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Former DE Charles Mann believes keeping Washington's colors is a must but isn't as attached to the band

Former DE Charles Mann believes keeping Washington's colors is a must but isn't as attached to the band

Washington's football team may not have its new name today, but eventually, it will. And when the team does land on that choice, it'll also have to decide what to do with some key staples that became popular under the previous brand.

The two main things that'll need to either be kept or also moved on from are the franchise's color scheme as well as its band. Proceeding with the pair would be a way to merge the past with the future, while dropping each would give the organization a chance to totally restart.

Charles Mann, though, doesn't view it as a both or neither scenario. The four-time Pro Bowler and team legend is far more attached to one tradition than the other.

"I hope we keep the Burgundy and Gold," Mann told NBC Sports Washington in a recent interview. "Don't change those Burgundy and Gold colors. You've got to keep that."

According to reports, it seems like Mann will get his wish on that front. That's something that'll no doubt please ardent followers of the squad, too.


The longtime defensive end wasn't as worried or fixated on the band's future (or the continuation of the fight song), which was intriguing. Most diehards who want the colors to stay are adamant about that feature and its classic tune remaining as well, yet he didn't seem particularly concerned.

"The fight song... you know, it's the fight song," Mann said. "Maybe they can change the lyrics, you've got all these lyrical masters. As far as the band -- I'm probably going to get it on this one -- but I could see us moving on from the band."

Mann is the second beloved ex-defender to come out in these last few days and demonstrate that he's not completely committed to keeping everything from Washington's past alive. 

On Monday, Darrell Green said this to ESPN: "I've got jerseys and helmets. Hey, I'm ready to throw them away. Give me another helmet. Give me the new helmet, because when I ran down the field in Chicago and I chased down [Tony] Dorsett or whatever the case may be, those things were for the team that was in Washington, so it didn't really matter. It still happened."

There hasn't been much indication on what Dan Snyder is thinking about the band and the song, but if he were to leave them behind -- and again, there hasn't been any reports suggesting he will -- that would be quite an adjustment to the gameday atmosphere.

Mann, however, clearly wouldn't feel too, too bad about that switch-up. Instead, he's much more enticed by the idea of another change to the team's home contests.

"I'm not really hardpressed on anything," he said. "I just want to see us win. I just want to see us win. At the end of the day, winning fixes everything. So just win."


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Thomas Davis is excited for Reuben Foster's return: 'He was born to play the linebacker spot'

Thomas Davis is excited for Reuben Foster's return: 'He was born to play the linebacker spot'

Washington linebackers Thomas Davis and Reuben Foster are at two very different points in their respective NFL careers.

The former is entering his 15th NFL season and is on the tail-end of an incredible career, while the latter is still trying to find his place in the NFL. The two are separated by 11 years in age.

Yet, both linebackers are expected to have significant roles in Washington's defense come this fall, a team they have yet to play a snap for. In a Zoom conference call with local media on Friday, Davis shared his excitement for what Foster has the chance to bring to Washington's defense.

"Reuben is a physical specimen," Davis said. "I was telling somebody the other day you have people who are born to play a position. When you look at Reuben, he’s one of those guys. I feel like he was born to play the linebacker spot."


It's been a long and windy road -- both on and off the field -- for Foster since Washington claimed him off of waivers in November of 2018.

Foster was released two years ago by San Francisco after two separate domestic violence accusations. Washington claimed the linebacker, yet he would not play for the team at all that season after immediately landing on the Commissioner's Exempt List.

Later that year, Foster's former girlfriend recanted her testimony on the first incident, and charges were dropped on the second. The linebacker got clearance from the NFL to play shortly after.

Foster returned to the field for OTAs in 2019, but his first practice with his new team ended rather quickly. On just the third snap of the session, Foster suffered a gruesome, non-contact knee injury, tearing multiple ligaments. His recovery took longer than usual, as he lost feeling in his toes in January -- months after the surgery. 

Earlier this week, Foster was removed from the active/PUP list and placed on the team's active roster, 21 months after he was originally claimed by Washington and 15 months after his devastating injury. Foster spoke with reporters shortly after Davis did on Friday, and opened up about his life from the past year and a half.


