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Chris Horton a lock?

Chris Horton a lock?

It probably would be inaccurate to say that Chris Horton is happy that fellow Washington Redskins safety Stuart Schweigert is now his former teammate. Pros, even rookies, don't revel in players becoming unemployed, even ones that play the same position.

However, although Horton isn't doing a happy dance, it's doubtful that he's moping around the conference center that the Redskins are calling home during training camp after hearing the news of the former Raider's departure. While Schweigert's departure doesn't guarantee a roster spot for the seventh-round pick in the April draft, it helps Horton immeasurably.

You don't play your way onto a roster in one preseason game, especially the first of five, and you don't play your way off of the team in that one game, either. However, if what happens in that game reinforces impressions—negative or positive—that the coaching staff has about your play, that one game can be decisive.

Schweigert has more starting experience than the rest of the corps of safeties combined, but he's been practically invisible in training camp. His lackluster performance has been in contrast to that of Horton, who has been living up to his reputation is a big hitter.

On the Colts' first touchdown, Onrea Jones bolted by rookie cornerback Justin Tryon and into the open to catch a 30-yard touchdown pass from Quinn Gray. Arriving into the picture way too late was Schweigert, who apparently was supposed to be covering the deep zone.

It's not unreasonable to figure that the coaches thought that if Schweigert couldn't handle his assignment on the Gray to O. Jones combination the duos of Romo to Owens and Manning to Burress would be beyond the scope of his abilities. They hadn't seen anything in practice to counter that impression, so the decision was made to let him go.

Horton isn't ready for prime time either, but he is hustling and he's eager to learn. In his very first play as a professional football player he had the presence of mind to watch for the onside kick and the recovered the ball after one or two teammates had muffed chances to do so. He was greatly aided on his two sacks by the fact that the Colts' blitz pickups were nonexistent, but you have to give him credit for going in and making the tackles. His takedown of Jared Lorenzen was particularly impressive. A lot of DB's would have bounced off of the 285-lb. quarterback trying to make a big hit, but Horton just grabbed hold and wrestled him to the ground.

Just like the numbers game works against Marcus Mason, it works in favor of Chris Horton. Patrick Ghee, a second-year player who was on the Carolina practice squad for a while last year, was signed in Schweigert's spot, so there still are six safeties on the roster. The Redskins are likely to keep five, so that means that Horton just has to beat out either Ghee or Kareem Moore. The former has already been cut by the Skins earlier this year and although the latter was selected 69 spots ahead of Horton, Moore has been sidelines with a knee problem for most of OTA's and camp.

Horton's not a lock, but he's as close to one as a seventh-round pick can be after one-fifth of the preseason schedule.

Join me for a live blog of Saturday's preseason game. Go here for details.

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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.