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Smokescreens don't end when draft is over

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Smokescreens don't end when draft is over

It is fairly common knowledge that misinformation is routinely dispensed in massive doses in the weeks and months prior to the NFL draft. Fibs, half truths, smokescreens, and flat-out lies come out of the mouths of coaches, general managers and various other personnel types from the end of the regular season until Mr. Irrelevant is selected on a Saturday afternoon in late April.But does the lying stop when the draft ends? Are we supposed to believe that the same people who have been have been making up stuff for all these months all of a sudden are telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in their post-draft comments?And yet there is a tendency to do just that. Not to pick on our friends at Pro Football Talk but just as an example take a look at this article on what Bengals.com had to say about Cincinnatis selection of Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler.The Bengals traded down from the 21st pick to the 27th, where they picked Zeitler. Per the teams webiste, they would have taken Zeitler at 21 anyway had they not moved back.This fact makes the Bengals look like smart, shrewd operators during the draft, picking up New Englands third-round pick essentially for free. And the PFT writer reports it as though itBut is it? Do we have any way of really knowing of the Bengals would have taken Zeitler at 21? We just dont. So if we cant prove it one way or the other, why are such self-serving statements routinely treated as factual?Again, its not just PFT. Nobody in the Redskins media or outside of it has questioned Mike Shanahans assertion that Kirk Cousins was the third-best quarterback on their board. Perhaps that truly was the case. Or perhaps Shanahan embellished Cousins spot on their board in order to justify taking him with a fourth-round pick.It doesnt really matter much in the grand scheme of things, but fans should take statements regarding how their teams got this player for much less than they were willing to give up or how high a particular draft pick was on their board with a grain of salt, perhaps a whole shaker full.

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Redskins preparing for Browns - without Josh Doctson

Redskins preparing for Browns - without Josh Doctson

After making a late call to put Josh Doctson on the inactive list last week against the Giants, the Redskins are preparing to play without the rookie receiver on Sunday unless his Achilles injury dramatically improves. The team is practicing with Rashad Ross as the fifth wideout for Cleveland, a source told CSN.

"It was actually last minute. It was 11:30 a.m.," Gruden said of taking Doctson off the active list in New York and replacing him with Ross.

"He just didn’t feel comfortable, couldn’t push off the way he wanted to so we had to make that last minute switch."

Gruden explained the team has lingering concerns about Doctson's availability as he continues to battle an Achilles injury. The rookie did not practice Wednesday, and the coach said he will not practice again Thursday, though he added the injury could stretch much longer. 

"It could be a possibility or a time that we put him down for a couple more weeks or a couple more days like we’re taking him off today, probably set him down tomorrow, see if that helps him a little bit," Gruden said. "This is new to everybody I think and the key is to get him healthy like you say. We are not trying to rush him."

Doctson has been active for two of the Redskins three games, and has two catches for 66 yards. He did show some of his ability on a long completion from Kirk Cousins against Dallas, though largely, Doctson and the Redskins have been frustrated by the injury.

"I am concerned. We’ve had all of the tests and there is really nothing there that we should be concerned about from a long-term problem, it’s just he is dealing with some pain," Gruden said. "We don’t know why it is but we have to try and figure out what it is and get it fixed."

For Washington, Ross likely will return kicks against Cleveland if Doctson is down. Active for the first time in New York, Ross had not practiced in that role throughout the week, and Chris Thompson and Will Blackmon shared the kick returning duties. With the Redskins preparing to play Ross, it means he can get the work returning kicks this week in advance of the Browns game. It also helps alleviate some of the workload from Blackmon, who will now be starting at free safety after DeAngelo Hall tore his ACL in New York.

 

 

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Gruden: Redskins still sorting out offensive line changes

Gruden: Redskins still sorting out offensive line changes

Here are the salient points from Jay Gruden’s news conference on Wednesday:

—They want to get newly acquired center John Sullivan ready to play in a backup role this week. “He’s a very bright guy and I think he will be able to help this team in the long run.”

—Gruden said that the plan to cover the offensive line with two starters out is still being developed. He said that he wants Arie Kouandjio to get a “taste” of starting a left guard, which didn’t sound like much of a commitment to have him start. The door was left open for the possibility of Trent Williams starting at left guard although Gruden didn’t seem to like the idea of moving him.

—The team is doing well getting into the red zone and Gruden said that figuring out how to get the ball into the end zone rather than settling for three is “very high” on the list of concerns.

—There are injuries in the defensive backfield, too, but Gruden is not “overly concerned” about them. He likes the flexibility of the group and think that they can fill in with DeAngelo Hall on injured reserve and Bashaud Breeland out for at least this week.

—Jordan Reed has yet to catch a touchdown pass this year in part because teams are defending differently in the red zone. “Yeah, we are seeing a little bit more zone probably and when they play zone, sometimes they bang him when he gets off the line of scrimmage or they send an extra guy to him which is good. It should open up some other people but we just haven’t found the open guy consistently.”

—Will Josh Norman follow Terrelle Pryor, the Brown’s No. 1 receiver who had 141 yards receiving last week? “We’ll have to wait and see.” I wouldn’t expect an answer on this until game time but Pryor is not yet the caliber of receiver who would warrant be trailed by Norman. That’s not really his game, anyway. He is much more effective as a zone corner.