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After two months away, Chris Cooley reports for work

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After two months away, Chris Cooley reports for work

Although Chris Cooley signed a contract 48 hours ago, his return to the NFL became official Wednesday at Redskins Park.

Cooley moved back into his old locker at the team's Ashburn practice facility. He attended position meetings and, as he said, took notes like a "high schooler". He pulled on his cleats, buckled his helmet and walked down to the practice field. 

“It’s great to be back,” he said. “It’s exciting for me. I woke up like a little kid. It’s a normal day of work.”

After eight years of going through the rigors of professional football, Cooley said he enjoyed his brief time away from the game. But he also hinted that he was hoping for another shot, particularly since things didn’t end on his terms when he was released in August.

“I didn’t want to be done when I was done. It wasn’t my choice,” he said. “The time [away] definitely wasn’t a bad time. It was time for me to do whatever I wanted. It was a good break. But at the same time, this is the way I hoped things would have played out for my career. So I’m thrilled to be here.”

Cooley also said the one thing the hiatus made him realize is how popular he remains among among fans. 

“I’ve had unbelievable support from not only our fan base, but our staff, players and everyone in my life," he said. "It’s been pretty unbelievable the way people feel about me and the way people feel about me playing. I can say that the Redskins have made my cellphone very, very popular this year.”

Cooley reiterated that he’s kept himself in good shape. But the 30-year-old also acknowledged that Wednesday's practice will be telling.

“I feel great physically,” he said. “I’m excited to get out on a field and run around and actually play football. You never really know until you start running. Football is a different world than your usual workout. But I think it will be a quick transition.” 

As of Wednesday morning, Cooley said he still hadn’t been told by the coaching staff how exactly he’ll be utilized Sunday in Pittsburgh. But does know this much: he needs to brush up on his terminology in the coming days.

“The verbiage is there for me, and everything that we’ve always done is there,” Cooley said. “But some of our run plays have the longest play calls in the world. So it’s just learning how to pick up all the terms and put yourself where you need to be.”

Cooley said he has quickly settled right back into his old routine. But, he joked, it’s going to take some of his teammates a little time to get used to seeing him around again.

“I think half of them thought I was just here to do my Larry Michael show on Wednesdays,” he said, smiling. “It was like, ‘Hey, you didn’t dress up today.’”

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Report: Stork to report to Redskins over the weekend

Report: Stork to report to Redskins over the weekend

It looks like Brian Stork will play for the Redskins after all. 

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media Stork, who was acquired from the Patriots yesterday, will report to Redskins Park this weekend to get to work with the team.

Shortly after the deal for Stork was reported on Wednesday word came out that the third-year center and guard would retire. It appears that he reconsidered overnight and will join the Redskins. 

Stork, 6-4, 315, started 15 games as a rookie including the Patriots’ Super Bowl win over the Seahawks. Last year, however, he missed the first seven games of the season with a concussion but he did start eight games, including two in the playoffs.

Just what Stork’s role in Washington will be remains to be seen. Speaking to the media today after a practice at Joint Base Andrews outside of Washington, Jay Gruden spoke of Stork as a depth addition. That may be true but he also could get a shot at displacing incumbent center Kory Lichtensteiger, who is 31 and coming off of a season where he missed 11 games with a neck and shoulder injury. 

For his part, Stork has not been a model of durability during his two NFL seasons, missing 10 games due to injures including the seven with the concussion noted above. 

The situation will sort itself out over the coming days and weeks. The only thing we know now is that Stork is likely to report and that alone makes their line better and deeper.

RELATED: PROJECTING THE REDSKINS ROSTER: FIRST CUTS APPROACHING

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Projecting the Redskins 53-man roster: First cuts approaching

Projecting the Redskins 53-man roster: First cuts approaching

The Redskins are heading in to their third preseason game and next Tuesday the bubble will burst for about a dozen players as they cut their roster down to 75. Then on September 3, just nine days from today, the roster will be cut to 53.  

Many of the roster spots are set but there are enough jobs up for grabs to make the last two practice games interesting.  One important thing to keep in mind is that Jay Gruden said last week that preseason games matter a lot when it comes to trimming the roster to 53. With two games in the books we have a lot of evidence to work with.

Redskins blogger Rich Tandler sorts out the bubble and gives you what he thinks the roster will look like when the make the final cut to 53. 

Go here to see Tandler roster projection.

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Redskins Playbook: Watching for the Stork as practice moves locations

Redskins Playbook: Watching for the Stork as practice moves locations

Thursday the Redskins will take their show on the road, as the team will do their walk-through before the Bills game in front of military personnel at Joint Base Andrews. With Wednesday's whirlwind pursuit of Bryan Stork still somewhat fluid, there will be plenty to watch.

  1. Stork reactions - Players will likely speak sparingly Thursday following their walk-through session but the big question will be about the the former Patriots center. Where does he fit and how do the current players fit in with Stork will dominate the discussion.
  2. Getting specific - So what happens now at the center position? Is Stork a move for depth or to compete with Kory Lichtensteiger as the starting center? What does this mean for Spencer Long, or even more, Josh LeRibeus?
  3. Focus on the game - Despite all the noise surrounding the Stork trade, Washington has a game to play Friday night. A preseason game, yes, but the third preseason game where expectations are starters will play the first half. This is the most important - and for some only - live action before Week 1 against the Steelers. The Skins need to be ready.

Stay tuned all day for updates from @JPFinlayCSN.

RELATED: MONEY MATTERS IN STORK RETIREMENT TALK