If there's someone who can relate to Foster's rehab process, it's Davis. Over a 23-month span from 2009-2011, Davis suffered three (!!) separate ACL tears.

Yet, Davis bounced back from those injuries in tremendous fashion. Since returning from the final ACL tear in 2012, Davis has been extremely durable. Over that span, he's earned three Pro Bowl nods and was named to the NFL's All-Pro squad in 2015. Even at age 36, Davis racked up 112 tackles for the Chargers last season.

"Just seeing [Foster] make progress each and every day has truly been special," Davis said. "As a guy who has his own rehab story, to see Reuben being able to do the things he’s doing day in and day out, I’m extremely impressed and I’m excited for him."

With so many twists and turns in his young NFL career, Foster has finally reached the point where he can make football his top priority.

And now in Washington, he has someone he can look up to as a mentor in Davis.

“I try to talk to Reuben as much as I possibly can," Davis said. "Reuben, he’s excited, man. He’s energetic, he’s up-tempo. He’s always just ready to get back on the field as much as he possibly can when he was that opportunity. He’s just out there working hard and we’re just trying to constantly encourage him to continue to fight, continue to work and just let the chips fall where they may at the end of the day."

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Reuben Foster, finally, addresses his past as well as what's ahead with Washington

Reuben Foster, finally, addresses his past as well as what's ahead with Washington

One year and eight months after he was first claimed by the Washington Football Team, Reuben Foster finally addressed the local media in a formal press conference on Friday. As far as mid-August, mid-training camp Zoom sessions go, it was quite compelling.

The 26-year-old — who was recently removed from the PUP list, which signaled a major step in his recovery from last May's disastrous knee injury — came across as somewhat nervous to be doing an interview again. But even through those apparent jitters, he was able to describe what his life has been like since joining the organization.

"I've learned a lot," Foster said. "Just being humble, vulnerable. Understanding for a lot of things, of life. A real understanding of life. It's stuff that I can't really explain. It's hard to explain. I just know that my drive to get back on the field was insane."

Foster's devotion to the sport was a theme that popped up numerous times when he was speaking.

It's what he's thought about as he's been involved in multiple domestic violence allegations and seen his reputation plummet. Foster's former girlfriend recanted her testimony in the first case and the charges were dropped in the second, but even so, many will forever view him differently.

The desire to play again is also what's been at the top of his mind throughout an arduous rehab process that stems from going down on the third snap of OTAs in 2019. The damage on Foster's knee was more severe than a typical tear and had, up until this past January, caused him to lose feeling in his toes.

There is still plenty of work remaining on both fronts — Foster's character will be closely judged and any sort of future legal trouble likely will cost him his spot in the NFL, and he openly admitted he's not where he wants to be mentally when it comes to believing in his lower body — but right now, he's as comfortable as he's been in some time. 

"I feel like God just put me here, just dropped me here, like, 'This the football child,'" he said.


His road back, however, is still far from its final destination.

As mentioned, Foster was very candid about how practices have gone since coming off PUP on Sunday. He was obviously relieved to be a part of the action again, yet he noticed he was more timid than he'd prefer.

"I was happy about it, but I was focusing on my leg, like, 'Dang, am I the same again? Will I ever be the same again?' he said. "But I don't think to the point that it would stop my play style or whatever. I just got to get the confidence out there."

Not many pro athletes would acknowledge that uneasy mindset. 

One thing Foster is confident in is his new head coach. Ron Rivera told the media that Foster has been "excellent" since Rivera became Washington's leader, and Foster was even more complimentary when discussing how Rivera's helped him of late.

"I trust him a lot," Foster said. "He's got my trust and dedication, and I think he's just a real stand-up guy, a trustworthy guy."

As a whole, Foster's Friday chat acted as a much-needed reset. It was necessary to hear his take on the drama he's been implicated in and the obstacles he's faced since leaving the 49ers. 

Now, though, he's prepared to move forward, and perhaps the conversation surrounding him can as well. After having him address the controversial issues, the Foster-related discussions can largely shift to how he's fitting into the defense and what he'll be able to add to that unit.

Speaking of which, after months packed with uncertainty, that's one group Foster has no doubts about.

"Even me with a bad wheel," he said, "we've got this."

Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.