Wednesday, October 22: Shaun Suisham Appreciates Devin Thomas

Photo by Brian Murphy.

Photo by Brian Murphy.

Shaun Suisham and Devin Thomas aren’t quite locker room neighbors, but they’re not too far apart. So when I was talking to Thomas the other day (about the team photo), Suisham noticed and came over.

“I wanted to make sure you asked him about the stop he made on the kick return,” he said.

I did, actually — I asked him about it in the postgame locker room.

“Because that was key — I was running to intercept him at the 20, and …” he laughed and shrugged.

Thomas needed no urging to recount the play. “I saw him get hit, and then someone comes around the pile the other way and I said, ‘Oh crap, that’s him!’ and took off. I had to throw Kareem [Moore] out of the way. You know, ‘Come on, Kareem, you’re too slow!'”

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Snoop Dogg and Devin Thomas Make Me Feel Old

Open locker room on Fridays comes after practice, when the guys are showering and hustling to get changed and get out of the Park to their relatively small bit of free time. This means that Friday’s open locker room isn’t the relatively quiet mid-day workplace that it is over the lunch hour during the week; there’s an iPod hooked up to speakers, guys are singing along, guys are getting ready to go, all that.

Maybe it was because I was thinking for that earlier post about what year Nevermind and 2Pacalypse were released, maybe it was just a fluke. But when Dr. Dre’s Nuthin’ But A “G” Thang came on, I noticed rookie wideout Devin Thomas singing along, and it made me curious.

Were you even born when The Chronic came out?

“Yeah, of course, man! I was … I think I was around seven when that came out? That’s like the classics, though.”

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More Offensive Players Making Playcalls, At Least Theoretically

So on the fourth down to ice the game, Clinton Portis called the play. Here’s Peter King’s summary:

Fourth-and-one at the Eagles’ 38, 2:48 left, Washington up 23-17, Philly out of timeouts. Tricky call here. If Washington gets stopped, the Eagles take over with about 2:40 left and 62 yards to travel for the winning score. If Washington makes it on a running play and stays inbounds and plays its time-strategy cards right, the ‘Skins should be able to run out the clock by kneeling three times and going home with a dramatic win.

Zorn had his thinking cap on, with Jason Campbell and Portis and a couple of the coaches on the sidelines. “I called the formation first,” he said, “and then he called the play.”

In his press conference a few minutes ago, Coach Zorn described thinking about three different plays for the situation. And then “Clinton rolls by me and says, ‘Gimme the draw.'” Thinking about it further, Zorn added, “It wasn’t necessarily there — he WILLED it…. We got the first down because Clinton willed his way to those two yards.”

I wrote at the time that it was “one of the single gutsiest calls I’ve seen in recent memory,” although my original draft described Coach Zorn as possessed of “guts of tungsten,” only I didn’t write “guts.” See the DC Sports Bog’s attempts to find a newspaper-friendly way to describe that playcall for much more in that vein; the point is, it was a heck of a call, and it turns out that Portis was the one who made it.

So I asked around a bit today to see what some other guys would’ve gone for.

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On the Field for Morning Practice – 8/12

Players were lively and enthusiastic at practice today, which essentially means that there was a LOT of jawing going on. Maybe it’s the nice weather — cool breeze, warm sun — or the impending end of two-a-days or just guys feeling good, but this was fun to watch.

Jason Taylor and Chris Samuels

Jason Taylor and Chris Samuels

  • In the one-on-one lineman drills, it was good to see Erasmus James getting worked back in with a nice pass rush against his guy, but the highlight was probably the Jason Taylor/Chris Samuels matchup. Taylor faked to the outside, then cut back to the inside and made it past Samuels fairly cleanly. Just practice, but that’s exactly the kind of speed rush move that everyone started hoping for when the team traded for him.
  • If there was jawing going on, you can be pretty sure that Fred Smoot was involved. Smoot talks more on the football field than some people do in an entire day. I have never seen anyone with that much energy, ever. He was after the entire offense — “Y’all aint having a bad practice, we just that good!” — as well as Jason Campbell (“You supposed to be the superstar quarterback!”) and the various receivers.
  • Smoot and the rest of the defensive backs also continue to do the jumping shoulder/hip bump after a good play, notably today when Smoot broke up a pass intended for Billy McMullen. Does that thing have a name? “We’re just trying to replace the butt slap. We got the butt slap in contempt of court right now.” Okay. Maybe name it? “The team stands shoulder to shoulder, so let’s call it shoulder-to-shoulder.” I’ll be honest, I was hoping for something a little SmootSmack-ier, but good enough.
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