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Redskins practicing to steer clear of Aaron Rodgers' tricks

Redskins practicing to steer clear of Aaron Rodgers' tricks

When the Packers came to FedEx Field to play the Redskins in the playoffs last January, Aaron Rodgers used two of his favorite tricks in the second quarter to rally his team from an early 11-0 deficit.

With the Redskins up 11-0 they were trying to get in some defensive substitutions. Rodgers got up to the line, ran a quick snap, and caught them with too many still on the field. A fourth and four turned into a first and 10. The drive continued and the Packers got on the board with a touchdown.

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“You’ve got to sub and you’ve got to sub with urgency,” said defensive coordinator Joe Barry, recalling the play during his weekly press conference. “And it’s not only the guy running onto the field subbing, it’s more importantly the guy running off the field because he looks for it.”

Barry suspects that Rodgers might get a little help looking for late substitutions.

“I don’t know if it’s truly just him looking for it or if the coaches on the sideline see it and give him the green light through the headset,” said Barry. “But he’s outstanding at it.

 Later in the second quarter Rodgers used one of his other tricks, a hard count to draw an offside flag. What would have been a third and 11 was a second and five. Green Bay drove in for a field goal.

“The first thing with the hard count, the key thing is that any defensive linemen should get off on the ball. You don’t get off on sound, you get off on movement,” said Barry.

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They set up their practices to build that habit into their defenders.

“You’ll see in individual,” he said. Our defensive linemen, every drill they do it always starts with what? Not ‘set, go’ but the ball. But in the heat of the moment, that’s why quarterbacks do it, especially quarterbacks like him who use that voice inflection very well.”

And, true to his word, the outside linebackers were working on just that. Position coach Greg Manusky tried to get them to jump with his voice but they all kept their eyes trained on the ball.

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Best birthday ever? 107-year-old Redskins fan celebrates in Burgundy and Gold

Best birthday ever? 107-year-old Redskins fan celebrates in Burgundy and Gold

When Carletha "Nana" West was growing up, she began to take an interest in football. In particular, she took notice of a certain Redskins quarterback. 

"When Sammy Baugh was quarterback I liked him and I was just learning football at that time," West said. "I was young myself."

Baugh commanded the Redskins offense from 1937-1952 and became one of West's favorite player. With that, her fandom for the Redskins grew.

Decades later, her love for the Redskins remains. So for her 107th birthday -- yes, 107th -- she, of course, celebrated it with some Burgundy and Gold festivities.

Joined by Redskins GM Bruce Allen, West took in her birthday on Thursday, July 18, at Brandywine in Alexandria, Va. Not only was she given a customized Redskins jersey with the number 107 and the name "Nana", but West also got a day named after her. In Alexandria, July 18 will now be known as Carletha "Nana" West Day.

West spent some time reminiscing about her years as a Redskins fan, singing 'Hail to the Redskins' and even sharing her advice on how to live a long, fulfilling life. Besides loving football, she shared some simple words of wisdom.

"Make friends," West said. "And keep them."

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Josh Norman got a hilarious phone call from Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly before Redskins-Panthers

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Josh Norman got a hilarious phone call from Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly before Redskins-Panthers

If Josh Norman wasn't a cornerback for the Redskins, he could have become a world-class spy.

In a hilarious clip from the Amazon Prime show "All or Nothing" which documented the Carolina Panthers during the 2018 NFL season, Norman is heard talking on the phone with former Carolina teammates Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly, just days before the Redskins and Panthers faced each other on the gridiron. 

After Kuechly and Newton made fun of him for looking "fat," Norman asked the pair, "Hey is [Greg] Olsen playing this week?"

Olsen, Carolina's Pro Bowl tight end, had missed the Panthers' previous three games due to a foot injury. 

"Nope," an unsuspecting Kuechly immediately replied. Oops! 

"Come on, bro. You can't tell. That was stupid," Newton said before the three burst into laughter over the slip-up. 

"Now you've got to tell us something about y'all," Newton said to Norman after they had finally recovered. "You starting at cornerback this week?"

Ouch! Norman had just been benched in the second half of the Redskins' Week 5 loss to the Saints, Newton showing no mercy to his ex-teammate.

However, Norman got his revenge that Sunday, picking off Newton in the first quarter of a 23-17 Redskins win. And ironically Olsen ended up playing, catching four passes for 48 yards.

Maybe Norman wouldn't make that great a spy after all. But in any case, it was he and the Redskins who got the last laugh that week. Newton, Kuechly, and the Panthers will get a chance to answer back when Washington and Carolina square off on Dec. 1. 

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