Redskin Fan Appreciation Day

Fans are 'really passionate and fun to be around'.

Redskins Park was getting a lot of appreciation during today's Redskin Fan Appreciation Day (FAD), the annual event where Washington Redskin fans watch the team practice, get glimpses of players, and have their favorite item signed by Redskin players.

A very appreciative fan wears her favorite players' names on her belly. Photo/CD Brown.

On this year's FAD turnout, head coach Mike Shanahan said it was "typical of Redskins fans".

"It didn't surprise me at all, especially when we have our whole football team in. Obviously, they didn't disappoint anybody".

Fan attendance at practices this year, have been disappointing, however.

Shanahan, who we saw taking delight in signing autographs for the fans, including signing the skin of one seven year old's cell phone, called the fans "passionate and really fun to be around".

Passionate would describe one fan who drove all the way down from Delaware.

"We make the trip every year", he said.

Remaining a fan favorite at FAD is tight end Chris Cooley who, to the shots of COOOO-LEEEEYY from the fans, signed footballs, T-shirts, helmets and race cars.

"Cooley, I've been waiting all day", said one fan.

See the love from Cooley fans in our video below.

See also the Cooley video we wish we could forget.

We also caught up with Horatio Blades as he was signing autographs and asked him about his recent name change from H.B. Blades, back to Horatio.

DCUS: Why did you switch your name from H.B. to Horatio?

Horatio: "Horatio is my name so I just switched it back".

DCUS: Well, why'd you use H.B. in the first place then?

Horatio: "Actually it was my auntie who started calling me that", the 5'10, 242 linebacker from Pittsburgh told us. "And it just stuck".

Giving up the nickname is aunt has used since he was a youngster, Horatio says, "I wanted to let the media know to list me now as Horatio. That's my name".

"I like Horatio", Blades said.

We like Horatio too, but will miss the euphonious sound of H.B. Blades.

A player name change isn't the only change going on at the ever changing Redskins Park. Roster changes continue. This time the Redskin signed free agent right tackle Sean Locklear (a former Seattle Seahawk).

“I’m just glad to be on a team,” Locklear said. “I’m going to let them figure out where they want to play me, and go from there.”

Newly signed punter Fav Rocca also participated in today's FAD. Rocca, formerly of the Australian Football League (AFL) arrived on Friday after having some visa issues.

Said Coach Shanahan, "We're very lucky to get him back as quick as we did. We thought it was going to take anywhere from tow weeks to two and half weeks. It ended up taking five days. We sped up the process as best we could. It's great for us and great for him".

Shanahan said Rocca will have the role as holder as well.

The Redskins have released linebacker Robert Henson, defensive tackle Joe Joseph and linebacker Kyle O’Donnell.

Skins Injury Report Update
Ryan Torain sustained a fractured left hand earlier in the week during training camp, on which he recently had surgery. He is expected to be out for 7-10 days.

Signing autographs today was returner Brandon Banks, who is said to be 'resting' his surgically repaired knee from last season, because of swelling.

LaRon Landry, also seen signing autographs, remains limited with a torn Achilles sustained last season, but is said to be "progressively healing".

John Beck is recuperating from a groin injury.

Injured players withstanding, one Redskin player who is totally healthy and ready to go is tight end Fred Davis.

"I'm great, I'm ready, said Davis, who jokingly predicted a 40-0 win over preseason rival Pittsburgh Steelers next Saturday, August 12.

"No, seriously", said Davis, "Just a W. That would be good. Whichever way you can get it".

Just finishing up practice the tired, but agile Davis, commented on the coaching stylings of Mike Shanahan. On Shananhan, Davis said tell us "He's great".

"New team, new discipline. New everything."


See fan appreciation pics here.

Redskins Hall of Fame Inductions
A big day for the Washington Redskins today. In addition to Fan Appreciation Day, also on this day, former Redskin Chris Hamburger will officially (and finally) be inducted into the Football Hall of Fame. Hamburger is the 4th Redskin to be inducted in the last 4 years. He played linebacker for the Redskins from 1965-78 and earned nine Pro Bowl berths, a franchise record. He also earned first-team All-NFL acclaim four times from 1972-76.

Hamburger was picked in the 18th-round in the 1965 NFL Draft.

You can watch Hamburger become enshrined along with 'the other former Redskin' Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Richard Dent, NFL analyst Shannon Sharpe (whom Shanahan coached in Denver, calling him "the best ever"), Les Richter, and Ed Sabol in the 2011 Hall of Fame ceremony on the NFL Network at 7pm.

**Update** Watch Hall of Fame speeches, and more, here.