Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Redskins notes, quotes and observations (Thu, 12/30)
DL Albert Haynesworth’s four-game suspension is complete after Sunday’s game, but coach Mike Shanahan isn’t sure if Haynesworth will report to Redskins Park for any season-ending meetings.
“I haven’t even thought about it,” Shanahan said. “I’m not even sure what the rules are.”
When pressed about whether he’d like for Haynesworth to appear, Shanahan said: “Let’s move on.”
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said he plans on talking to Haynesworth, but not until the season is over. Haslett said Haynesworth reached out to him several weeks ago through DL Vonnie Holliday.
Haynesworth’s agent, Chad Speck, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
CB Carlos Rogers is one of several tenured Redskins whose contract expires after the season. Players in this situation usually say the right things about the organization and leave as many doors open as possible. After all, there’s no sense in limiting one’s options when such big money is at stake.
Rogers seemed determine to leave at the end of last season, but he was limited to restricted free agency in the final year of the collective bargaining agreement. He ended up having a change of heart after the new coaching staff came in and tendered him a one-year deal. That doesn’t mean Rogers is determined to return in 2011, though. Judging from his comments today, he’s set on earning a lucrative contract from whatever team will give it to him.
“Hopefully I’ll be back,” he said, “but you know how negotiations go.”
“I like the city,” he continued. “I like the players. Being around these guys—like I said, six years, man. I don’t want to move.”
Rogers, who will be 30 next July, believes he’s an attractive option for any team looking for a cornerback.
“I showed on film whether it was [former defensive coordinator Greg] Blache being able to cover man to man and shut a lot of guys down, or being here with Coach Has [coordinator Jim Haslett] and playing zone or playing nickel,” he said. “I think I’ve got enough film to prove to other general managers and coaches that I can play any position or in any defense that they ask me.”
Rogers has missed three games due to injury. He has been solid in coverage, but dropped interceptions have once again kept him from making a bigger impact.
Haslett offered a lukewarm endorsement when asked to evaluate Rogers’ season.
“Probably the only disappointing thing, he had the hamstring, he had the other hamstring, then he has the calf,” he said. “I think Carlos is a good football player. Somehow he’s got to remain consistent over a six-month span. The last couple of years, he’s had a hard time doing that for whatever reason. I think if he can do that and be consistent football player, he’d be a pretty good player.”
Speaking of Rogers, his calf injury kept him out of practice again today. He was the only player sidelined. OLB Brian Orakpo (groin), WR Brandon Banks (knee) and FS Macho Harris (hip) were limited.
ILB Rocky McIntosh is also about to complete his one-year restricted free-agent tender. He declines to comment every time I try to talk to him, so there’s that. But Haslett today seemed pleased with the tandem of McIntosh and London Fletcher.
“London is ideal for [this scheme],” Haslett said. “He’s played in kind of the same system in Buffalo with Dick LeBeau at one time, so he understood it.
“Rocky, it took him a little while because he wasn’t around that much in the offseason. He kind of picked it up as the season was going. I thought he got better and better and he’s playing at a high level. He always makes a lot of tackles at the end of the game, he’s just got one or two things he’s got to fix all the time. We’d like to have him back, and I think it’s a good one-two duo.”
McIntosh, as Haslett mentioned, stayed away for much of the offseason program in protest of his contract situation. He has struggled at times this season with missed tackles, overpursuing ballcarriers (remember Brandon Jackson’s long run early in the Green Bay game?) and in pass coverage. I’m not sold on him, but I’m also not a football coach. Haslett seems content with his play. I’m quite eager to see where he lands next year.
The Redskins’ media corps voted Rogers our 2010 Media Good Guy. The award is annually presented to the player who most helps us in the media do our jobs.
At a time when more and more players stay away during media sessions and seem to limit their interviews to paid appearances, Rogers was almost always present during open locker room.
He’s courteous, professional and always generous with his time. He also didn’t shy away from questions about his dropped interceptions. If every player were as good to deal with as he is, our jobs would be a lot easier. For selfish reasons, I hope he’s back next year.
Staying with the year-in-review theme, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan today discussed rookie LT Trent Williams’ progress.
“The thing I think Trent has learned is just how you’ve got to play every down in the NFL,” Shanahan said. “You can dominate a guy and you just ease up two plays and they got two sacks, and it might be a sack-fumble. I think Trent has learned the key to the NFL is being consistent.”
That has been Williams’ problem this year, which is to be expected from a rookie. He looked like a sure thing during training camp because of his immense quickness and ability to recover when beaten, but he didn’t sustain that level of play after he injured his left knee and left big toe early in the season.
Through 15 games, it’s premature to say that Williams is a lock to fill Chris Samuels’ Pro Bowl shoes. His hands and balance have betrayed him at times. He also has proven to be susceptible to stunts when defenders loop around the outside.
Shanahan, however, believes that will improve.
“He’s a smart, instinctive player,” Shanahan said. “He had to develop it as the year has gone because he’s seeing everything for the first time. Sometimes he sees a little too much and overthinks it, but I think as the year has gone, he’s gotten a lot better recognizing stuff and shutting things down as soon as he sees it.
“The things you can’t coach are guys’ awareness and their instincts, and you can tell it comes pretty natural for him. So just the more experience he’s gotten the better he’s gotten.
If you recall, one of the knocks on Williams before the draft was his work ethic. Shanahan said he hasn’t had any issues with that.
“I think Trent struggles sometimes in meetings like we all do because it’s not the most exciting thing, but you get him out on the field and he’s ready to compete,” he said. “And when a guy competes, he works hard.”
LB Lorenzo Alexander was selected as the Redskins’ Walter Payton 2010 NFL Man of the Year. The award recognizes players for excellence both on and off the field, and Alexander is a perfect choice.
In addition to being the NFC’s second alternate to the Pro Bowl as a special teams player, his ACES Foundation (Accountability, Community, Education, Sports) helps kids develop life skills. He also participates in most community events hosted by the Redskins.
In talking to him this season about his expanded role on the field, he believes one of the biggest benefits is the increased exposure that gives him leading his foundation. He is community-oriented in every sense.
Here’s a portion of the press release that describes all he does. He deserves the recognition:
Through his foundation, Lorenzo tutors young people and runs college prep and life skills workshops. In November, his foundation launches “Real Talk Education Workshop” at his former middle school to help them understand the importance of education.
To help kids focus on education, Lorenzo provides school supplies to hundreds of youth that cannot afford to purchase the necessary tools for school. He hosts youth football clinics and speaks to nonprofit groups. Since starting his foundation two years ago, Lorenzo has donated over $62,000 to help support his philanthropic work both in Oakland and in the Washington, DC area.
More than just donating money, Lorenzo runs his foundation. He is not a figurehead. He doesn’t just show up at the events. When he isn’t out in the community or spending time with his family, he has on his hands-free headset and is making sponsor calls, writing grant applications, and putting together the logistics for upcoming events.