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Bold Predictions: Redskins vs. Giants

Bold Predictions: Redskins vs. Giants

Haynesworth is a physical presence

This one will not be for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach or the wobbly-kneed. Hide the women and children. Probably not a bad idea to put away small dogs, too. Multiple collisions resembling car wrecks—and I'm talking a pair of SUV's here, not, say, a VW and a Prius—will be taking place on every snap of the ball.

It's a gonna be a real slobber knocker.

(Hopefully, we will stay away from any bodies being mangled as badly as the clichés above.)

The Washington Redskins and Giants will face off in their final meeting in Giants Stadium, a building that nobody associated with the Redskins will miss. For the most part it's been a house of horrors for Washington. Even on the infrequent occasions when the wind hasn't been swirling, wreaking havoc with punts, passes, and kicks, the Redskins generally fall behind early and can't quite muster a sufficient comeback.

Take last year's 16-7 loss in East Rutherford. The Giants rolled down the field on their opening possession and scored a touchdown. They rolled downfield three more times and they were up 16-0 before the Redskins offense could get untracked. The final was respectable but one got the feeling that the Giants could have put their foot on the gas and scored again had the Redskins made it a one-score game.

I could recount more, going back through both Gibbs eras, but I don't need to. And, when you boil it down, the building really has little to do with it. The Giants have won most of those games because they were the more physical team, often by a wide margin.

The Giants are physical because that's their identity. And physical teams give the Redskins trouble.

Will things be any different on Sunday?

It could be. The Redskins have added a massive physical presence right in the middle in Albert Haynesworth. He should prevent Brandon Jacobs from finding a path into the secondary to posterize a LaRon Landry again. Haynesworth is the highest paid defensive player in the league because his presence is supposed to have ripple effects through the defense.

But, unfortunately, Haynesworth plays on just one side of the ball and, as discussed here earlier, the New York defensive line is loaded and the Redskins O-line is likely to struggle on Sunday. It's hard to scheme around such a disadvantage and it will take all of Jim Zorn's offensive creativity to muster a few productive drives.

Hard hitting. Low scoring. Turnovers always are key and this game will be no exception. The Redskins get a pick six and hold the Giants at bay. With light winds, Shaun Suisham nails a couple of medium-range field goals. A late Giants drive fizzles after consecutive sacks.

Redskins 13, Giants 10

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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.