Robert Griffin III wont be the only rookie in the Redskins backfield when they take their first offensive snap at 1:00 in New Orleans.According toDan Hellie of NBC4, the Redskins will start sixth-round draft pick Alfred Morris at running back.Morris, out of Florida-Atlantic, led the team in rushing during the preseason with 195 yards and he apparently clinched the starting job with a strong performance against the Colts in the third preseason game. Playing a little over a half against mostly starters, Morris displayed speed and power as he picked up 107 yards on 14 carries.When the team reported to training camp in late July it looked like Morris faced long odds against even making the team. The Redskins returned Roy Helu Jr., their 2011 leading rusher, Evan Royster, who finished off the year strong with 100-yard performances in each of the last two games, and Tim Hightower, the lead back last year until he injured his knee in October.But Morris played too well for the team to try to sneak him onto the practice squad. Hightower ended up being released and it looks like Morris will get the starts.
Josh Norman caused quite a stir with his comments Sunday about the atmosphere at FedEx Field, and the Redskins cornerback made it clear he plans to do his part in making sure the stadium is packed for Sunday's game against the Texans.
Norman told reporters Thursday he's going to be giving away "40 or 50" free tickets for the Houston game, online and perhaps even in person.
"Yes, I will be giving out free tickets," he said. "I'll be doing it on my socials as well, I think I'll probably post tonight or something about it."
"Who knows, you may see me coming out and being an early Santa somewhere in the mall or something, just handing out tickets."
And if you are one of the lucky fans who gets a ticket from "Santa Norman," he has specific instructions on how you should behave at Sunday's game:
"Whoever get(s) them, we want them loud and just obnoxious. Just really obnoxious."
Norman joins several Redskins players who have promised to give away tickets to the Texans game.
If y’all really need tickets.....I bet me and the homies could get somethin goin...Tap In— Mason_Foster (@Mason_Foster) November 13, 2018
4 more tickets left to the Texans game. Who want them ???— Shaun Dion Hamilton (@iam_sdh20) November 14, 2018
2 tickets for this home game #giveaway— Zach Brown (@ZachBrown_55) November 13, 2018
Next 100 Responders purchase a ticket it’s covered. Thank you for putting ya life on the line and serving the community under His eyes. ❤️ https://t.co/dpe5RIYDAz— Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (@haha_cd6) November 16, 2018
It may be November, but the Christmas spirit is alive and well at Redskins Park.
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Even on a field filled with NFL players, experienced coaches and a few celebrities, Clint Oldenburg stood out.
It wasn’t because of his stature or that he used to play pro football, either.
It was due to his jacket.
A jacket, which led to a photo, which led to a tweet, which led to unexpected Internet fame, all thanks to the four words written on Oldenburg’s back: “Madden Ratings Performance Adjustor.”
What a country pic.twitter.com/Nm31BxVbm5— Peter Hailey (@PeterHaileyNBCS) November 4, 2018
Oldenburg was spending Week 9 at FedEx Field, sent by EA Sports to get more information on Adrian Peterson at that afternoon’s Redskins-Falcons game. The future Hall of Famer is in the middle of a comeback season, so Oldenburg was charged with checking in on him.
4.5 million Twitter impressions later, Oldenburg now knows that countless people are supremely jealous of his weekend vocation.
I need this job— Joshua Cordova (@jcordova12) November 4, 2018
Typing up a resume now— Storm Steinkopf (@steinkopf_storm) November 5, 2018
How come my guidance counselor didn’t tell em this was a option— fredo boomin (@fredoblikewhoa) November 5, 2018
"I wasn’t really engaging on my cell phone during the game, and then when I was catching my cab to the airport after the game I looked at it and said, ‘Holy crap,’” he said in a recent phone interview.
"I was in shock as to what was happening.”
A fifth-round pick of the Patriots in 2007, Oldenburg also had brief stints with the Jets and a few others, including the Redskins. These days, he spends Monday-Friday working to make Madden’s gameplay better.
But he’s also a part of the Ratings Adjustor team, a small group of evaluators who travel to stadiums, observe players and submit their notes to a fellow employee. That primary analyst takes their notes into account and then has the final say on every player’s precious overall rating, which can fluctuate with each Madden update.
Now, you may find the idea of sending someone to the site of a matchup to do this gig a bit preposterous. But according to Oldenburg, being there in-person does make a major difference.
"The benefits of the sideline really are for pregame,” he explained. “Just seeing how guys are working in pregame, getting a close-up view of their actual athletic skills, their footwork.”
Oldenburg also likes the “better perspective” he gets once the action kicks off. For example, while focusing on Peterson during the Burgundy and Gold’s loss to Atlanta, he felt like No. 26 missed some cutback lanes, something Oldenburg always finds himself paying attention to thanks to his days battling along the line.
Much like the thousands of social media users who shared various reactions about his job, players take an interest in him as well.
While in Landover, kicker Dustin Hopkins found Oldenburg on the sideline and passed along a request: That day, the team was planning on kicking off short as opposed to through the end zone, so Hopkins wanted to make sure his kick power wouldn't be decreased.
"They wanna come talk about what we’re doing,” Oldenburg said about the athletes he’s tasked with grading. "Information like that is always valuable."
After his playing career wrapped up, Oldenburg jumped into an internship working on the video game that he loved growing up. “Everything took off” after that 10-week program, and he’s been enjoying it ever since.
"I always had to scratch and claw for everything I got,” he said near the end of the call. "I wanted to find a career that I knew I’d be happy doing.”
In the end, he landed in a career that makes him happy. And as one viral tweet showed, plenty of others would be happy in his role too.
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