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Answering your tweets: Rambo, Orakpo, and the hurry-up offense

Answering your tweets: Rambo, Orakpo, and the hurry-up offense

Lots of great questions this week, let's get started:
@Rich_TandlerCSN Rich, did we miss on Rambo or is he just getting a "sit, watch, this is what we expect of you" teaching lesson?

— Greg Barackman (@Flybear2Greg) October 3, 2013
(similar question from @kylewis09) It's a bit of a stretch for to call a sixth-round pick a "miss"; evidently Alfred Morris' success raised the bar for late-rounders considerably. I think they gave Rambo a shot at starting but he proved not to be ready. I don't think we've seen the last of him this year and certainly not for the rest of his career. Like most sixth-rounders he needs time to develop and if he can develop into being a competent starter it will be a huge hit for the Redskins. If he ends up playing special teams and playing in rotation and spot starting the rest of his career, that's about what the level of expectation for a sixth-rounder should be.
@Rich_TandlerCSN how does Aldrick Robinson go from training camp success to last on depth chart? Thanks — Steve Bailey (@scbailey1) October 3, 2013
He was last on the depth chart even in training camp. Robinson was never going to be ahead of the top four on the depth chart. But he did have a chance to earn more snaps than he's been getting. But he simply has to make that play in the end zone against the Lions. That's why he's here. A player like Robinson isn't going to get a ton of opportunities once the games start to count. The only way he can earn more snaps is to make plays when he has the opportunity. But his mistake possibly cost his team the game and he's going to have to do a lot to make up for it.
@Rich_TandlerCSN Will return of RJax & Jenkins bring new defensive looks or blitz packages?

— J.H. (@Kona302) October 3, 2013
(similar questions from @MrBoonsta, @Joe_V_, @MC_Brooks) Anyone who is looking for the return of Jarvis Jenkins and Rob Jackson to transform the defense is probably going to be disappointed. Jenkins will start if not immediately then in a week or two. But he's a marginal starter at a position that doesn't have a huge impact on a 3-4 defense to begin with. Jackson is a reserve and the two players in front of him, Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo, are two of the very few bright spots on defense. Jim Haslett will work to get Jackson on the field in some packages with the other two OLB's and maybe even rookie Brandon Jenkins to generate pass rush. But don't look for Jackson to get any regular snaps on the inside; at 6-feet-4 his height would work against him when it came to fighting off blocks.
@Rich_TandlerCSN Why not make the no huddle more prevalent to start games and avoid early deficits?

— Marshall (@MWharam7) October 3, 2013
(similar questions from @Not_Dannyy, @cpredford, @cmcochran0)

The Redskins did get a spark from the hurry-up offense, no question about it. But would they get that spark if they ran it more? Maybe, but it's no sure thing. I asked Kyle Shanahan about it after the Eagles game and he said that you don't just slap the no-huddle on top of your offense; your offense has to be tailored to it for it to work consistently. If going no-huddle was a magic potion for moving the ball than the huddle would become a thing of the past for all 32 NFL teams. It's best used as a surprise tactic on occasion. Should they pull it out more than they have? I think so. Robert Griffin III seems to be perfectly suited to running it and in the small sample size we have, it was effective.
@Rich_TandlerCSN What kind of contract will the Redskins be looking to give Brian Orakpo after this season?

— John The Faptist (@MC_Brooks) October 3, 2013
(similar questions from @DaveWillHTTR, @RTubman) It's too early to tell. If Orakpo keeps up his current pace and ends up with 12 sacks and leads the team in hits and hurries like he is now, he's probably looking at something with an $8-$10 million per year range, let's say 5 years, $48 million with $18 million guaranteed. If he falls off, he's looking at $8 million/year and down. If he blows up and posts 16 sacks and picks off a pass or two and scores a touchdown, then we're talking something in the neighborhood of Clay Matthews' $13 million/year extension. The could franchise him if they want to keep him and can't come to a deal; that would cost the Redskins something around $10 million for 2014.
@Rich_TandlerCSN wouldn't you think ahmad black is an upgrade over a gumbs or pugh? is he that much of a liability in coverage?

— Bill Lancaster (@bigbillnocmd) October 3, 2013
(similar questions on acquiring players from @danielleclaud, @Volsman 22, @Rockylee85)

I'll admit that I'm not that familiar with the play of former Bucs safety Black. I do think that the fact that the 0-4 Bucs cut him says something. So does the fact that he has over 100 snaps from this year on tape and no team in a league where safety play is generally pretty bad decided to claim him. Perhaps he would be an upgrade but I have very rarely seen the waiver wire as a solution to in-season problems. The Redskins did bring in 18 street free agents to try out but they were merely collecting data in case someone gets injured and a need arises. As they did last year, they will attempt to pull out of their issues with the players who for the most part have been with them through OTAs, minicamp, and training camp. Rarely are solutions found on the street.

