#NFLTraining Camp Redskins v. Patriots Recap

The Redskins are practicing against a Super Bowl contending team. Head Coach Bill Belichick won’t (and hasn’t) take it easy on the burgundy and gold these past couple of days.

Redskins rookie Stephen Campbell is wearing 45, the same number second-year linebacker Gabe Miller is donning across his chest and back. Campbell made an impressive catch against rookie linebacker Taylor McCuller. 

Lache Seastrunk beat third-year pro Dont’a Hightower (Alabama) in a footrace to catch an under thrown pass by Kirk Cousins.

Jordan Reed’s route running = thumbs up. 

Rookie out of USC Silas Redd couldn’t outplay linebacker Jamie Collins in their one-on-one battle.

Redskins energy at practice = high.

11 on 11

Play 1: Robert Griffin III is “sacked” because he took time to show off his dance moves in the backfield.

P2: pass complete to tight end Reed on a slant in front of the Patriots linebacking corps.

P3: Vince Wilfork picks off a tipped pass intended for Santana Moss, who surprisingly came out of the backfield. 

P4: Roy Helu Jr. knifes his way out of the right gap for a large gain.

P5: a reverse? Ryan Grant takes a handoff from a receiver who runs across the backfield. 

P6: poor run blocking up front. 

P7: Evan Royster takes a screen pass from Cousins and the offensive linemen do a great job setting him up for a long run. 

DeSean Jackson is open. … Defenses are focused on sacking Griffin III and Patriots safeties tend to bite. 

— More punting drills

— 11 on 11 drills

Kenbrell Thompkins crisp route running leaves Daryl Sharpton dead in his tracks. 

Brady running a merciless no-huddle offense and the Redskins cannot stop TB. Communication is key and I hear them talking but still no match for TB. 

Jackson makes (finally) a catch against Revis Island. The Redskins go back to DJax on their second play but Revis puts an end to the streak. 

Josh Boyce is well-guarded by Chase Minnifield . … if the ball was placed better. … completion. 

Middle of the field is wide open against Washington’s defense. Ryan Mallett leads a smooth 2-minute drill which results in a field goal. 

Nick Williams makes a grab, courtesy of KC. 

Revis has officially shut down the left side of the hash mark. 

Griffin III completes a perfect pass to Andre Roberts between Devin McCourty and Logan Ryan for a catch-and-score.

Patriots still running the 11v11 drills on the other side of the field. 

Redskins defense and offense split up and are walking through the motions. 

Redskins OL vs Patriots OL Battles

Rookies Spencer Long and Tevita Stevens are challenged by Chris Barker and Bryan Stork. 

Trent Williams vs. Will Smith, defensive tackle. 

Kevin Kowalski vs Rookie Cameron Fleming

The Redskins offensive line needs help at the right tackle/right guard position as far as I know.

Skill position drills

Jerod Mayo lays out running back Morris. Griffin III held the ball too long before throwing it to AM. … Mayo popped him. 

Griffin completes a screen pass to DJax but no one bites. 

Morris redeems himself by zipping across the goal line untouched. 

Shot gun single back formation: hand off to Roy Helu Jr. up the middle before he gets clocked by Jerod Mayo. Second biggest hit of the training camp session. 

Griffin again holds the ball too long and scampers outside of the collapsing pocket. He escaped to only get pushed ob. 

Helu looks like he’s enjoying his reps. 

Single back shotgun. Moss, Roberts and Logan Paulsen are lined up to the left (trips bunch). Moss takes a step back to pretend he’s receiving the screen pass but Griffin III hands the ball off to Helu. 

Ryan Grant destroys cornerback Malcolm Butler after he catches a zip-fade in front of the right cone of the goal line. 

Cousins doesn’t find anyone open (or was it designed?) – he steps up into the pocket and runs in a 15-yard touchdown.

Shotgun formation, again trips right. Jordan Reed is alone on the weak side, drawing in a one-on-one matchup — makes the catch for a touchdown. Kirk Cousins adds another TD pass to his practice resume. 

11 on 11 

Deangelo Hall vs. Brandon Lafell. E.J. Biggers vs. Julian Edelman. Patriots’ spread offense is difficult to contain. 

Edelman runs a perfect out-and-up pattern and obliterates Biggers, who is behind him eating his dust. Brady with the perfect over-the-shoulder pass. 

Lafell is getting open, too, his route running looks razor-sharp. 

Redskins 

Logan Paulsen runs a post between the safeties and behind the linebackers — tries to one-hand catch yet drops an accurate pass. 

Logan Ryan covers Aldrick Robinson. … 

Duron Harmon, Malcolm Butler, Brandon Browner, Logan Ryan and nickelback Kyle Arrington are the defensive backs during this particular exercise. 

If #HoldBallBob can release faster Santana Moss will record monster stats between the months of September and October. 

Griffin III’s playaction kind of fooled me but no — only I stared at Morris run through the gap without the ball. Griffin III is sacked. 

Redskins Personnel may have all the talent in the world but if it’s a coordinator problem then that spells trouble for their franchise. 

Rookie safety Ross Madison and safety Trenton Robinson and cornerback Richard Crawford didn’t communicate loud enough, which is why Mallett delivers a sweet pass to rookie Wilson Van Hooser. 

