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Redskins notebook: Nine OTA takeaways

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Redskins notebook: Nine OTA takeaways

1) Theabsent-minded head coach: It's all good now according to Mike Shanahan, but last Monday's accidentalcollision at practice with cornerback Brandyn Thompson that knocked the head coach to the ground also knocked him loopy for a time.Those guys didnt think I could take a hit at 59. I proved I can take a hit," Shanahan said during his Thursday post-practice press conference. "I did talk to the team afterward, which was about 10 minutes after I got hit. I do not remember the conversation I had with the team. I really dont. It took me probably about 20 minutes, 25 minutes, to recover because I hit my head pretty good on the turf. I was fine, really, about 20 minutes afterward. I was fine.Shanahan addedthat during his38 yearsroaming practice fields he's been pushedor brushed against a time or two, he's "never taken a shot like that.2) Participation report: I wrote about this here, but those who did not practice on Thursday included Leonard Hankerson (hip), Brian Orakpo (pectoral), Adam Carriker (foot blisters), Steven Bowen (knee), Jonathan Goff (knee) and running back Tim Hightower (knee surgery). Kory Lichtensteiger (knee) participated in individual and unit drills only. Barry Cofield and Tanard Jackson were both absent, but Shanahan said both were excused. During the two weeks of OTAs, Shanahan said, "Weve got 100 attendance. If a guy has missed, its been an excused absence.3) Random RG3 things: The latest sign the kid gets it came when he described his plan for rewarding his offensive lineman during the season. "My familys from New Orleans, Louisiana. I know how to cook beignets. For every no-sack victory, theyll get beignets and I think theyll love those. As for how the rookie is handling the second week of OTAs, I wrote about that over here.4) Safety dance: While there was plenty of mixing and matching with the first and second unit, Reed Doughty continues to primarily work with the reserves. As for the absent but excused Jackson, Shanahan said the original planwas forhim to return today. until it wasn't. "He was going to practice for the first day today, but over the last couple weeks with his shoulder and his legs, he wasnt ready to go. But hes approved to practice and he should be ready for tomorrow or Monday.5) Tight end watch, part one: Regarding Chris Cooley, Shanahan said, Hes been doing fine. No setback with his knee. I think he strained his groin a little bit two days ago, and hes fine today. Theres no swelling on the knee, no setback there. Thats a good sign because hes been working for the last few weeks pretty hard. Thats a positive sign.6) Tight end watch, part two: I'm always fascinated when someone wants to make declarations about player X having a breakout practice, especially this early in the process when nobody is wearing pads. My goal is toneverbe that guy.With that said, one player who did turn some heads was Niles Paulafter flashing his deep threat on multiple plays down field, including a scoring pass from Rex Grossman.In the modern NFL, having tight ends that are built and run like wide receivers isbecoming the norm so any indication that the second-year player can be that type of option is interesting. Seeing how he handles the blocking side of things when the pads do come out is another andarguably more important matter.7) Don't blame the pancake social: Orakpo did some individual and unitwork, but waskept off thefield during 11-on-11 drill because ofhis left pectoral muscle, which he originally injured late last season. "He kind of had it get pushed back a little bit," Shanahan said. "We did an MRI on it, and it was no problem. It was just a little bit sore, probably some scar tissue in there from the surgery. We just kept him out of team drills, but he did all individual drills so he should be fine.8) Offensive line: Another practice, another day talking about Jammal Brown's yoga habits. Fine, the media were the one's asking the questions about it, but they came up after he practiced with the first unit at right tackle. Both the player and head coach continue to believe yoga is indeed helping the flexibility in his surgically repaired let hip. Let's see where we are with this in training camp, which is when Lichtensteiger believes he will be active practice participant. With Lichtensteiger sitting out during team drills, Tyler Polumbuslinedup at left guard with the first unit.9) Brian Banks: Shanahan said he called and spoke with Banks, aformer USC linebacker recruit who had his football career cut short in 2002when he plead no contest to a schoolmate's false accusation of rape at the age of 17. Banks spent his next five years in a jail cell and is now seeking an opportunity in the NFL. One is expected to come next week when he visits Redskins Park for a workout. "I think when somebody goes through the situation that he went through, he deserves an opportunity to try out for somebody," Shanahan said. "This kid deserves a chance."

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Usher can't save Su'a Cravens from being booed off stage by Redskins teammates

Usher can't save Su'a Cravens from being booed off stage by Redskins teammates

Redskins safety Su'a Cravens might have thought an interception in Friday's practice would earn him good will for his rookie skit later that night. Boy, was he wrong. 

In a delightful tale relayed by ESPN's John Keim, Cravens was literally pelted with paper balls and booed off the stage as he attempted to perform "Confessions" by Usher. 

“Everyone likes Usher. I’m thinking this is easy money,” Cravens said. 

“The first two acts in front of me, they sung. Everyone let them go. I’m like, ‘OK, it’s going to be a smooth transition.’ Soon as I start it’s like, ‘Booooo!’… I started and I’m getting paper balls, boos and, ‘Stone him!’”

Stone him? What is this, ancient Greece? 

When asked what happened, Cravens pointed the finger at linebacker Will Compton. “Will had it out for me,” he told Keim. “He told everyone to boo me before I even started.”

Defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois didn't deny Compton was behind it. 

“All you see is paper balls flying across from everywhere. [Cravens is] trying to get it off. He wanted to use his music and he had strobe lights," Jean-Francois said. 

"Even people that did get a song off, all you saw is flying paper balls left and right. [Compton] was setting him up for failure. We wanted him to go up there to see how it feels.”

Is this sour grapes by veterans who don't appreciate a rookie showing off at camp?

Or do people genuinely not like Usher anymore? Yeah, nah. Usher is the best. 

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VIDEO: Niles Paul mercilessly beats Chris Baker with pads during CSN interview

VIDEO: Niles Paul mercilessly beats Chris Baker with pads during CSN interview

Chris Baker always seems to be the guy photobombing his teammates. This time, they exacted revenge. 

As Baker sat down with Redskins Insider J.P. Finlay, a parade of Redskins clowned in the background. The best was Niles Paul, who battered Swaggy with what look like foam bats used in ball security drills. 

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Is Tony Romo fat? An investigation

Is Tony Romo fat? An investigation

Is Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo fat? That's the question of the day on the NFL Internet. 

It all started with this photo of the 36-year-old jogging onto the field at the start of training camp. 

At first glance, yes, Romo does look quite porcine. The 6-foot-2 veteran has been listed at 230 pounds, significantly slimmer than this image would suggest. 

Could missing the second half of last season with a fractured collar bone have kept him from staying in shape? Twitter, of course, had jokes. 

Laughs aside, it's hard to determine from a single image whether someone has gained weight. Any number of factors can make a person look fat. Angle, lighting, the way clothes hang, etc. 

In this case, it seems some confluence of those forces created a misleading shot. Here's another from that same moment. 

Yeah, not so fat here. 

Cowboys alum Michael Irvin also insisted that he'd seen Romo recently and he looked "fine."

The verdict of our investigation: unflattering photo, nothing to see here. Let's all go back to picking at Eddie Lacy, shall we?