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Redskins Embrace Texas


(1999 photo by Lucian Perkins - TWP)

Last year, Skins wideout Malcolm Kelly would come into the Washington locker room talking about the wonders of Texas, and he'd find few reinforcements for his cause. And now?

"Now it's me, Rock, Dock, big Mike Williams. Lendy [Holmes], who came in as a free agent from Oklahoma, he's from Dallas. Orakpo's from Houston. Trent Sheldon's from Dallas. The other fullback, [Jonathan Evans], he's from Dallas too. Chase [Daniel] is from Dallas. Last year I used to come in with Texas hats on, stuff like that. Everybody asked, 'Why you feel so good about Texas, why you always flying your flag like that?' Now they see how serious everybody takes it, being from Texas."

"A lot of Texas boys," DeAngelo Hall adeed.

"There's a bunch of guys," Orakpo agreed. "We're the few and the proud. We're the best state in the country man, from my mouth."

He meant "the best" in terms of producing high school football talent, but still. This is just a rough count, but I believe Washington's current OTA roster includes 11 native Texans, out of 80-something uniformed players, with the majority of those having some sort of Dallas connection. Could make things awkward, if any of them happened to have accidentally grown up as Cowboys fans, theoretically.

"No man, I'm not gonna answer that question," Big Mike Williams said. "I lived in Dallas, that's all I can answer."

Kelly was less cautious; he's acknowledged several times that he used to love the Star. But he said it wasn't too tricky to give up that nasty allegiance.

"Yeah, you grew up for them, but once you get on another team, you kind of form another unity there, like a brotherhood with another team," he said this week. "Now when I see them, I just hope we beat them. It's not like I wish I was on that team or nothing like that. In the end, more than anything, I was a Dallas Cowboys fan, but I was really really really a Michael Irvin fan, you know what I'm saying? That makes it a little easier."

Chase Daniel said he grew up a Cowboys fan, but "I wasn't a big NFL fan, to be honest with you. I was a big, big college football fan." Orakpo had an uncle who loved the Cowboys, but he himself never liked Dallas.

"I don't know if y'all know, but Houston and Dallas, we kind of feud against one another," he said. "So that's just how it is.....You could ask any Dallas person that, too."

On the other hand, I'm not sure how many Redskins grew up as actual Redskins fans. Hall did, certainly, because of his geographic proximity, and because he always loved Darrell Green. But he liked Deion Sanders, too, even when "Prime," as he calls him, was in Big D. Like a lot of NFL guys, Hall said he rooted more for specific players than for teams, and he said he could learn to live with his Texas teammates.

"I ain't got no animosity," Hall said. "They're on our team. They've got to help us win a game, not Dallas."

Fred Smoot has probably been most vocal in his Dallas hatred of all the current Skins; "I do hate the Cowboys, it's no thing, I'm not scared to say it," he said yesterday. But he, too, was willing to forgive his new teammates for their youthful indiscretions.

"You know, I guess it's what you're raised around," he said. "I guess coming up, I was a Saints fan. So it's all about the region you grew up in. You can't control that....Yeah we've got a lot of Texas guys, [but] there happen to be a lot of great players come out of there lately. So if you want a good player, you go to Texas. They got a couple."

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 4, 2009; 12:53 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Comments

Smoot needs to have a reeducation session for these guys at training camp. I'm thinking like "A Clockwork Orange" where they play Romo mishandling the snap over and over as Beethoven's 9th booms in the background.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | June 4, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

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