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Allen's Message Emphasizes Character, Work Ethic

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Bruce Allen addressed 175 high school student-athletes at Springarn High School on Wednesday--and his message was similar to what he tells Redskins players.

It's important to be a good teammate.

If you work hard, then great things can happen.

Allen was invited to speak at the NFL's High School Player Development program, presented by the National Guard, at Springarn High School in Washington, D.C.

The Redskins' executive vice president and general manager emphasized dependability and accountability in every aspect of life.

"We want people who are good teammates," he said. "Being a good teammate means you're accountable to your teammates. It means you're dependable and they can trust that you're going to do your job so that they can do their job and help the team win.

"Being a good teammate also means being a good neighbor. Think about some of the people you live around, wherever you are. A good teammate helps out a neighbor. A good teammate is someone you want to sit in class next to."

When the Redskins evaluated first-round draft pick Trent Williams, personnel officials spent considerable time talking with his teammates at Oklahoma, Allen said.

"What kind of guy is he? Can you count on him? Because that's what matters," Allen told the students. "Everyone has talent. Do they have the heart to be a great teammate?

"Too many times you get to see the wrong messages coming out of our game and out of the other major league sports," Allen said. "But if you get a chance to meet a London Fletcher, a Donovan McNabb--these guys are superior teammates. They want to help the other person succeed. And that's what we're looking for: the dependability and the accountability of those people."

Allen also emphasized work ethic, mentioning Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Walyer Payton and current NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

He encouraged students to find time every day to perfect their craft.

"Every great player put in that extra time, that extra time we all have, to do something great," Allen said. "It doesn't matter if it's school, sports or business. There are ways to get better at what you do. It's up to you."

Students in attendance at the event were from the following high schools: Ballou, DeMatha, Eastern, Friendship Edison, H.D. Woodson, McKinley, McNamara and Springarn.

The High School Player Development program is funded by the NFL Youth Football Fund and is free to student. It reaches more than 20,000 high school student-athletes.

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