Mark Rypien will hold DeSean Jackson accountable for wearing his number


(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Former Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien was in town this weekend for a couple of charity events. On Friday, he was among the Redskins alumni who volunteered at the KaBOOM! playground build in Southeast. Rypien said the manual labor helped get him loose for his next event: a charity flag football game in Annapolis on Sunday against fellow former Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams.

Between wheelbarrow loads, Rypien took a few minutes to chat about — what else? — the Redskins’ signing of DeSean Jackson.

“We’re very blessed to have a guy of his talent come around,” Rypien said. “He is flat-out talented. I hope he takes this opportunity and makes the most of it. I’m not one to sit here and say, ‘He did this; he did that.’ I’m thinking, ‘What can you do now? What are you going to do now? What will you do next?’”

I asked Rypien about Wale’s tweet evoking the Posse of Gary Clark, Art Monk and Ricky Sanders, who produced 10 individual 1,000-yard seasons and 124 touchdowns during their seven seasons together from 1986-1992. Is it premature to declare Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts the second coming? (Yes, of course it is.)

“If they can fill half the shoes that those guys did, they’ll be successful,” Rypien said. “Art, Ricky and Gary were great pros. They were great teammates and understood what it took to win.”

Rypien also weighed in on Jackson’s choice of jersey number.

“That number is huge,” he said. “That’s my number. That number signified something. It signified being a Redskin, being a true team player. I’m going to hold you accountable for that number. I’m excited he’s here, but he’s also wearing my number. I hope he keeps it to a high standard.”

Since Rypien wore it, No. 11 has signified Casey Weldon, Patrick Ramsey, Mike Espy, Devin Thomas and Aldrick Robinson. And Rypien’s higher standard? It’s really high.

“Help us get to another Super Bowl.” he said. “Enough with just winning some games and being happy about that. We need to be held to a higher standard. Our guys need to win games, and go to the playoffs and win Super Bowls. Enough of the talk. Last season, there was big talk about us being the best team in the NFC East. You can do whatever you want on paper, but let’s get ‘er done, boys.”


In researching early references to the original Posse, I came across the Post’s 1990 football preview section. Here’s the opening to Marc Stein’s article about the Redskins’ trio of receivers:

Conventional definition suggest the nickname doesn’t fit. There isn’t a sheriff to be found in this Posse, and certainly no cowboys. Redskins all, these are unarmed yet sure-handed pass catchers. Let the peace keepers handle the felons.

For  Posse-mates Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders, only unity matters. Being that they play in the cold East and not the Old West, boots, holsters and spurs won’t help them. Their self-given tag describes their close relationship, the meaning of the word as it’s often used in rap culture.

You know. Can’t touch them.

Scott Allen writes about all things D.C. sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.
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Dan Steinberg · April 7

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