center of attention

It is often said that the quarterback of the Redskins is the second most important position in Washington, behind only the president. Well, I’m here to tell you – this may be a QB’s town, but it certainly isn’t a place that shows the center much love.

Casey Rabach is a forgotten man. Chris Samuels, Jon Jansen and Randy Thomas are all bigger names on the offensive line. Hell, even the guy running the O-line, Joe Bugel, is more well known than the center. I’d argue that even the team’s long snapper, Ethan Albright, gets more attention than Rabach. Between making the Pro Bowl last year and the infamous Madden feud, the “Red Snapper” has definitely made more of a name for himself than the mighty Casey. I mean, what has anyone heard about Rabach in the last year? Not much, other than the fact that the rookie head coach doesn’t like the angle of his rear end when he’s got the ball in his hands.

Did Rabach complain or tell the rookie coach to pipe down? Not a chance. He simply said, “If raising my butt an inch or two is going to help, whatever, I’ll accommodate them. It’ll take a little time. It’ll feel awkward at first, but we’ll get it done.”

All of this to ensure that whichever golden boy lines up behind him gets the football delivered as smoothly as possible. Heaven forbid a quarterback actually do any work back there. Damned divas.

In the interest of full disclosure, after more than three years of being around the team, Casey Rabach is one of my favorite ‘Skins players to interview. He’s definitely not stuck up or worried about his public image. He’s very comfortable in his own skin and knows who he is and what he brings to the table at this point in his career. So much so, that often he’s standing there in the locker room with nothing more than a towel wrapped around him and with dip in his mouth. You can take the boy out of the country, but … well … you know the rest.

Anyone watching a ‘Skins practice can’t help but notice he always seems to be having the time of his life.

During minicamp, all eyes are on the rookies, right? Folks around town want to know every detail possible about the newest additions to the team. With that in mind, I asked Rabach how rookie offensive lineman Chad Rinehart looked after practice one day during minicamp and he replied, “Which number was he?” Kind of puts a rookie in his place, huh?

During another day of camp, Rabach could be seen chasing Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley 30 yards downfield after a catch-and-run, all the while yelling “
I’ve got your back! I’ve got your back!” over and over. I guess he wanted Cooley to know if he was winded and needed to pitch the ball to a 300 lb. lineman, he was there to help a brother out.

He’s also a guy who enjoys ice fishing while enjoying a few ice cold brews during the offseason. Or renting an RV with buddy Jon Jansen during training camp. Or flashing the batwing at an unsuspecting teammate. Or mooning the FOX Morning Show’s live shot. And while we’re on the subject, I’m 99 percent sure that Rabach also mooned a group of Redskins fans for good measure, when they gathered for a send-off at Redskins Park as the team was leaving for New Orleans a couple seasons ago. But let’s be honest, they probably deserved it.

All I know is that if I were on the team and had to suffer through the dog days of summer, Casey Rabach is one of the very first guys I’d want on the team to keep things light and enjoyable. The fact that he’s one of the better centers in the NFL is merely a bonus.

(photo by Brian Murphy)

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