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Redskins In Super Slow Motion

Posted by Matt Terl on September 15, 2009 – 2:00 pm

No, the title is not a comment on the offense running sluggishly in the Giants game. Let’s just get that gag out of the way quickly. (In fact, the faster the Redskins offense moved, the better Jason Campbell did. In plays when the offense lined up in the shotgun formation, Campbell was 14 of 17 for 155 yards and 1 touchdown. But that’s neither here nor there.)

Anyhow, one day during training camp, NFL Films sent out a crew with a camera that took two guys to operate.

It was, I found out later, a modified Phantom camera called an X-Mo created by a company called Inertia Unlimited. According to the website, the X-Mo “is a high speed HD camera that shoot can shoot at up to 6933 fps at 720 resolution and over 2700 fps at 1080 resolution with absolutely no up conversion,and actual pixel for pixel sensor/output resolution.”

What this means in plain English is that it shoots things very, very sharply in very, very slow motion. The reason it takes two guys to operate is because the video files are so large that they require an additional, separate hard drive for storage, which the second operator carries.

And here are the results, courtesy of the nice folks at NFL Films.

The most entertaining part may well be looking at the people in the background who appear to be standing still. I assure you, they are not. Read more »

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Afternoon Practice – Taped To The Goalposts

Posted by Matt Terl on August 17, 2009 – 6:05 pm

This afternoon’s practice seemed a little sluggish to me, although maybe it was just the weather — that kind of sticky, muggy heat that makes you feel like everything’s in slow motion. Rookies Robert Henson and Kevin Barnes certainly didn’t agree with my impression. “It feels good to get back to work,” Henson said.

Barnes concurred. “It was pretty good today,” he said. “With that extra morning off, felt like everybody was a little more fresh on defense. Personally, this is the best I’ve felt in two weeks.”

That sentiment from Barnes is even more telling considering it came while the two rookies were taped — not too tightly, it’s true — to the goalposts after practice.

The general thought at Redskins Park was that Head Coach Jim Zorn was opposed to rookie hazing, a policy that Zorn seemed ready to disregard at his post-practice press conference when told that there were, in fact, players taped to the goalposts. “Are there? Wow. They’ll figure it out. Dinner’s not for awhile yet,” and later clarifying, “I don’t do any organized hazing,” Zorn said, “but somebody was doing something. This would be a little more disorganized.”

Barnes shrugged when I asked him about Zorn’s supposed no-hazing policy. “He told [ESPN’s Chris Mortensen] that he could let us go if he wanted to, but we told Mort that if he let us loose, we might get this for the next month straight.”

Henson nodded. “If we get away, it’s gonna be worse.” Read more »

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An Ethical Dilemma Is Discussed In The Ice Tub

Posted by Matt Terl on August 17, 2009 – 2:56 pm

After practice, certain guys swear by the ice tubs. These are exactly what they sound like: big Rubbermaid tubs filled with cold water and ice that sit outside the facility. Guys soak in them to help with injury prevention and recovery, usually still in their uniform pants and t-shirts along with neoprene covers on their toes.

(While some guys swear by the ice tubs, other guys emphatically don’t. One guy who doesn’t is Clinton Portis — “It’s too cold,” Portis says. “It hurts.” — and another is Fred Smoot. “I don’t take it,” Smoot says. “Have you seen me in there? I’m from Mississippi, right? You know, I’m a southern guy, I don’t deal well with ice. That’s why they ran me from Minnesota. I’m a warm climate guy.” Although even Smoot has been known to get in on very rare occasions.)

Whether by coincidence or climate-related inevitability, the guys who have played in Canada are ice tub regulars: Shaun Suisham, Chris Wilson, and Domonique Dorsey. Suisham is in there enough that even the Associated Press has written about it (in the same story that correctly notes that he sounds just like actor Owen Wilson).

Ice tub conversations can run the gamut from sincere to mocking, as you’d expect, but every so often you hear one that is genuinely surprising, amusing, and even thought-provoking. This particular episode of the Suisham And Wilson Happy Ice Tub Funtime Show started on Saturday when the duo was sitting in one tub, with people giving Suisham a hard time for his lack of work in the Ravens game.

