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Adam Himmelbach's letter home from Redskins training camp

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Date published: 7/22/2008

On one of the best days of Kerry Brown's life, two of his fingers were broken and he was surrounded by more than 100,000 people who didn't like him.

Brown, a rookie offensive lineman, attended Appalachian State, a small Division I-AA university in Boone, N.C. Last fall, the Mountaineers won at Michigan in one of the greatest upsets in college football history.

It was kind of like an ant defeating a can of Raid.

This week, Brown is among a slew of roster hopefuls who might as well be called hair because there is a good chance they will be cut.

But I figured that after beating Michigan, Brown must think that anything's possible. I walked over and introduced myself, but when I extended my hand, I noticed his were both holding helmets.

"This one's Jon Jansen's," Brown said, referring to the Redskins' veteran tackle who is a--gulp--Michigan alum. "He came over to me and said, 'Hey, rook. Carry my helmet. Where's Appalachian State now?'"


But Brown didn't have to say anything. He just paused and remembered that indelible day last fall. He remembered how the pain disappeared from his mangled fingers. He remembered how Michigan's stadium was so eerily silent that he could hear one of his friends roaring in the upper deck.

Now he wants to complete another unlikely feat. He wants to make this team.

"It's like riding a bull--you just stay on as long as you can," Brown said yesterday. "Most people wouldn't have given me a chance to even make it this far."

At least one of Brown's teammates hopes he sticks around. After the morning practice, Jansen strolled into the training facility with both hands free.

"It's great to have Kerry here," Jansen said. "I don't like carrying my helmet."

Will write more soon,


P.S.--I saw defensive tackle Matthias Askew and cornerback Justin Tryon today. I was so tempted to say: "Hey, guys. Can I Askew to Tryon this jersey?"

Adam Himmelsbach reports from Redskins training camp in Ashburn.