Julie Donaldson

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Redskins stars arrive at welcome home luncheon in style

Redskins stars arrive at welcome home luncheon in style

Burgundy and gold are the go-to game day colors of the Washington Redskins and their passionate fanbase, eliminating any questions of what to wear. However, there are events that provide the opportunity for players to express their individuality, such as the team's annual Welcome Home Luncheon. 

Some opt for fancy suits tailored with the perfect fit. Vernon Davis is widely known for this, considered one of the sharpest dressers on the squad, donning a navy jacket and khaki pants for him. Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice went with the classy suit look as well, AD in a traditional dark one, Guice adding a little extra flare in a light color fabric.  Both on point. 

Josh Norman always adds a little flavor to whatever he has on, this time a navy tie and sweater pullover with a snazzy hat. Quinton Dunbar joined him with that headgear but went with a more Miami flavored shirt and pants look. This Florida girl (and I’m sure Don Johnson) would approve. 

Paul Richardson kept it simple, black on black but with a diamond necklace you could see from the moon. 

The special teams' guys were all that! Tress Way stood out per usual. He wore a light blue blazer and strolled in as if he were the president while Dustin Hopkins and Nick Sundberg wore dark sunglasses and pretended to be secret service clearing the way for the punter with the golden leg.

The QB’s were simple. Case Keenum in a navy blazer, Dwayne Haskins Jr. in a burgundy one, neither wearing a tie. Colt McCoy on the other hand did, but he entered far behind the other two. (Which was rather interesting.)

Morgan Moses had a clean light gray plaid jacket with fancy gray suede shoes, he made a point to say Erik Flowers was rocking that Florida attire with a colorful flowered shirt. (I was wearing hot pink pants and defended Flowers decision to add color, it’s what we wear in Florida).

But perhaps the most intriguingly dressed, if only for his boots, was defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky. They were made of snakeskin, rattlesnake to be exact.  He said he had a choice to wear one of his 5 pairs made of Eel, Ostrich, Shark, and Python.  It’s worth noting he did not catch and make his collection himself. 

And of note in closing, I had the opportunity to talk to Jon Bostic, but he was wearing a Redskins polo. His reason I had to accept, his belongings still have not arrived.  They are in a truck working their way up from Tennessee.  The life of a journeyman looking for a permanent home and a good suit for game day. 

Oh, and I suppose I’d be amiss if I didn’t tell you diehard Redskins fan Matthew McConaughey wore a burgundy suit, of which he said he has a few, specifically for the Redskins. HTTR. 



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Why a ‘quiet’ camp could be the key to Josh Norman’s success

Why a ‘quiet’ camp could be the key to Josh Norman’s success

Training camp for Redskins cornerback Josh Norman began with a friendly jab from his head coach Jay Gruden: "I'm not worried about a bull hitting him, he avoids contact."

Norman had a very active off-season as he flew with the Blue Angels and participated in multiple charity endeavors, but his running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain garnered the most attention. 

“Yeah that is true – I’m sure he wasn’t’ concerned because I do avoid contact," Norman said. "Just like I avoided OTA’s. It’s a contact sport, so I didn’t get hurt.”  

It’s worth mentioning that players aren't required to attend off-season OTA’s, and Norman was at mandatory camp where he picked off rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr.; the play was ruled out of bounds but Norman ran it back for a "100-yard touchdown." The player/coach relationship, rooted in trash talking, continued to shine as Gruden then asked a referee to throw a flag on Norman so he could mess with him.  

Fast forward to day four of camp and Norman is showing that an eventful off-season did not interfere with his on-field production.  The $75 million man had a pair of interceptions on day one and attributed it to him just him helping the team.

“If I see ball I get ball, really," Norman said. "I just come out here and do my job and have fun with the game. I've done so much up to now, so I just come back and live in the moment.”

A big part of enjoying the moments for Norman is embracing the fans as he's always one of the last players to leave the field, signing every autograph he possibly can; He attributes that to camp being "quiet."

“Guys are actually working, you can see it. It doesn’t have to be overbearing, it doesn’t have to be a ra-ra thing," Norman said. "It’s just good work, solid execution, and we have that."

"This has been a great training camp so far. It’s been off to a good start, we don’t have any injuries, just a couple hamstrings here and there but we’ve been blessed so far.”

Norman went through the 2017 season without an interception, but snagged three last year.  He now enters year four of his five-year contract and says any personal goals don’t matter if the team doesn’t make the playoffs.

Norman also believes that the addition of pro-bowl safety Landon Collins, and new defensive backs coach, Ray Horton, is huge for them.

“He’s [Horton] played the game, and has so many teams under his belt where he’s coached," Norman said.  "He's seen it all, so when you get a guy like that you want to soak things up like a sponge."

"He’s not overbearing, he’s not pressing, he’s just welcoming and inviting to you being all you can be, and when you got that you want to run through a brick wall for the guy.”

The Redskins have not made the post season while Norman has been in D.C., but it’s a new year and Norman says from offense to defense all seem to understand.

“We are teammates and we have one common goal and that’s to win it all.”


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Dwayne Haskins sees parallels between himself, Lion King's Simba

Dwayne Haskins sees parallels between himself, Lion King's Simba

The story of the Lion King is one that takes many of us to our childhood, a feel-good story about a young cub going through adversity to become King.

It's a story Redskins new quarterback, Dwayne Haskins Junior, has related to since he was a child himself, having taken on the moniker Simba. 
Disney first came out with the movie in 1994 and just released a photorealistic live-action re-make. Haskins made sure he was there for the world premiere in Los Angeles walking the red carpet with his girlfriend Savhana Cousin earlier this month.

"The new Lion King brought so many great old memories!" he tweeted. "A blessing to be a part of. "

Haskins sees many parallels in Simba. He told me before the draft that the nickname first came from when his mom was combing out his hair saying he looked like a lion.  

Beyond that, he liked the story of the young cub going through adversity to become King.

"The story behind him growing to king, going through adversity, and having to fall to get up and that's just something that resonates with my story. Everyone sees the highs of everything but not what it takes to get there," he said.

He has even used the story for his own clothing brand as well, Kingdom of Pride. 

Haskins fell in the draft to number 15 and the Redskins but has every intention of proving he is worthy of the pick and one day winning what he declares will be multiple Super Bowls.  

That would certainly fall in line with the story of Simba taking back the kingdom.