Archive for November, 2010

Remembering Sean

On Nov. 27th it will be 3 years since Sean Taylor’s passing. It’s still hard to imagine that he’s gone. This is a re-post of a blog that I wrote on the 1 year anniversary of his death and an Animoto that I made as a tribute. The 2nd YouTube is the Redskin’s official tribute.

I was watching a Skin’s game a couple of weeks ago and I was wearing my Sean Taylor 75th Anniversary Jersey (happens to be my favorite out of my collection). I was enjoying all the stress and excitement of the game when my 4 year old son asked me a question.

“Daddy, who’s jersey is this?”

“This is Sean Taylor’s jersey,” I replied.

My son then walked up to the TV and stood in front of it, his nose only inches from the screen. He stared intently at the TV for a few seconds as I asked him as politely as I can (while watching a Skin’s game) to please move out of the way.

“But Daddy, which one of those guys is Sean Taylor?”

After stumbling around for a couple seconds I came up with,
“Sean’s not playing today.”

Wow, how could I answer that? It’s a life and death question that he is not ready for, and quite frankly…maybe I’m not either. But that simple answer is not enough.

I remember so many things about Sean. I remember how excited I was that they picked him over Kellen Winslow. Excited, because I felt Taylor was a once in every ten years type of difference maker. An added bonus to this scenario brought my favorite player (Chris Cooley) to the Redskins in the 3rd round.

I remember how he intercepted a pass and returned it for a TD in his very first pre-season game. It was the Hall of Fame game against the Broncos, and Joe Gibbs‘s first game back.

I remember how his teammates nicknamed him “Meast”, because he was part man-part beast.

I remember how he may have been the best running back at the University of Miami, but he played Safety. Frank Gore, Willis Mcgahee, and Clinton Portis were the teams RB’s.

I remember how he scored a TD in the Eagles game in 2005 to clinch a playoff birth, then scored another TD in the Bucs game to seal a playoff victory.

I remember how Receivers feared going across the middle against him. No, they feared him wherever they were on the field.

I remember hearing that he got shot, and that he was clinging to life. It seemed so surreal.

I remember thinking he was so strong, he was going to pull through…but I guess God had a better plan for him.

I remember the media reporting bogus reports, implying that this was somehow Sean’s fault, some sort of retaliation for something Sean did.

I remember for a split second thinking what the media reported.

I remember the media not recanting their bogus stories. I myself am sorry for my momentary lapse in thought.

I remember thinking how there was no way the Skins would lose the following week against the Bills. They did, but then rallied as a team to make the playoffs.

I remember learning just who Sean was. The person, the teammate, the friend, companion, and father.

I remember it all, and I will continue to remember.

And some day, when my son and I are ready…I’m going to tell him all about Sean Taylor.

Cheers and Hail

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Posted by fatpickle    Date: Friday, November 26, 2010

Categories: Redskins

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What the Hell Happened During “Hell Week”

That's it...nice and easy! And a one and a two

When I heard the reasoning behind Mike Shanahan’s decision to pull Donovan McNabb during the last 2 minutes of the game due to McNabb not having the “cardiovascular endurance” to run the offense, my immediate thought was…what about “Hell Week?”

A big deal was made about the “Hell Week” that McNabb invited his fellow Redskins receivers, tight ends and running backs to last July. It was held in Arizona the week before training camp and was described by the Washington Post as “a week of grueling workouts and team building.” From the Wapo article:

McNabb calls it “Hell Week” because of the demanding nature of his workouts, and also because of the extreme summertime heat. Temperatures around Phoenix this week are expected to climb as high as 112 degrees.
“It’s a different mind-set,” McNabb said of the week. “I prepare guys the way I prepare.”

There, Brett Fischer, McNabb’s trainer, will lead the group through workouts and exercises nearly identical to the ones the quarterback does during the off-season.
“For them, I think it’s an eye-opener what we’re doing,” said Fischer, whose résumé lists him as a physical therapist, an athletic trainer and a strength-and-conditioning specialist. “I think it’s an eye opener for them, comparing themselves with their quarterback, with how hard he’s working out here. To me, it’s him telling them, ‘Hey, I’m taking this thing seriously to the next level. Let’s go to the next level.’ ”

The daily routine focuses on the athlete’s core — abdominals, the lower back, gluteal muscles and hips — and involves everything from traditional weights to resistance bands. Fischer likes to focus on balance, flexibility, joints and areas that most athletes tend to ignore in their regular workouts.

The group also will spend plenty of time on cardio by running steep hills in the desert heat until they finally take a break in the early afternoon.

“People, when they come in here and they see what he does, they’re shocked,” Fischer says. “They go, ‘Man, he pays attention to every little detail in the workout.’ And he’s here from 8 o’clock until 10 o’clock. They go, ‘I didn’t realize he worked this hard. I didn’t realize he had all the flexibility, all the core, all the lifting, all the things done for his body.’ ”

So here we are a few months later and Mcnabb is now “unfit.” I guess all the 14 hour training days were not enough or else they were just a bunch of bs. McNabb appears to be in better shape than I’ve seen him in recent years. Sure I notice him huffing and puffing after a long scramble, but hey…I huff and puff going from the lazy-boy to the fridge for a Bud Light.

McNabb‘s “Hell Week” may have been an accurate title for Redskin‘s fans. Malcolm Kelly injured his hamstring in Arizona and was placed on injured reserve for the year. Colt Brennan and Devin Thomas were also there…they were both cut. Thomas described the workouts as “tough.” McNabb gets pulled at the most important time of the game for…Rex Grossman? The only known participant who seems to be having a decent year is Santana Moss. Maybe next year they should try the “Charlie Sheen” week.

Cheers and Hail

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Posted by fatpickle    Date: Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Categories: Redskins

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Redskins: Mid-Season Report Cards

We are at the half-way point of the Redskins 2010 season which happens to coincide with the bye week, so it’s an excellent time to hand out first half report cards. This will be a multi-part series, today we focus on the front office and coaching.

Front Office – D

Positives: Drafting Trent Williams and the free agent signings of Ryan Torain, Brandon Banks and Keiland Williams.

Negatives: Besides Williams the rest of the draft sucked. Free agent signings Josh Bidwell and Joey Galloway equally sucked. The Jammal Brown trade looks like a bad deal. Oh, let’s not forget about Larry Johnson and Willie Parker.

Comments: I still can’t believe the 3 guys listed under positives were players the front office cut in the last month. On a positive note, Bruce Allen has done an excellent job repairing the organization’s relationship with previous players…unfortunately that has no impact on winning games. For the moment I’m going to leave the Donovan McNabb trade alone, although that deal may turn out to be bad as well.

Coaching – D

Positives: The team has matched it’s win total from last year. The Redskins also have 4 conference wins and are 2-0 against the NFC East.

Negatives: The defense changed it’s scheme and went from a top 10 defense to nearly last in the NFL. The offense is mediocre and not much better than last years version. The head coach appears to hold serious grudges against players (McNabb, D. Thomas, Haynesworth and Dockery) which may affect the Redskins having the best players on the field.

Comments: Mike Shanahan’s handling of Albert Haynesworth was terrible. His decision to bench McNabb was unbelievably terrible. Why isn’t Dockery playing? Why was Devin Thomas not given a chance? Why is Joey Galloway on the team? Why am I yelling at my computer?

Cheers and Hail

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Posted by fatpickle    Date: Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Categories: Redskins

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