Clint Oldenburg Talks 2011 Redskins and Future of Team
While Redskins Nation has been in an uproar over the quarterback position and who fits the best for their price, we sat down with former Redskins tackle, Clint Oldenburg and asked him a couple questions about the 2011 Redskins and future with Mike Shanahan.
SOW: There’s been a lot of injuries on the offensive line lately – and even before you came to the Redskins in 2010. Does it have something to do with the players the Redskins are bringing in? Strength and conditioning not being enough? We understand offensive linemen take a lot of wear and tear, but do you feel there is a specific reason injuries kept plaguing the team?
Clint: No, I don’t think so, I don’t really think there’s a reason for injuries because they’re just a feature of ruts. I’ve been an NFL player for almost five years and there’s been only one year when I did not get hurt. I trained my butt off, I did everything they told me to do and I’ve had a number of injuries, so I don’t think there’s one thing that you can look at that causes injuries to happen.
SOW: Absolutely. It just seemed that a lot of our players had been going down, not just the offensive line. Obviously this year with the lockout a lot of players weren’t able to get as much attention as they would have, especially the rookies.
Clint: That was big last year, the lockout had a big effect on players. I read somewhere that the average number of Achilles injuries in the NFL over the last five years was around four or five a year – and last year there was over 14 – so the lockout definitely could have had an effect on it.
SOW: Earlier last year you were unfortunately released by the Redskins. Were you surprised they had let you go due to the small amount offensive linemen they had planned on keeping? Erik Cook was the replacement for three different positions at one point.
Clint: I have a two-part answer on that. Going into the season I thought for sure I was going to be a contributor on the offensive line, but after the first two weeks of camp, I kind of knew my time was up in Washington. The numbers of reps I was receiving was drastically decreasing compared to the season before, I wasn’t playing in any of the pre-season games; which is always a bad sign for any football player.
Part two of that answer is why did it happen? Obviously I wasn’t in the coaching or staff meetings in the front office, but I fully believe that I’m a casualty of the lockout. During a lockout you were going to see a polarization of rosters in the NFL – and they were either going to be very young players that were kept, rookies that had potential, or veteran type guys, whose names had been around, who had a lot of experience, so that there wasn’t a lot of risk in letting those guys play.
There was that middle class of players like myself, that’s not a rookie, but not quite a veteran because I bounced around a lot and didn’t have enough experience. Because there’s no offseason workouts, no OTA’s, where guys like me can show the coaches, hey I can be a contributor, like I did in 2010. That’s what happened, I had a really good offseason and training camp, that’s why they kept me around even though I was hurt (2010). So I think that opportunity went away with the lockout and cost some guys their jobs.
SOW: That’s unfortunate because the Redskins obviously could have used you when all the injuries piled up on the line. Were you surprised the Redskins didn’t contact you to help fill a spot, knowing you knew the offense and blocking scheme?
Clint: Yeah, that did surprise me, I thought I at least would have been on a short list, if they had some injuries or something, that I would be one of the guys they would want to take a look at. The NFL is a business and obviously they moved on, liked what they had. The young guys in there had potential and they went up and got veterans – there was nothing I could do about it. They knew what kind of player I was and guess they didn’t feel I could help them out.
SOW: You mentioned on twitter that fans should believe in Mike Shanahan because he’s going to get the job done and he’s doing things correctly. Can you elaborate on that more? You’ve been with other teams, how is he different compared to other coaches?
Clint: Well, I can’t really compare him to other coaches, every coach has their own style. From my experience with coach Shanahan is, he’s a consistent coach, which is the number one thing any player can ask for. Number two. He has a vision on what he wants to accomplish and the types of players he wants to help him accomplish it. Regardless of the records or how much the team has been struggling, he’s going to stay the course and keep fighting the fights to get his vision done. While he might not have all the guys there that he thinks he needs to get it done, he believes in his head he has the right circuitry of guys that’s going to give him the best chance to win, and that’s all you can ask for in a coach.
If given enough time in Washington, I think he will be a very successful coach there – I really enjoyed playing for him.
SOW: That’s a lot of positives with how the Redskins have been pre-Shanahan. What’s it like in the UFL with the Virginia Destroyers? They’re a new team, you just won the championship. How has it been down there?
Clint: Seasons over so I’m back in Colorado, but, the UFL is a great opportunity for guys like me to continue to play football and keep ourselves in shape if the NFL needs us. There’s a lot of talent, a lot of great coaches in the UFL. I think it goes to show, that a) there’s not enough spots in the NFL because there’s enough good players that are not in the league, but b) there’s other ways to play competitive football. While it may not be as valued or followed as the NFL, the UFL was a great experience for me and I might have another opportunity to play there again next year. I think the UFL, if they get the business side together, they can be successful.
SOW: We hope you continue to flourish in the UFL and can comeback to the NFL again. Maybe even again for the Redskins. Thanks again for your time Clint, take care.
Clint: Thanks guys, you too.
Clint doesn’t have any foundations currently, but he supports the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.