That's all I have room for here. If I didn't hit your question here I'll try to answer on Twitter.

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Redskins Draft Room Revealed: Who works the phones, and who makes the call

Redskins Draft Room Revealed: Who works the phones, and who makes the call

Since the dismissal of former general manager Scot McCloughan, there's been little question who was in charge at Redskins Park. Unofficially anyway. 

Bruce Allen is back running the show, if he ever stopped, and will be at the center of the Redskins draft room and decision making process.

For weeks, Allen and Jay Gruden made clear that the entire Redskins front office - from scouts to the top brass - have input on draft grades. Those grades will determine what players the 'Skins take, and the team is unlikely to deviate from their draft board. 

On Monday, however, Washington director of college scouting Scott Campbell addressed the media and explained that when a decision needs to be made, it will be Allen's call. 

From Campbell:

The way we have the room when the draft is ongoing is we have Eric Schaffer and Alex Santos are constantly calling teams above us. They’re taking the phone calls from the other teams – also behind [us]. A lot of times per Bruce’s instructions, he’ll say, ‘Hey, you take these five teams. You take the next five teams. Start making calls.’ And then we’re receiving calls too at the same time. Once they get that information, they’ll tell the table in the front and say, ‘Hey, we can trade back for this, we can trade up for that.’ It would be me and Bruce and Jay saying ‘No, no, we’ve got enough guys there’ or say ‘I like these guys,’ or like, “Hey, there’s guys there.’ So it’s kind of a discussion amongst the people, and most times it’s Bruce saying, ‘Just tell them we’re not interested,’ or he says, ‘Get the league on the phone. We’re going to make that trade.’”

Campbell's comments reveal quite a lot. To start, it's interesting to know the roles of Schaffer and Santos during the draft. Both men carry a lot of impact in the team's personnel selection. Also, and it was fairly obvious since McCloughan's firing, but Jay Gruden's role continues to increase.

The biggest tell, however, is that ultimately Bruce Allen makes the decisions. It's not a surprise, but it is important to know. Officially.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Redskins won't say if Joe Mixon is on their board but say character does count

Redskins won't say if Joe Mixon is on their board but say character does count

The Redskins may or may not have one of the most polarizing members of the 2017 draft class on their draft board. But they do believe that character counts.

Scott Campbell, the Redskins’ director of college scouting, would not say if  Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who is seen on video striking a woman and knocking her to the floor in an incident that occurred in July of 2014, is on the team’s board.

“We don't announce who's on and off the board for strategic reasons,” said Campbell on Monday at the team’s pre-draft news conference, saying that it’s the team’s policy.

He added that incidents like the one that Mixon was a part of do come into consideration.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 10.0

“Character is very important to me, it's very important to the Redskins,” said Campbell.

He explained that early in the scouting process, character issues are not taken into account.

“What I always told the scouts and how I was trained 30 years ago when I started is when you start to evaluate guys in the beginning, you don't factor in the character, you don't grade character, you grade talent,” said Campbell, who has been with the Redskins organization for 16 years. “You don't throw away somebody early who may have some redeeming quality or a part of the story you didn't know about.”

It’s later on that the scouts gather information on such incidents as problems with the law, failed drug tests, and other quarters of character.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often 

“Our scouts do a great job getting a lot of information,” said Campbell. “Some of the incidents you brought up happened after the season, at the combine, and just a few days ago. All those things are factored into an evaluation as they are gathered.”

With that information at hand, they start the process of elimination, deciding who fits and who doesn’t.

“When it comes close to the draft, you start weeding out all that, getting more information, deciding, OK, that guy's not our kind of guy, that guy's not a Redskin, this guy could be drafted but good luck to them,” said Campbell.

It seems like much more of a gut feel type of process than anything rigid. There is not much of a clue there as to whether or not the team will consider bringing Mixon aboard, who is inarguably one of the most talented running backs in the draft. The upside is that Mixon could provide a jolt to the team’s offense. The downside would be an immediate public relations hit. The team also must consider what will happen if Mixon were to run afoul of the NFL’s domestic abuse policy in the future, which calls for a six-game suspension for a first offense with penalties getting progressively worse if problems persist.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.