SportsNation Blog Archives Washington Redskins
In a league that has increasingly devalued three-down, do-it-all running backs, Alfred Morris is an outlier. He can bruise inside, speed to the corner, catch, block, and make Pro Bowl selections look easy.
So one would be forgiven for thinking Morris, in his fourth year as Washington's bellcow, believes he deserves a little preferential treatment.
In a warm, revealing blog for the Washington Post, Dan Steinberg discusses Morris' unique pregame routine, one that has made him a local favorite in and around FedEx Field. Before each home game, the running back gathers with stadium ushers and security guards in the corner of an end zone and just, well, talks to them.
He calls them "my Stadium Fam," and if you think there isn't peace and happiness at FedEx Field on fall Sundays, you've never observed these 20-minute sessions, which start with laughter and end with a prayer.
It sounds silly: work chit-chat like this is newsworthy? But on the Mount Olympus where successful, talented NFL players reside, the bond that Morris shares in these meetings, which he's joined since his rookie year, are rare.
"My first reaction was, 'Dang, this is Alfred Morris.' You know what I'm saying?" one stadium attendant is quoted as saying. "But seeing how cool and relaxed he was in talking to us, it made us feel cool and relaxed and easy talking to him."
It's not Morris' only humble quirk. He also cruises around in a restored 1991 Mazda he calls Bentley:
The Cleveland Browns had appeared to be the primary target for the next series of HBO's "Hard Knocks," but according to sources, the Browns balked at the idea, in part due to quarterback Johnny Manziel's rehab treatment.
With Cleveland out of the running, four teams -- the Bills, Texans, Giants and Redskins -- are the rumored favorites to be featured on the hit show.
With all of them boasting the requisite star power and affable personalities to captivate audiences -- unlike last season's Falcons -- we assess the entertainment value of each rumored "Hard Knocks" finalist:
Houston Texans• Pretty much everything J.J. Watt does ends up on a highlight reel, or trending somewhere, such as his faux breaking news, attending the NCAA basketball tournament with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, and especially when his thigh injury resembles the meat Rocky sparred with. If the NFL All-Pro and all-around showman is involved, trust us, people will tune in.
• The Texans don't have a sexy quarterback camp battle, but it remains sports' most glamorous position, and the competition between Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett should be a fierce one.
• Texas is BBQ country, so here's hoping jovial big man Vince Wilfork cranks up the old grill for more of this:
Buffalo Bills• "Let's go get a god damn snack!" is an iconic Rex Ryan quote that resides near the top of the pantheon of "Hard Knocks" quotables. With the bombastic coach now calling Buffalo home, fans would certainly welcome some fresh Rexims.
• Chip Kelly canceled the LeSean McCoy show in Philly, but the running back's silky smooth game and penchant for expressing whatever's on his mind makes his Buffalo reboot must-see TV.
• A cameo from Buffalo legend Jim Kelly will display the human element of football, as his battle to overcome cancer was truly inspiring to the team and fans across the world.
Note: A Bills source told ESPN.com's Mike Rodak that the team is not interested in the show, but we can still dream, can't we?
New York Giants• Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. just exudes swagger and is in the midst of an NFL takeover that has seen him reel in the catch of the year and land the "Madden 16" cover. Next, America gets an inside look at his meteoric ascent and all the insane grabs previously not privy to cameras.
• How red can Tom Coughlin's face get? We're sure to find out as rookies bungle drills and draw the ire of the fiery coach.
• Manning face! Manning face! And more Manning face!
Washington Redskins• Think Shady had some heat for his former coach? Wait until DeSean Jackson, who was released by Kelly, gets miked up.
• Jon Gruden has a knack for saying something that will leave you scratching your head. Here's hoping his brother Jay shares that enigmatic factor and continues the NFL's version of the "Odd Couple" with his co-star and starting QB -- for now.
• This may be Robert Griffin III's final shot at re-capturing the hearts of fans in the nation's capital? We're not sure how he'll look in camp, but an appearance by his adorable new baby girl, Reese Ann, will surely help his cause:
Note: A high-ranking Redskins official told ESPN.com's John Keim that the team is not a possibility to appear on the show, but again, we can dream, right?
The Eagles made the signing of Tim Tebow official Monday.
Rival Washington? It -- or at least its social media department -- wasn't about to stay quiet:
Or was it? If you're well-versed in Twitter memes, you'll know that Kermit sipping tea is the traditional background photo for the "none of my business" trend, the Internet equivalent to "I'm just sayin'." This typically includes a damning statement on top or in the Twitter text (e.g. "Tim Tebow has a total QBR of 33.4 since 2010"), then the boilerplate fake-shrug at the bottom ("but that's none of my business").
But this picture has none of that!
Now, one might argue that everyone on Twitter knows the Kermit thing by now, and everyone on Twitter at the moment knew the Tebow signing had just become official. Also, not adding any text gives the team plausible deniability: "Tebow who? We just thought it was a funny photo!"
But lack of wording could leave some people confused. Also, trolling a team with a much better recent history -- and with no indication as to what was none of its business -- left Washington open to counter-trolling.
Still, we don't want to hit Washington too hard for this. Good-natured, sports-related trolling is almost as fun as the games. (Plus it would be way too easy for someone to fire back with, say, "the writer of this post has less than 700 followers ... but that's none of my business.")
NFL Week 2 questions
The NFL's second week has come and gone, and both Washingtons made big news. The D.C. version saw its team lose quarterback Robert Griffin III to an ankle injury -- but win in big fashion anyway behind Kirk Cousins. The team from the state of Washington, meanwhile, was stunned in a 30-21 loss to the Chargers, with cornerback Richard Sherman being called out by San Diego players. What do you make of the week's major storylines?
Thoughts on NFL's opening week?
The NFL is back! On the first Sunday, some teams (San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos) won as expected, others (New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots) suffered surprising defeats, and a few more (Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs) were downright demoralized. On Monday, the Detroit Lions grabbed the headlines by routing the New York Giants. What's your take on some of the major questions from Week 1 action?