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Cundiff happy to land with Redskins

Cundiff happy to land with Redskins

Hoursafter signing a one-year contract to play for the Redskins, Billy Cundiff saidsurprised to have been discarded by the Ravens but excited to get anotherchance so soon.Tohave the door shown to me a little bit earlier than I thought, but then to havea team come up right away and say they want my services, Cundiff said, thatsa big pat on the back, a confidence booster.Cundiff,who will wear No. 5 in Washington, practiced with the team Tuesday and will make his debutWednesday in the preseason finale against the Buccaneers at FedEx Field.The32-year-old Cundiff was released by the Ravens on Sunday after losing his jobto rookie Justin Tucker. Cundiff made Pro Bowl in 2010 but made only 28 of 37 field goal attempts last season, including just one of six kicks from 50 or more yards.Cundiffsaid he was disappointed in the Ravens' decision but never doubted himself.Iknew I was kicking extremely well, Cundiff said. If you look at my stats thepast two years in Baltimore, I was 90-percent inside of 50, 84 combinedtouchbacks and I had only missed one kick inside of 40 in two years.Thatmiss, though, was a big one. Cundiff yanked a 32-yard field goal attempt wideleft in the final minute of Baltimores 23-20 loss at New England last seasonsAFC championship game.Askedif that misfire ultimately led to his departure, Cundiff said he wasnt sure.Itcould be, he said. Thats what I asked them, and they said it wasnt. But tobe perfectly honest, it doesnt matter anymore.Pressedon the circumstances of the critical miss and whether he was rushed through his pre-kick routine, he said:After a couple of days, I was able to put it in proper perspective. There weresituations surrounding the kick that were different than any other fourthquarter kick that I had. The Baltimore Ravens know what happened. There wereabout seven things that all went wrong.Cundiffsaid he was approached by the Redskins as soon as he cleared waivers Monday. Heimmediately asked for assurances that he would be the teams only kicker, which presumably led to Graham Ganos release Tuesday morning.Thatwas one of the situations that was important as we looked at all the teamsthat were out there, Cundiff said. We wanted to know we were going to go somewherewhere we werent going to have the rug pulled out last minute. I feel like Iearned that.

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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.