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On Getting to Know the New Guys

(By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)

Earlier this week, I asked Clinton Portis whether he could name all the guys currently wearing a Redskins uniform at practice. He didn't hesitate.

"Nope," he said. "I don't learn the roster until it get to 53 players. Them are the people I'm gonna play with. Everybody else, I'm tired of having friends that gotta go. So when we get to 53, I hang with them."

Obviously, you never exactly know when Portis is being serious. But others at Redskins Park expressed similar thoughts: that it's impossible to know every guy on the current roster, and that knowing would just increase the eventual heartbreak anyhow.

"I don't talk to the rookies," defensive coordinator Greg Blache said, when asked about Jeremy Jarmon's personality. "I don't talk to the new guys, I really don't, until they make the football team. It's hard enough when you have to cut guys that you've gotten to know and been around, so consequently I don't get close to the new people until we make the final cut. When we make the final cut, then I'll get into knowing some of the guys."

Teammates not named Portis, meantime, generally said they knew the vast majority of their teammates. But yeah, maybe not 100 percent.

"No, not every single one," Jason Campbell said. "Not some of those guys they just brought in. I could probably give you most of them though."

"He don't even know my name," Brian Orakpo said, overhearing.

"Do I know every single guy? Probably not," Mike Sellers admitted. "I'm probably about 85, 95 percent....I know the last names. Now first names? We might have some issues."

"I think more than 90 percent of the team I could name," Fred Smoot said. "There might be a couple guys that I probably wouldn't know their first name, but pretty much everybody I would know. If I focus long enough and think, I'll figure out who it is, unless it's somebody we brought in the day before. I pretty much know everybody, and if I don't really know your name, I probably gave you a nickname, and that helps me identify with you."

"It's hard in camp, man," Phil Daniels said. "I don't think I know everybody. I mean, a couple of the guys, the names might miss me, but I probably know their numbers, you know what I'm saying, I probably know their numbers. I know most of the faces."

I only talked to one veteran who thought he actually knew every player on the roster; that was Antwaan Randle El, though others were skeptical. "Sure he do, sure he do," Daniels said. "He knows how to give the right answer to the question.

But Randle El said he tries to talk to every teammate, to encourage them and tell them that even if they don't make it with the Redskins, there might be another job out there. Still, he echoed what Blache had said about their eventual departures.

"It's hard to know 'em and get close to 'em and then they're gone, you know what I'm saying?" he said. "But I would know 'em, and have talked to 'em."

"We go through all this together, blood sweat tears, you build a bond with them," Smoot agreed. "Especially a guy you grew kind of close to, and to see their dreams shattered?"

So why doesn't Smoot do like Portis, and just ignore the new guys?

"You never know who you're gonna see down the road in life," he explained. "I'm a friendly guy anyways."

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 21, 2009; 7:47 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: How to Dress For a Rainy Preseason Game


I agree with what Clinton said. Let's go Skins!! To all of the negative people on here every day. SHUT UP!!

Posted by: johntaylor2 | August 21, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

It would make sense that Randle El would get to know the rookies and guys that are probably not going to make the team because of his involvement with special teams. Guys like Portis are only part of units with not a lot of turnover, so he'll face the new guys in practice but doesn't really practice with them like Randle El does.

Posted by: treidem | August 21, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

It's like a fraternity. You know all your fraternity brothers...but during Rush, do you really know everyone who comes out to the events? Maybe if you're the Rush Chairman, but otherwise not. You know some of the Rushees, and you know faces, but you don't know everyone until they become pledges/brothers.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 21, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone have Steve S. email ADD??

Posted by: FIREJlMZORN | August 21, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Steve S email add is

Posted by: fushezzi | August 21, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Trick question. He doesn't have one.

spurrier stephen o
phone: (803) 777-4273
campus phone: 7-4273
campus: columbia
department: department of athletics
fax: 803-777-6127
office address: wm. brice stadium

Posted by: WorstSeat | August 21, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

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