 

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Love at First Spike: The story of HOP, featuring Anett Farkas

THE UNEDITED VERSION:

If you ever spot Anett Farkas on campus out of her lazy sweatpants and VCU Volleyball labeled long-sleeve shirt, make sure you tell her you love her outfit. Because she does.

 Asking her how she handles her stardom and if a lot of students lose their cool when she walks into a classroom, she laughed, “Nobody even on campus knows there’s a volleyball team here, I swear. Usually I try to dress up when I go to class and other athlete people don’t recognize me. Some people will walk right past me because I have regular clothes on.”

No wonder the Fashion Merchandising major took light of my sincere confession of being star-struck in the beginning of the interview.

 Carrying a 6’2” frame and a delicate smile, one would assume that she attracts heavy attention – but the humble senior doesn’t get distracted easily and has set her priorities ruler straight, to pursue her dream with the degree she’ll attain in the spring. After being on the winning side of the net and lighting up the volleyball scene for thirteen consecutive years, she will start anew and try to gain work experience with another passion of hers, fashion.

 “Even though I love the game, playing pro would mean eating, sleeping, and practicing – and doing that twice a day?” she grinned, “I’m trying to stay in the states and work.”

I suggested that she sign a nice contract, hit-and-run a professional team in Europe and then settle back in the States – but her firm grip on her future did not loosen up, as she does when she spikes the ball over the net. The fat paycheck she could potentially reel in genuinely doesn’t matter or stir up any interest.

Apparently volleyball wasn’t her first sport. Farkas tried figure skating when she was four-years-old.

“I thought it was my dream,” she laughs, “when I was in kindergarten I would remember going to practice before kindergarten, seeing the sun come up, ice in the morning, ballet in the afternoon.”

Her mother stopped taking her due to her crying — because of the ridiculous hours she had to wake up for practice. She says it’s fine, after all, acknowledging that her taller stature is not ideal for the sport anyway. Farkas roller-skates for fun now.

The greatest moment of Anett Farkas’ career started in a small box we call a television. Imagine her eight-year-old eyes, glued to the TV, studying the moves of a Japanese manga series character. Kozue Ayuhara. The Japanese children’s show, Attack No. 1, was retitled “Mila Superstar”.

“She hit it so hard it would disappear,” Anett recalled, “I wouldn’t leave my dad alone until he found a place for me to play volleyball.”

And this brought us to the most revealing tidbit that I gained from listening to the Degree Sports Invitational tournament MVP Anett Farkas.

The club team that her father found for his beloved daughter nearby their home featured a three-time Olympic Coach, Dr. Attilane Kotsis. If not by chance, or by luck, or by coincidence, that Farkas just happened to reside in the general area at the same exact time that a Hall of Fame Coach would take Anett under her wing, mentor her for the next eight years, you could bet that a predestined path for the star’s future started on the roads of Budapest, Hungary. Gabi neni, a title Farkas referred to the teacher as, professed that a great volleyball player must be good everywhere on the court. Taking the advice to heart and hanging the wisdom of her mentor around her neck, the outside hitter was once another position, the ‘middle’. The coach assured her that she was a smart player, but not a powerful one. Dr. Attilane even had a hand in Anett’s long-term goals, as Farkas wanted to play college ball and study English in the UK. Attilane redirected her player and connected her with a fellow Hungarian coach overseas in New Orleans. The transitioning was smooth, SATs and all for the special member of the Hungarian Junior National Team. All the opportunities intricately designed for the star we have at VCU today could have been disregarded as false hope, but Anett followed through.

After a brief stint at New Orleans, the school would undergo budget cuts and was informed that the women’s volleyball squad would drop from a Division I to a Division III school. Anett took action and decided by transferring to VCU would satisfy her best interests.

“First of all, as a young woman, Anett is a very mature, focused individual,” coach Finley said of Farkas after practice, “…you know you can count on Anett. She’s always willing to learn…is very coachable.”

Head Coach James Finley said that he’s proud of the teammates voting her as one of the captains, and is happy that all her work ethic is paying off. The adjustment that she’s made in the last couple years at VCU, playing two different positions successfully is another accomplishment that boosts the coach’s confidence in her on the court.  He supports her decision to pursue her passion of fashion after her final season.

Off the court, Anett studies hard to maintain a high GPA, a GPA I did not ask for permission to mention in this article, but here’s a hint: she’s only received one “B” so far. Keeping up-to-date with fashion trends and following the hectic days of the Fashion Week at VCU, you could find the star hiding in a small Black Sheep restaurant off West Marshall Street with her friends.

Farkas fluently speaks Hungarian, German, and English and knows a bit of French. If you catch her with her earplugs in, she’s bobbing her head to hip-hop music, to the likes of Drake, Jay-Z and Kanye West.

“I’m just going with the flow,” she says. I nickname her the HOP. The Hungarian Optimus Prime. Her all-around versatility allows her to take care of business in the air and be a tremendous force on the ground. She likes the moniker. The Transformer reference makes sense, as she’ll receive her first driver’s license this fall.

Her favorite movie though? Intouchables, a French comedy based on a true story, about a paralyzed man lying in bed all day and a caretaker assumed by others to carry a terrible attitude. I don’t see how this is funny, but it makes her laugh. I chuckle. We end the chat on a light note, just how it started.

I treat my chance to sit down with the lovely Anett Farkas as my last, because it might just be the last opportunity to do so before we both graduate next semester. For the time being, she wishes for students to watch and support the women’s volleyball team games as they start the regular season this weekend.