Quick Links

Holdman: Dawn of the Dead

Holdman: Dawn of the Dead

At the end of the 2005 season, it appeared certain that Warrick Holdman did not have a future with the Washington Redskins. After the Redskins took him back after exploring some alternatives, it appears that Holdman is back from the dead and ready to fight for a starting job at the open weak side linebacker spot.

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net

About a year ago, Warrick Holdman’s NFL career seemed to be doing quite well. He had just come on board with the Redskins at the age of 29 with 61 career starts under his belt. There were two starting jobs in play as weak side starter LaVar Arrington was still recovering from a knee injury and middle linebacker Antonio Pierce had bolted to the New York Giants via free agency. Holdman was reunited with linebackers coach Dale Lindsey, under whom he had enjoyed his best seasons in Chicago.

When the season started, he found himself at the periphery of the Arrington controversy as he continued to start in place of a healthy LaVar. Eventually Holdman found himself square in the middle of the storm as he struggled on the field. He often appeared to be lost in the defense. Here is what was said about him here after the Redskins’ Week 8 36-0 blowout loss to the Giants:

And this is not an isolated poor performance. Holdman has started all seven games this year, has played the lion’s share of the defensive snaps and yet they need to put out an Amber alert for him. He has 15 tackles. Yes, a small fraction over two a game for a starting NFL linebacker. You can fall on piles or tag runners who have fallen down and get that many.

After his performance in the Meadowlands blowout Holdman found himself parked firmly at the end of the bench. When the season ended he became an unrestricted free agent. Joe Gibbs frequently mentioned a list of the team’s free agents that the team wanted to bring back; Holdman’s name never was mentioned. The other 31 NFL teams, all of which had Holdman’s 2005 performance documented on film, took a pass on him as well. After free agency began he was unemployed and, apparently, unwanted.

Then after about a month, Holdman’s fortunes began to turn. The Redskins had released Arrington and wanted a veteran on the weak side to compete for the job with the inexperienced Chris Clemons and whatever linebacker the Redskins might draft (that turned out to be Rocky McIntosh). They brought in a few mid-level free agents and made some offers, but nobody bit. So in mid April the Redskins turned to Holdman who was, to use the words of Steve Spurrier when explaining the preponderance of former Florida Gators on the Redskins roster, cheap and available.

Brought back from the dead and given another chance, Holdman is making the most of it. Last year he wasn’t signed until the middle of May and he admitted that he was out of shape. “I had been in free agency, going on trips, eating steak and wining and dining,” he said.

When you’re with Gibbs’ Washington Redskins, May is not the time you need to start getting yourself in to shape. You’re already hopelessly behind at that point. He reported to minicamp last year at 240 pounds. Holdman came in this year at 233.

He knows that his performance last year was not up to snuff. "I owe the Redskins from last season," he said.

Gregg Williams has rewarded Holdman’s efforts by putting him at the top of the depth chart going in to training camp. “Warrick right now is having a great camp,” said Williams during minicamp. “His suddenness without the pads on is excellent. Right now, Warrick has done the best job coming out of this camp with Roger and Chris breathing right down his neck.”

A lot can happen in camp, and Holdman’s status as the starter is far from secure. However, the fact that he occupies the top spot on the depth roster is quite surprising if not miraculous.

A year ago it appeared that Mark Brunell’s career as a Redskin was all but over. After a horrid 2004 that ended with him firmly on the bench, there was no reason to believe that he would contribute anything in 2005. Redskins fans cringed at the thought of Brunell ever have to take a meaningful snap for Washington. At minicamp, however, Brunell showed improved arm strength. Twenty minutes in to the season, he was the starter who would eventually lead the Redskins into the playoffs.

A month or so ago the thought of Holdman lining up at weakside LB was a cringe moment for Redskins fans as well. Is Holdman’s solid 2006 minicamp a precursor to a similar story of redemption for a veteran?

