Hey, It’s Picture Day!

Remember grade school picture day? Being forced into slightly less-rumpled clothes, having your hair combed, trying not to make a stupid face RIGHT as the picture was taken (or, later on, trying to make exactly the right stupid face right as the picture was taken), all that good stuff?

Welcome to Redskins Park, today, as the team assembled to pose for the 2008 Team Photo.

As with just about everything Coach Zorn has been involved with since being here (see also “jersey selection,” “captains’ portrait,” “cake clean-up,” “synchronized clocks” and who knows what-all else), he had some very specific thoughts about how this should work.

“I thought it was nice,” said Cornelius Griffin. “Very organized.”

“With Z,” added Antwaan Randle El, “he likes to be a little specific about things.”

Rock Cartwright got more specific: “He was like, ‘No long-sleeved shirts, no shirts underneath your jersey.’ He wanted everyone to look the same, and I understand that.”

Not everyone was so understanding; some felt that their innate expressiveness was being compromised. “I was hoping to go out there in my do-rag and my candy cane socks,” said Casey Rabach. “I was gonna go with one sleeve in maroon and one sleeve in yellow, but no T-shirts were allowed. I was gonna wear my Brewers hat, to tell you the truth, but no hats were allowed either.”

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Inside Redskins Park: The Other Championship Trophy

In the early part of the 20th century, Ed Thorp was a referee and friend to prominent early NFL owners. After he died in 1934, the league created a trophy to honor him. Unlike the modern Lombardi trophies, this trophy did not become possession of the winning team, but instead spent a year with the winning team before being passed on to the next year’s champion, much like the NHL’s Stanley Cup.

The Redskins were the winners of this trophy in 1937 and 1942, but that trophy is NOT in Redskins Park.

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Day 6 – Some Trivia From Redskins Park

I knew coming into this job that the three Vince Lombardi Trophies the Redskins have earned are on display in Redskins park, but there’s a fine line between being aware of that fact and staring at them from a slight remove while waiting for a job interview. I couldn’t get too close at that point — the trophies are just on the other side of the “Authorized Personnel Only” line, and I wasn’t authorized — but they’re a dominating presence in the lobby.

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A Few Equipment Room Questions From Y’all

Had a chance to put a few of your equipment room questions to Brad Berlin.

I once saw on Inside the NFL (I think) a segment about guys going to the bathroom in their pants during games before half time when its cold out… can you ask them about that?

Brad says, “Doesn’t happen, at least not that I’ve seen.  There’s a hidden portajohn at the home bench at FedEx, although you usually have to walk to the visitor’s locker room at away games.”

I repeated the often-told Mark Schlereth story, but Brad just shook his head.  “Doesn’t happen.”

It is my understanding that there is a list of Jersey numbers that the equipment manager will not hand out. Besides the retired #33 of Sammy Baugh, there are unofficially retired numbers, including #7,#9, and #44. I had thought that #55 was on this list, as it was Chris Hanburger’s number, a member of the ring of fame, and my favorite redskin from the early 70’s.

Can you confirm the existence of such a list, and what numbers are on it.

I can confirm the existence of such a list myself, as I’m holding a copy of it.  These numbers are not retired, per se, but are “restricted,” and can’t be used or issued by the club: 7, 9, 21, 27, 28, 33, 42, 43, 44, 49, 65, 70, and 81.  The list was created in 2003, with 21 being added in December of last year.  Ken Houston gave Fred Smoot permission to wear 27 when Smoot came back to the team.

When did you find out about Jason Taylor’s number?

Brad says, “I was walking out Sunday night, and Coach Zorn was walking out at the same time, and called me to his car and said, ‘You’re gonna have a new player tomorrow,’ and told me about the trade for Jason.

“So I called the Dolphins. They sent his shoulder pads, shoes, and eight custom made practice shirts.

“I had to everything ready for Jason by the time he got down here Tuesday morning, before he even knew where the locker room was, but the most important thing was the number. Found out at 11:30 Monday night, after he had gone to his position meeting. He had talked to Andre about 99, and the team called me and told me he’d agreed to wear 55.”

Do you help develop Coach Zorn’s crazy drills, like the dodgeball?  Do you have a slip-n-slide yet?

Brad says, “Coach Zorn tells us what he wants to do, and we’ve just gotta run it down. To find the dodgeballs, we had to call the Seahawks and ask where they got them.

“And no, no slip-n-slides yet. Coach Zorn has a specially modified passing target, and of course the Z-shades.”

Inside Redskins Park: Equipment Room – Meet Brad Berlin

This is Brad Berlin.

Equpment Manager Brad Berlin

Equpment Manager Brad Berlin

He’s the equipment manager for your Washington Redskins, and has been since he came onboard with Marty Schottenheimer in 2001. “I’m with my fourth coach in eight years,” he says, “I like it here. I like helping the Redskins and keeping the team on the field.”

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Day 4 – Inside Redskins Park: Equipment Room

After three full days at the Park, I’m finally starting to get settled in.  I’m meeting people and some of that new car smell is coming off of things.  So today, instead of following the players out to the practice fields, I’m going to start going in detail on the various places behind the scenes here.   This is something that a lot of you have requested, and something I’m going to be doing a lot of.

It starts today with the equipment room, where we’ll find out exactly what it is equipment manager Brad Berlin and his asstants do all day during training camp.  If you have any questions for the equipment staff now or at any point during the day, just email me and I’ll find answers for you.

This means I’m not expecting to be out on the field at all, so I’ll post a link to Gary’s reports from today as soon as it’s available for those of you who are eager for that kind of content.

Here’s a very quick tour through the equipment room to get things started.