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Redskins Host Biggest Ever Draft Day Party

Posted Apr 29, 2013

More than 25,000 fans packed into FedExField for the largest Redskins' Draft Day Party in team history on Saturday, April 27, 2013.

On Saturday, a Redskins Draft Day Party record 25,000 fans filed into FedExField to take in a full day of games, tours and of course to watch the draft itself unfold on the HD video boards.

Larry Michael, the voice of the Washington Redskins, welcomed the fans to the annual extravaganza along with long snapper Nick Sundberg followed by a live message from head coach Mike Shanahan as day three of the draft was ready to commence.

When the Redskins were on the clock in the fourth round, fans huddle together to celebrate the selection of one of the newest Redskins: Fresno State safety Phillip Thomas.

The crowd erupted when the announcement of the 6-1, 210-pound safety scrolled across the screen.

Michael then took the stage with current Redskins safeties DeJon Gomes and Jordan Bernstine and former great Ken Harvey and opened up to questions by the fans.

Bernstine was a seventh-round draft pick in 2012, but had his season cut short in his debut against the New Orleans Saints with a torn ACL, MCL, and PCL and had to watch the rest of the season unfold from the sideline.

“I mean it was great just to see the guys go out there and perform at that high of a level,” Bernstine said. “But it was amazing to watch.”

Gomes, however, appeared in 15 games last year and spoke about what it felt like to be an NFC East Champion.

“It feels real good, but I think it just shows us the potential we have for the next season and next few seasons,” Gomes said of the foundation the franchise has built. “We pretty much set a benchmark for ourselves and we’re just moving forward.”

Shortly after the fifth round of the draft kicked off, Tyler Polumbus and Barry Cofield took the stage to speak to the throngs of Redskins faithful in attendance.

Polumbus and Cofield were leaders on the 2012 squad, starting a combined 33 games, including the playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks.

During the team’s seven-game winning streak to end the 2012 campaign, the Redskins played at FedExField four times, three of which came down to the last quarter.

“It was extremely tough,” Cofield said of the streak. “It was a rough start to the season, we made our lives really difficult [and] we put a lot of stress on our fans, but I think it was all worth it in the end.”

The last time the Redskins were on the field for a regular season game at FedExField was in a Week 17 do-or-die matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. The Redskins defeated the Cowboys 28-18 to complete a miraculous seven-game winning streak.

Gomes, a fifth-round draft pick in 2011, riled up the Redskins crowd with some words for the Cowboys.

“Well my rookie season, two seasons ago, we let two games [against Dallas] slip away against us,” Gomes said. “Last year, we know how you guys feel about the Cowboys and we couldn’t end the season without having two big wins; one on Thanksgiving, so I hope you guys had great dinners.

 “The one on Week 17 meant so much because it really put us in the playoffs, so look for that every year where you don’t have to worry about no Cowboys fans coming into work being happy the Monday after we play them.”

Cofield shared his teammate’s sentiments.

“Being able to win like that in front of this crowd, against the Cowboys dashing their hopes, it was a great feeling and it’s just the first step for us,” Cofield said. “We’ve got even bigger plans this year.

Head coach Mike Shanahan is known as one of the NFL’s best talent evaluators and has a scouting department designed to find players that fit the system.

Cofield said he has faith that the players taken this weekend will be immediate contributors to a team searching to bring a fourth Lombardi Trophy home.

“The biggest thing I notice is that both guys we brought in yesterday, especially [are] both really athletic guys and knowing coach Shanahan, knowing general manager Bruce Allen, they’re going to be high character guys that are going to make you guys proud and that’s what we built our locker room around,” Cofield said of second round draft pick David Amerson and third round pick Jordan Reed. “So I have so much faith in those guys that anybody they bring [into] our locker room, it’s going to help us win.”

Niles Paul, Darrel Young, Eric Kettani, Adam Gettis, and Doug Worthington were also in attendance as they took questions from the Women of Washington and strolled through the crowd taking pictures and signing autographs.

With a record crowd, blue skies, and multiple Redskins in attendance the day will be forgotten by no one at the party.

Cofield left with one final thought on the day.   

“I feel like Redskins Nation is the best fans in the world.”

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