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Conversion Failed: Skins Won't Invite Hoopster

Conversion Failed: Skins Won't Invite Hoopster

In the NFL success breeds imitations and the success of San Diego tight end Antonio Gates, a college basketball player who became an NFL star at tight end is no exception. The Redskins certainly aren't shy about hopping aboard that bandwagon, inviting Pittsburgh hoopster Chevon Troutman to their combination rookie minicamp and tryout this weekend. Troutman, 6-7, 240, last played football in high school.

And that likely will stand as his last gridiron action as it was announced that Troutman will not be invited to training camp in August.

As an NBA 'tweener, not quick enough to be an effective small forward and not quite big enough to be a power forward, Troutman was pursuing alternate means of employment as an athlete. The Redskins looked at his size, watched tapes of him grabbing the ball in heavy traffic, envisioned a few dozen pounds of bulk added to his frame and sent him an invite to come to the tryout portion of the rookie camp.

Troutman had a bit to say after being told that his tryout was over after one day:
When they first threw everything at me, it looked like Spanish or something. I feel like I can play in the NFL. I just need a little bit of time to learn everything. If you're going to Spain, it's probably a good idea to study up on a little Spanish. If you're going to be a football player, it's probably a good idea to learn a little NFL lingo.

At least one writer who knows Troutman well called the result of Troutman's dalliance in the NFL earlier this week.

In a column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Ron Cook tells of a brief chat he had with Troutman during the recent NCAA basketball tournament:
It was in Boise, Idaho, last month, during a quiet moment between the time Chevon Troutman was panting over the Boise State women gymnasts and turning his attention to Pacific, Pitt's opponent the next morning in the NCAA tournament. There was a sense this might be it for Troutman as a college basketball player. Pitt wasn't playing well and had lost four of its previous six games. The next loss would send the players scattering. Just in case, I took the opportunity to wish Troutman well in his football career.

'Football? I'm not going to play football,' he said. 'I don't like football. I'm going to play basketball.' It's hard to play NFL football because you want a high-paying job. There has to be a love for the sport, a willingness to prepare endlessly for those three hours on Sunday. In short, you have to have a passion for the sport and it doesn't appear that Troutman has that. From Cook's column:
Troutman tried football his junior year of high school in Williamsport only after insistence from friends and coaches. By all accounts, he was a fine defensive end, raw but so athletic. But he played just that one season. Sure, he wanted to concentrate on basketball. But he also has said he got tired of getting "dirty."Tired of getting dirty? Doesn't sound much like Donnie Warren or Terry Orr, does it?

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Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

New Redskins defensive lineman Jonathan Allen is looking to pattern his game after two All-Pro linemen. 

"I'm a very versatile player and can do anything. I love watching Geno Atkins and Aaron Donald," Washington’s first-round draft pick told reporters on a conference call.

The Redskins will be very happy if Allen can be as productive as Atkins and Donald. Atkins has played for the Bengals since the 2010 season. He has been durable, playing in 16 games in six of his seven seasons, and effective, producing 52 sacks, a good total for a defensive tackle. 

MORE REDSKINS: A COMPLETE RECAP OF ROUND 1

Donald was a first-round pick of the Rams in 2014. He was a first-team All-Pro in each of the past two seasons, recording a total of 28 sacks in his three seasons. 

Both players combine outstanding physical talent and high motors. Allen has selected two pretty good role models to follow. 

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

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Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Jonathan Allen was the perfect pick for the Redskins, filling a need with a player who clearly was the best on the board.

Allen’s slide from a top-five prospect to the middle of the first round is believed to be because of issues with both of his shoulders. During his time at Alabama he suffered labral tears in both of his shoulders that were surgically repaired and he also suffers from mild arthritis in both of them. That apparently scared some teams off but not the Redskins.

“We didn't have any concerns,” said coach Jay Gruden. “We talked to Dr. [James] Andrews, he gave thumbs up on him. We feel very good about the injuries.”

Then why did a top talent slide all the way back to the Redskins’ pick?

“As far as him falling to us, their were a lot of things that happened in the draft, three quarterbacks went, a couple of receivers went pretty high, a lot of offensive players went that probably not a lot of people expected,” said Gruden. “So, some of these very good defensive players fell to us and we're happy.”

Allen told reporters that the shoulders did not cause him any problems while he was playing.

“I didn’t even wear a brace for the [2016] season,” Allen said. “So, I mean, it doesn’t even affect me. Every team I talked to, shoulders were medically cleared, no problems. Probably the best I’ve felt in the last four years, to be honest.”

Alabama team doctor Lyle Cain’s assessment of Allen’s shoulders align with those of the player and Gruden.

"He's played without any problems," Cain told NFL Media last month. "This is something that a lot of offensive linemen and defensive linemen have, things guys play with their whole careers. It's just a little earlier for him because he got hurt in college."

We will see how this plays out. It’s possible that his injury problems could limit his effectiveness or cut his career short. But clearly the Redskins saw that the Allen’s talent made the injury risk a worthwhile gamble.

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.