Day 5, Flip Introduces 'Football Saturday'

RICHMOND -- Sam Cassell spotted Wizards Vice President of Player Personnel Milt Newton tossing a football with Nick Young and Dominic McGuire after practice on Saturday. Cassell, who said he played intramural football at Florida State, called for the ball.

"Hey, Milt," Cassell said, holding out his hands.

Cassell caught the ball, then fired a perfect spiral the length of the court to Young. If you're wondering what football has to do with the Washington Wizards, it has a lot to do with Coach Flip Saunders, who figured out a way to help his players breakout out of the malaise of another lengthy and grueling training camp practice.

"Today was one of those days that everyone came in and was working hard but you could see they was a little bit down," Randy Foye said. "Then, we thought we was going to do drills and they threw footballs at us."

Saunders split the players up into pairs and they spent the next few minutes running routes and throwing passes to each other. Cassell was paired with Gilbert Arenas. McGuire teammed up with Young and so on.

"It's football Saturday," Saunders said, "It's something that we used to do when I was in Detorit. Another way to get guys to concentrate, as far as catching the ball, running patterns, getting guys working on patterns. Another way to get guys loose."

Foye and Mike James were paired with each other and stood out the most, according to Saunders and several other players. "Randy and I, we looked like we played a lot of football," James said. "Everyone else looked like they played a lot of Madden."

James said that he played quarterback and defensive back in high school, but quit after breaking his wrist. "It was on a Friday," James said. "I handed my uniform in on a Monday and told the football coach, 'I wish you all the luck in the future. Don't you ever call my house again, looking for me to play. I don't care how good y'all may think I can get in this game.' I said, 'Mm, umh. I'm a basketball player."

Foye said he got compliments from his teammates after completing some pretty passes and showing some nice hands with the pigskin. "They said, you look so fluent throwing the ball and running patterns, catching the ball. I said, 'That's what I do,' " Foye said. "I used to play a little bit of football in high school, played Pop Warner and just growing up, football and baseball was really my first loves. But as I started to grow and as I started to play basketball and travel, I wanted to play basketball more."

McGuire was a high school quarterback at the same San Diego high school that produced Marcus Allen and Terrell Davis before eventually giving it up to play basketball. When told that McGuire was a good football player, James said, "Dom was struggling out there."

McGuire had an explanation. "The thing is, my receiver, which was Nick, he was kind of goofy and kept thinking he was going to run into stuff," McGuire said. "It's a big court. That messed me up."

But he added, "You got to ask everybody about the Randy Moss I caught over Nick. It was nice."

Young was asked who looked the best with the football. "Best quarterback was probably Randy, the best wide receiver was probably me. I'm going to go with myself," Young said, after admitting earlier that he dropped a few passes from McGuire.

Coach is unbelievable at getting us ready for practice, ready to go," Foye said. "Even though we had three hard practices in two-a-days, he threw the footballs out there to get us excited about doing this and to get us loose, to take our minds off of basketball for a little bit, then get right back into basketball."

By Michael Lee |  October 3, 2009; 7:27 PM ET
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Man, Saunders has me pumped. The article about defense et al. Bring on the season! Finally, a coach that I am almost certain will bring it all together so that the team can reach it's full potential whatever that may be. I never liked Jordan bc I saw how he limited the team regardless what the likes of Barkley said. Well, for a hot minute, I was a EJ fan, but over time his flaws were the teams flaws and we simply had to make a change to grow as a team.

Posted by: rphilli721 | October 3, 2009 8:02 PM

1st!
Foye or Campell?

Posted by: ptp23 | October 3, 2009 8:03 PM

oops...2nd! Campbell

Posted by: ptp23 | October 3, 2009 8:03 PM

Until Saunders gets us to the playoffs, then consider me an Eddie Jordan fan.

Posted by: chinatown | October 3, 2009 8:18 PM

Check out the wizards team page.
I think the line-up is going to be:
Gil
Young
Caron
Jamison
Haywood
2nd unit
Foye - 1
Miller - 2
Dom -3
Blatche - 4
Oberto - 5

You read it here first.

Posted by: ptp23 | October 3, 2009 8:59 PM

This is from today's chat on the Wizards Blog with Wiz Director of Player Personel

Milt Newton:: “It wasnt difficult at all…this is a team with a core that has been in place and last yaer we had quite a few young guys on our team…the decision to trade the pick and to pick up two established players in foye and milller made our team stronger…these are two solid veterans that will help our team and give us the deepest bench we’ve had since we’ve been here”

Posted by: ptp23 | October 3, 2009 9:02 PM

Ha,ha,ha. ARENAS' wittle finger is hurtin'. Poor baby. Sure hope he doesn't miss the season because of it.

Posted by: glawrence007 | October 3, 2009 11:12 PM

"Today was one of those days that everyone came in and was working hard but you could see they was a little bit down," Randy Foye said.


