a potential solution at strongside linebaker alongside incumbents H.B. Blades and Alfred Fincher, the team announced today that they had signed free agent linebacker Robert Thomas into the mix.

What Thomas brings to the position battle is experience. Unlike Wilson, who would be moved from another position; Blades, who is entering just his third season; and Fincher, who has thus far been a journeyman and special teams standout, Thomas has eight years in the league and was a first-round selection of the St. Louis Rams.

Admittedly, his statistics from last season don’t seem too promising — just one tackle in only two games played — but here’s one small fact about them that offers some hope: Read more »

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