Current Redskins Role: Director of Player Development (5th year)
Experience as a Player: 4 years in college (running back, Virginia Tech)
Coaching Highlights: Asst. Strength and Conditioning Coach (1996-2000, Washington Redskins), Strength and Conditioning Coach (2001-2009, Detroit Lions), Strength & Conditioning Coach (2010, Washington Redskins), Director of Speed, Strength & Conditioning (2011-2012, University of Colorado)
What He Brings to the Team: In a 2016 interview, Blacken credited guys like London Fletcher and Santana Moss, two of the most quality, stand-up men on the roster in recent years, with advocating to Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan to bring him in as the Director of Player Development in 2013. Blacken brings an important perspective to his role; he is a first generation college student who knows what it’s like to not make it in the NFL and have to work hard to find a different route to chase your dreams. He brings that perspective to a myriad of programs he does to guide players, including activities about finances and community service, and he serves as a trusted resource and mentor for both rookies and vets as he impresses upon them the importance of life outside of football. His relationships with players sometimes continue for years after they’ve left the team, and he helps connect them to NFLPA programs for former players when he can. At a time in the league when some teams are catching heat for the number of players who seem to be getting into trouble, like a certain NFC East rival team that shall remain nameless, a character guy like Malcolm Blacken is the type of person fans should want guiding the players in and out of the Redskins locker room.
Fun Fact: Blacken is a talented artist. His double majored in Studio Art and Physical Education at Virginia Tech, and he has had work on display at two galleries: Studio Aloft Gallery (McLean, VA) and The Cooley Gallery (Leesburg, VA). Check out his website, ArtbyMalcolm.com.
Directors of Player Development are often well-respected former players with good heads on their shoulders. Among recent Redskins who’ve left the league, who would you most want to see in a Director of Player Development role?
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