Gee you worked out a whole week after being off for 6 months?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | October 3, 2009 11:21 PM

I'm sold. But then again I am a complete and total homer. 50 wins!

Posted by: lavar609 | October 4, 2009 12:03 AM

Why is this news?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 4, 2009 12:28 AM

Posted by: crs-one | October 4, 2009 2:34 AM

"it's not news. it's a blog. news is at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/sports/wizards/index.html?nid=roll_nba

Posted by: crs-one | October 4, 2009 2:34 AM "

It is news, when a reporter reports what is going on @ training camp.

Apparently their focused on playing football.

Better hope they tape up their fingers before playing catch.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 4, 2009 9:45 AM

yes a reporter reports on training camp.

the "news" goes into his stories for the sports section.

The less noteworthy stuff is documented in the blog. that's what blogs are for.

and it takes a pretty major leap to read this and say "their focused on playing football." They're taking a break. it's hardly a focus.

i realize it's hard to be positive after a nineteen win season, but you're just seeking out things to complain about.

Posted by: crs-one | October 4, 2009 11:26 AM

"i realize it's hard to be positive after a nineteen win season, but you're just seeking out things to complain about.

Posted by: crs-one | October 4, 2009 11:26 AM "

Let me rephrase it...just for you....


"Why is this a blog topic?"

Obviously others agree since there are hardy any comments to this blog topic. Even the comments have nothing to do with the blog topic.

Case closed.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 4, 2009 5:54 PM

Why is this news?

Posted by: DC_MAN88

It is news, when a reporter reports what is going on @ training camp.

Posted by: DC_MAN88

Way to answer your own question dc man. But the best part is after you answered yourself you asked the question again:

"Why is this a blog topic?"

Posted by: DC_MAN88

You are so dumb my stomach hurts I am laughing so hard.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | October 4, 2009 6:09 PM

Let me rephrase it...just for you....


"Why is this a blog topic?"

Obviously others agree since there are hardy any comments to this blog topic. Even the comments have nothing to do with the blog topic.

Case closed.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 4, 2009 5:54 PM

It's a blog topic because that is what happened on day five of training camp.

And it's not obvious that everyone agrees with you. the only post since thursday that has logged more than 15 comments is the one about gilbert's knee. it's not like people cared about all the posts *except* the football one, which is what it would take to make your point "obvious."

case closed. classic.

Posted by: crs-one | October 4, 2009 9:33 PM

"You are so dumb my stomach hurts I am laughing so hard.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | October 4, 2009 6:09 PM "

Maybe it's the cum in your stomach that's giving you a belly ache.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 4, 2009 10:02 PM

"It's a blog topic because that is what happened on day five of training camp.

And it's not obvious that everyone agrees with you. the only post since thursday that has logged more than 15 comments is the one about gilbert's knee. it's not like people cared about all the posts *except* the football one, which is what it would take to make your point "obvious."

case closed. classic.

Posted by: crs-one | October 4, 2009 9:33 PM "

Not worthy of a blog topic...even if it is irrelevant "news" coming out of training camp.

Case closed.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 4, 2009 10:03 PM

i don't know what to say. he's documenting each day of the training camp in the blog. that's what happened on day five. it goes into the blog.

either worthy's got nothing to do with it, or its worthiness is defined by something other than your own opinion.

perhaps more entertaining than day five of training camp...case closed means you walk away.

actually it means you're figuratively plugging your ears, humming, and not listening and trying to do so in a way that appears that you've spoken so definitively that there's no way the discussion can be anything but over. and your reply and reiteration of case closed is the acknowledgement of failure on both counts. again, classic.

Posted by: crs-one | October 4, 2009 11:54 PM

"You are so dumb my stomach hurts I am laughing so hard.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | October 4, 2009 6:09 PM "

Maybe it's the cum in your stomach that's giving you a belly ache.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 4, 2009 10:02 PM


That should be enough to get you banned from this site.

Posted by: ljack666 | October 5, 2009 10:10 AM

"i don't know what to say. he's documenting each day of the training camp in the blog. that's what happened on day five. it goes into the blog.

either worthy's got nothing to do with it, or its worthiness is defined by something other than your own opinion.

perhaps more entertaining than day five of training camp...case closed means you walk away.

actually it means you're figuratively plugging your ears, humming, and not listening and trying to do so in a way that appears that you've spoken so definitively that there's no way the discussion can be anything but over. and your reply and reiteration of case closed is the acknowledgement of failure on both counts. again, classic.

Posted by: crs-one | October 4, 2009 11:54 PM "

LOL!

You are taking yourself way too seriously.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 5, 2009 5:36 PM

probably just taking you too seriously.

Posted by: crs-one | October 5, 2009 6:51 PM

"probably just taking you too seriously.

Posted by: crs-one | October 5, 2009 6:51 PM "

That's your problem.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | October 5, 2009 9:47 PM

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