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Redskins in Soldiers magazine


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Well, as most of you should know, I met the guys from ExtremeSkins during mini-camp when I was out at Ashburn doing a story on Robert McCune for my Army magazine. My article appeared in our Summer issue, and I've continued to be a part of this wonderful website.

Out of the blue, I found out this morning that Soldiers magazine - the Army's official publication - ran the story in the November 2005 issue. They did some editing to it (some good, some not so good), but I'm pleased with the final product. I was they were planning on running it two months ago, but that Hurricane Katrina bumped a lot of their planned articles.

For anyone who can get their hands on a copy of Soldiers, it's on page 41. For the rest of the world, hopefully this link will work:



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"Drafted" to the NFL

By Brian Murphy

October 15, 2005

ROBERT McCune, a middle linebacker from Louisville, Ky., was chosen in the fifth round (154th overall) of the 2005 National Football League draft by the Washington Redskins.

While 254 other athletes were selected during the two-day draft, what sets McCune apart from everyone else is that he showed similar traits during his time in the Army.

After graduation from high school in Mobile, Ala., he enlisted in the Army for three years as a petroleum specialist.

“I just wanted to go in the military, get a chance to grow up and mature, and then use the G.I. Bill to pay for college,” he said. “I wanted to do my time and then walk on to a Division I school and try to earn a scholarship.”

During his tenure McCune was stationed in Korea and at Fort Stewart, Ga., and he deployed to Kuwait for six months in support of an infantry unit as a fuel handler. In the rare instances when he wasn’t working out, McCune was engaged in deep conversations with fellow Soldiers.

“I think my time in the Army prepared me for life,” said McCune, who was a corporal when he left the Army. “Time in the service taught me to be prepared for anything.”

Once his enlistment was up, McCune enrolled at the University of Louisville and made the Cardinals football team in 2000. He used the G.I. Bill to pay for the first semester of school, but by the second semester he had impressed his coaches enough to earn a scholarship. He was named special teams player of the year in 2001. By his final two seasons, McCune was a team captain.

With his degree in education in hand, McCune focused on preparing for the NFL draft. Although at 26 he was one of the oldest players available in the draft, McCune didn’t worry about being passed over because of his age.

“I’m still the same guy,” he said. “I do what I’m supposed to do, give it my all. I’ll never say ‘I wish I would have done this.’ I don’t want to have any regrets.”

Since the first day he arrived at Redskins Park, people have had nothing but good things to say about the 6-foot, 245-pound McCune.

“I’m a little amazed at how fast he’s picked this up,” said Gregg Williams, assistant head coach for defense, at the team’s first mini-camp. “I’m really anxious to watch him play.”

To ease the learning curve, Williams said that he and linebacker coach Dale Lindsey are limiting the amount of packages and plays they are starting McCune out in.

“He has done a remarkable job of learning the base packages,” Williams said. “A couple of the running backs and tight ends have already been smacked by him because he knows what to do.”

If it looks like McCune will one day blossom into a star, it’s because he has the potential. That’s what his teammates have told him.

“It can happen,” said offensive lineman Ray Brown, a 20-year NFL veteran. “It starts with how you think. You can do anything you put your mind to. If you can wrap your mind around the fact that you can be from a small school, from a small town and play for the NFL, it can happen.

“Guys have to get over that feeling of being overwhelmed,” Brown said. “Guys can’t worry about playing for mortgages and bank accounts. Self-confidence plays a big part in feeling like you belong here.”

Teammates have tried to prepare McCune for the road ahead.

“It’s difficult for anyone to come into a system and break in as a starter,” said offensive tackle Jon Jansen, who was drafted by the Redskins in 1999. “He’s going to have to go through the same process as everyone else, and if he’s the best player for the job, then they’ll put him in the game.”

And that’s all McCune wants — a chance to prove he can cut it in this league. After six months in the Middle East, this is a piece of cake, he said. That’s why McCune gets annoyed when he hears an NFL player making comparisons between football and war.

“In war, you have real bullets flying around,” he said. “Soldiers are doing their jobs to protect us, and we’re just doing what we love to do — play football.” Contact Us | Privacy & Security | ARMY.MIL

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i always liked the mccune pick...is he on the practice squad or did we cut him?

As of this morning, McCune is still on the practice squad.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback. Hopefully, one way or the other, I'll be able to do more feature stories on some of the other players down the line. This one fell into my lap with McCune's Army connection.

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As of this morning, McCune is still on the practice squad.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback. Hopefully, one way or the other, I'll be able to do more feature stories on some of the other players down the line. This one fell into my lap with McCune's Army connection.

Congrats Brian! :cheers:

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I served with McCune at Ft. Stewart. From day one he said he was going to do his time in the Army and then go play college football. The Army is full of "high school stars" that got screwed out of scholarships etc. The guy worked his tail off every day, in garrison, in the field, everywhere. I am happy to see he made it not only to college but also the NFL. Maybe we'll draft that reciever at South Carolina...that RETIRED from the Army next year!!

Talk about having a "veteran" team

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