Player’s POV: Chris Horton is a Sound Sleeper

Just before we boarded the buses to the airport for the Detroit trip, I handed Colt Brennan a Flip video camera and asked him if he could film some “on the road” stuff for me. We didn’t have time to talk about the project, and in the end he wasn’t able to record very much at all (although he’s volunteered to try again at a later game). Bummer, right?

But there was one usable video on the camera, and it demonstrates two separate things: first, that Chris Horton — a genuinely nice guy — is on the receiving end of teasing from people besides Randy Thomas. And second, that Chris Horton is a very sound sleeper.

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Nice Work With the Voting: Zorn, Horton Win Awards

That gentleman above this paragraph? That’s the Motorola Coach of the Week for last week. Congratulations to Coach Zorn; I emphatically recommend that you celebrate by watching NFL.com’s three minute tribute to the hip-hip-hooray, to Jim Zorn, and to George Allen. You won’t regret it.

Also, Chris Horton was named the Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Week. I am going to avoid making the by-now-obvious reference to Randy Thomas telling Horton that, I dunno, he gets all the Diet Pepsi he can drink for the rest of his life as part of this. It speaks well of the rookie that he’s already won enough awards to start completely burning out jokes about them.

Wednesday, October 1: The Obvious Line About Chris Horton

ESPN’s Chris Berman has been doing his nickname schtick for more years than I can remember. I haven’t found it particularly entertaining for the last two decades, but even I’ll admit that the names sometimes reflect a certain level of pun-based creativity. His call of Chris Horton’s interception, though, went for the most obvious joke available, something completely incomprehensible about “hearing a who”. I’m not sure why “hearing a who” is synonymous with “making a game-changing interception,” but that’s the surreal “charm” of Chris Berman’s highlight calls.

Anyhow, I figured that Horton has been hearing about hearing a who pretty much all his life — my last name caused me to spend an entire summer hearing about Yertle the Turtle, and Horton is much closer to Horton than turtle is to Terl. So when a schoolteacher on the west coast sent a copy of Horton Hears a Who for Horton to sign, I asked him about it.

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Friday, September 26: Some Quotes From Yesterday

So I wasn’t able to post a practice update yesterday, nor was I able to hear any of the press conferences. Fortunately, professional football teams have staffs that do things like transcribe portions of press conferences for media use, so I am able to bring you this belated assortment of quotes describing things that I did not cover yesterday, along with my thoughts on them.

Coach Zorn on Stephon Heyer:
“Stephon Heyer is coming along, but he is still questionable for the game. He is not 100 percent, but fortunately we have Jon Jansen that can step in if needed. I hope he can do enough tomorrow so that we can find out even more so I can let you know a little bit more.”

I’ve been convinced Heyer was going to play, especially since he returned to the game last week, but the more I hear things like this, the more skeptical I become. Jansen does seem ready to go if needed, though, so that’s a good sign.

Coach Zorn on Malcolm Kelly:
“Mike Sellers is going to be fine, but Malcolm Kelly is not. He [Malcolm Kelly] still has the slows because of his ankle and has to wait until it gets better. Malcolm Kelly is getting mass treatment, but it’s just taken awhile for it all to come together.”

Leaving aside the frustration of Kelly being unable to get onto the field — because this guy really impressed me the times I’ve seen him in practice, long ago as those times are starting to seem — I like the noun-ing of “the slows”. You often hear about a guy having “quicks,” but this is the first reference I’ve seen to “the slows,” and I think it’s something that should be used more often.

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Chris Horton Wins NFC Defensive Player of the Week, Not as Lucrative as He Was Led to Believe

Photo by Ned Dishman.

Photo by Ned Dishman.

The NFL announced today that Redskins rookie safety Chris Horton won NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Saints. Horton, starting unexpectedly in place of an ill Reed Doughty, had two interceptions and one fumble recovery, as well as four tackles (including a crucial third down stop).

It’s a deserved honor for the seventh-round draft choice, and one that he’ll no doubt be very proud of. But his excitement was likely somewhat blunted by a little prank by offensive lineman Randy Thomas.

Thomas, Horton’s postgame lockermate, happened to be coming through the public relations hallway in Redskins Park today just as the PR staff was trying to locate Horton to announce the award, and when he heard what was going on, he laughed out loud.

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Evaluating Rookies: Scott Campbell on Horton and Tryon

Lot of notes from talking to Scott, so I’ll put things up in shorter chunks. I asked for his evaluation of the rookies’ performances in the game against the Colts Sunday night. Here are some of his thoughts.

What did you think of the rookies as a whole on Sunday?

I was pleased. I think they all contributed. It’s tough to expect too much in the very beginning. You want to see the things you saw from them in college, you hope that they’re showing that, and for the most part most of those guys did.

Justin Tryon at practice today.

Justin Tryon at practice today.

How about Justin Tryon? He made some tackles and seemed to be around the ball, but also had that very conspicuous miscue with the penalty.

I think he showed his athletic ability, his quickness, his competitiveness, and his technique. That’s all part of the learning curve these guys go through. He’s had a very solid training camp up to this point, so I think that was just part of the learning process, and in the end, I think he’ll be a guy that can contribute for us.

What about Chris Horton? He had the two sacks, the onside kick recovery, that seems pretty strong.

The thing with a safety, when you blitz a guy, he’s not blocked and makes a tackle, that’s not super impressive. It’s a key play in the game, but in terms of evaluating talent … he’s supposed to make that. If he blitzes and MISSES a tackle, then you’re saying “Hmmm.”

Interesting.

But he was around the football, which is what you want safeties to be. Making plays, around the ball, tough, active, fearless hitter … and he showed all those things in his play.

To be fair, Jared Lorenzen outweighs him by more than 70 pounds, so it wasn’t a total gimme on that first sack.

No, it wasn’t. And you can see when he came in, he grabbed him and the QB didn’t go down like he was expecting him to. But he stayed and kept his grip on the guy, which was good. It looked like trying to tackle a fire hydrant, when it happened. It was pretty amusing.