Quick Links

NFL Draft 2017: Top 5 names you want to hear Roger Goodell call

NFL Draft 2017: Top 5 names you want to hear Roger Goodell call

More than 220 players will be drafted over the next three days in Philadelphia, but only five of them make the CSN All-Name team. There are plenty of candidates, but it takes a lot to make this list.

To be clear, this list does not represent the Top 5 players for the Redskins to target. It doesn't even represent players the Redskins might be interested in. These guys just have awesome names. 

Honorable Mention

  • Jake Butt - TE, Michigan - The jokes are too easy, but he did land a toilet paper sponsorship.
  • Corn Elder - CB, Miami - Not enough people named Corn in the world. 
  • Eddie Vanderdoes - DT, UCLA - Vanderdoesitall. 
  • Erik Magnuson - OT, Michigan - This has to be the name of an actual Viking. Has to. 

No. 5 - Forrest Lamp - OG/C Western Kentucky - Invoking a Best Picture winner and the name of a household appliance. Just tremendous. So good he's already landed an endorsement deal. I love lamp. 

No. 4 - Budda Baker - Safety, Washington - Whether you like it for the religion or just the alliteration, it's fantastic.  

No. 3 - Tyus Bowser - OLB, Houston - The bad guy in Mario? The photoshops will be tremendous.

No. 2 - Raekwon McMillan - LB, Ohio State - The Chef. Don't mess with the Chef. 

No. 1 - Taco Charlton - DT, Michigan - It takes a lot to beat Raekwon, but this is the best draft name in years. Everyone loves a Taco.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTuneshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Quick Links

NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft is finally upon us. Finally.

For the Washington Redskins, the 2017 NFL Draft represents a chance to find impact players, a search that begins with the 17th pick overall in the first round. All those discussions about whom the Redskins will select with their first pick will be answered Thursday night during the NFL's biggest offseason event.

To keep up with the NFL Draft, you'll need two things: A screen to watch it on and this live blog. Redskins fans and NFL fans who want to stay up to date with surprise picks, trades, analysis and anything else draft-related will want to keep this page open all night.

RELATED: FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

What: 2017 NFL Draft, Round 1
When: Thursday, April 27, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Penn.
TV Channel: ESPN, NFL Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN App

Here's what's happened so far. Let's head to the live blog:

REDSKINS 2017 NFL DRAFT TRACKER

 

5:05 PM - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has arrived. Surprisingly enough, fans aren't booing him. We'll have to wait until 8:00 p.m. for that.

4:45 PM - We're three hours away from the start of the 2017 NFL Draft, but it looks like the Cleveland Browns are close to finalizing their choice for the No. 1 overall pick.

4:30 PM - JP Finlay is on the scene in Philadelphia for the 2017 NFL Draft. Several Redskins fans are out and about early.

4:15 PM - Oh, this is going to be fun. Former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan is reportedly advising other teams on their picks at the draft. 

4:00 PM - And with that No. 17 pick, the Redskins could go in several different directions. There will be plenty of defensive lineman and pass rushers to choose from, as well as several high-end cornerbacks. JP Finlay identified the 22 players considered in-play for the Redskins at No. 17.

3:45 PM - The Redskins have the No. 17 pick. With the 2017 NFL Draft starting at 8:00 p.m., we are expecting the Redskins to make their pick at rough 10:15 p.m. ET.

3:30 PM - Want to get to know the NFL Draft prospects? Want to go inside the war room with a former GM? Ever wondered what a player evaluation looks like? Former NFL GM Charley Casserly and CSN's Julie Donaldson have you covered in our CSN Draft Room. It's your go-to source for 2017 NFL Draft material.

3:15 PM - The CSN team is all over the place today. Be sure to follow them on Twitter. Redskins Insider JP Finlay is at the Draft in Philadelphia. Redskins writer Rich Tandler and CSN anchor Chick Hernandez are at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. and NFL analyst Trevor Matich is in the CSN Draft Room. Be sure to follow @CSNRedskins for all your draft night coverage. 

3:00 PM - Welcome to CSN's live draft tracker for the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night.