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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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Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky, McCloughan

Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky, McCloughan

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 24, 36 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.

Timeline

Days until:

NFL free agency starts 44
—NFL Draft 93
First Sunday of 2017 season 229

Gruden's fate rests on Manusky, McCloughan

In his press conference the day after the Redskins lost to the Giants to end their season, Jay Gruden talked about the decision-making process that would unfold if there were changes in the coaching staff.

“Ultimately I would think it is my call – our call,” he said. “Bruce [Allen] will have some input, Dan [Snyder] will have some input, Scot [McCloughan] will have some input, but from a staff standpoint, I like to think I have a lot of pull on that one.”

That doesn’t make it sound like he was completely free to replace the fired Joe Barry and new Rams head coach Sean McVay with whomever he chose. Others could make suggestions and have input and possibly veto power.

The decision to make Greg Manusky the defensive coordinator likely was influenced by and/or had the approval of, McCloughan. Manusky ran the defense in San Francisco when McCloughan was the GM there. McCloughan was instrumental in getting Manusky to come to the Redskins to coach the outside linebackers a year ago, after he was fired as the Colts’ defensive coordinator.

Related: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Greg Manusky

Having McCloughan’s approval for the hire provides Gruden with some degree of security. If it doesn’t work out, if the Redskins upgrade the talent on defense and still don’t get better results, the heat will be on McCloughan as well as Gruden.

Still, Gruden will be the one in the spotlight this season. When the annual media lists of coaches on the hot season in 2017 come out, Gruden is sure to be atop many of them. It’s simple math, really. In Gruden’s three seasons the team has gone 4-12, 9-7, and 8-7-1. A return to double-digit loss territory would be a regression and there would be legitimate concern over whether Gruden is the guy who can make progress and then maintain it and build on it.

Did Gruden get his first pick for the job? Probably not. It seems that Gus Bradley was the favorite, having built the aggressive Seattle defense and having ties with McCloughan from there and with Gruden and Allen from Tampa Bay. But he decided to head west and take over the Chargers’ defense, perhaps wondering about Gruden’s job security. If Bradley didn’t top the list, then Gruden’s top choice probably was Cincinnati defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. But he is under contract and the Bengals denied permission for him to talk about making a lateral move.

More Redskins: Redskins stay in house

Wade Phillips decided to go to the Rams, who have decidedly better defensive personnel than the Redskins, before he had a chance to meet with Washington. We’re not sure how seriously Gruden pursued Phillips but it’s possible that he would have taken him over Manusky if he had the chance. That means that Manusky was at best Plan C or Plan D.

But that’s water under the bridge. Gruden’s fate now lies in the hands of Manusky and in the hands of McCloughan, who must set out to get the new defensive coordinator a significant talent upgrade. If Gruden gets a better defense and can maintain a top offensive attack (given Kirk Cousins’ contract status, he needs McCloughan’s help there, too) and the Redskins can take the next step he should be expecting to start serious extension talks in 2018.

If the Redskins spin their wheels and end up around .500 again or if they regress and post double-digit losses like they did for five out of six years from 2009-2014 they could be cleaning house and starting over again. That wouldn’t be a good scenario for anyone. The organization is counting on Manusky, who was Plan C, and McCloughan to help Gruden get things on track.

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

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The Redskins newest coach has a rap video in his honor

The Redskins newest coach has a rap video in his honor

On Monday morning, the Redskins made several new coaching hires official, including Jim Tomsula as the new defensive line coach.

Tomsula was out of football in 2016 after serving as the 49ers head coach for the 2015 season in which the team finished 5-11.

Despite struggling as a head coach, Tomsula gained an odd, if not heavy cult following. It made little sense considering he has the look and demeanor of someone who was put on this earth to coach football and coach football only. But through the glories of the internet came this:

The Jimmy Tomsula rap song.

RELATED: MOST IMPORTANT REDSKINS' FREE AGENTS

It's just a demo, and I suppose the full version could be out there somewhere since this song is over a year old. But there's something hypnotizing about 60 consecutive seconds of "Open up my shirt like im Jimmy Tom-Sula."

How long before we begin hearing this song at FedEx Field on Sundays?