“Hey,” he said, “last time we played the Ravens in preseason, I got my first unnecessary roughness fine.” No one seemed to believe him.
Read more »

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Alfred Fincher And B.A. Baracus, Via Kareem Moore And Shaun Suisham

Posted by Matt Terl on August 12, 2009 – 1:07 pm

Linebacker Alfred Fincher decided to go with the mohawk look a few days into camp, as Brian Murphy at Homer McFanboy has exhaustively documented. I had asked Fincher about the cut — “I was just trying to break up the monotony of camp and try to shake things up,” he told me — but then he got dinged up the next day and the whole thing started to seem like a bad omen for him, so I didn’t follow up.

According to Murphy, half the team liked Fincher’s look and the other half didn’t. But when kicker Shaun Suisham and safety Kareem Moore were in the ice bath discussing Lendy Holmes‘s hairstyle the other day, the conversation quite naturally turned to the team’s other notable haircut, and they came out solidly in favor.

“I had a Mohawk before,” Moore was explaining. “In college. Mine was nice, though. I had the mohawk fade. Like it was high, but my sides were like they are now. And I had little designs on the side.”

“Would that be a frohawk?” Suisham asked.

Moore paused for a second, thinking. Read more »

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Sunday, August 9: Fred Smoot, Disciplinarian

Posted by Matt Terl on August 9, 2009 – 8:24 am

Seventh-round draft pick WR Marko Mitchell was one of the offensive bright spots during yesterday’s scrimmage, catching three passes for 32 yards. And he was characteristically humble about this. “I think I did a good job out there,” he said, “think I could’ve done a little bit more.”

He also was one of the bravest guys on the field, not because he took a whole lot of big hits — although he did — but because he made one of the most ambitious decisions any player on a football field can make: he started yapping with Fred Smoot. Read more »

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Fan Appreciation Day A Success

Posted by Matt Terl on August 8, 2009 – 5:09 pm

The warnings were dire. Everyone was telling newer employees, new beat reporters, anyone who didn’t attend last year’s Fan Appreciation Day: get here early. Prepare for traffic. Expect delays.

And in the end everything — with the possible exception of the interview scrum for Clinton Portis above — ran completely smoothly, thanks in large part to some help from Loudoun County and a generous neighbor. The team was able to double the parking from last season, and there was triple the police presence to direct traffic in and out.
Read more »

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Meet Doug Dutch's Cheering Section

Posted by Matt Terl on August 8, 2009 – 4:11 pm

Getting my scrimmage update together now — although I hope everyone was also following along on Twitter — but in the meantime, here’s a follow-up on that previous post: Doug Dutch‘s dad introducing Doug’s cheering section.

http://serve.a-widget.com/service/getWidgetSwf.kickAction Read more »

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Doug Dutch Has Quite The Fan Club

Posted by Matt Terl on August 8, 2009 – 12:42 pm

Cornerback Doug Dutch may be something of a longshot to make the roster. He’s got a crowd ahead of him, including a drafted rookie in Kevin Barnes, veteran leadership in Fred Smoot and Carlos Rogers, and a highly-paid free agent acquisition in DeAngelo Hall, among others. But one thing he’s not hurting for is support.

That’s a group of about fourteen boisterous, loving people, including Dutch’s mother, father, cousins, high school friends and acquaitances, and — for all I know — everyone else he’s ever met. They’re set up along sidelines hoping to see Dutch — who grew up hating the Cowboys, according to Dan Steinberg — get a chance to do something in the scrimmage.

And they’re wearing custom shirts, too. On one side, they read “Homegrown Redskin,” and on the other, this: Read more »

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Saturday, August 8: Fan Appreciation Day Is Here

Posted by Matt Terl on August 8, 2009 – 9:25 am

Those first fans from the first day of training camp, the guys who showed up before 6:00 to wait in the median of Loudoun County Parkway? They’ve got some competition. These first fans got to the gates today at 4:00 a.m. The parking lots weren’t even scheduled to open until 9:00, let alone the gates. And they didn’t have any fancy-pants grill or raisin bread or tailgating gear. “We brought pop tarts,” Spencer Walker says. “Raw pop tarts.” Read more »

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Special Teams Practice – Wedges, Officials, and Not Much Else

Posted by Matt Terl on August 7, 2009 – 4:05 pm

Special teams practice lasted for about an hour this afternoon, and it was notable for four major reasons.

1) The returns of Anthony Montgomery, J.D. Skolnitsky, Lorenzo Alexander, and Eddie Williams to practice. No, these are not huge name guys, but more people returned to the field than were newly subtracted from it. Devin Thomas was present, but did not have a helmet and did not participate. Read more »

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