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Draft: Coaches Will Have to Earn Their Money

Draft: Coaches Will Have to Earn Their Money

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net

According to the scouting reports, Rocky McIntosh needs to play under control and not overpursue. Anthony Montgomery needs to work on his hand technique in order to shed blocks better. There are also issues with Reed Doughty’s backpedaling, Kedric Golston’s lateral movement, Kili Lefotu’s footwork and Kevin Simon’s tackling technique.

In evaluating these players, the Redskins undoubtedly saw those flaws and many more. And Joe Gibbs turned to the most expensive coaching staff in the history of mankind and told them that they would be the ones who will make or break this draft. Dale Lindsey, Greg Blache, Jerry Gray, and Joe Bugel will have to coach ‘em up, correct the flaws and turn them in to NFL players.

Bubba Tyer’s training and medical staff also may be taxed. McIntosh, Golston, and Simon all carry histories of significant injuries into the NFL and their success will be determined in large part by how well Tyer and company can help them overcome their past ailments.

Don’t think for a moment, though, that this draft class is a nothing more than a group of the undisciplined and the infirm. What they got in exchange for some rough edges and mended joints is athletic ability. Doughty is an excellent natural athlete. Golston, when healthy, amazed many observers with the agility he displayed for a man his size. Scouts were amazed at how light the 311-pound Montgomery is on his feet. McIntosh has excellent speed for someone his size.

They also got smarts—not just football smarts but book smarts. In particular there’s McIntosh, who has already graduated with a 3.0 GPA in Criminology. He won’t be waving his transcript in Doughty’s face, however. Doughty also has his degree, graduating with a perfect 4.0 average in kinesiology. (Yeah, I don’t know what that is, either, but I’m thinking that it’s harder than ballroom dancing.)

Add in a solid dose of versatility, too. Lefotu can play all three O-line positions, a hat trick that McIntosh can match with his experience in all three LB spots. Simon could play inside or outside and several teams talked to Montgomery about drafting him as an offensive lineman. That wouldn’t be the former Golden Gopher’s first foray on offense; in high school, he was a 295-pound quarterback.

The move that is drawing the most fire from the self-declared draft gurus out there is the spending of the 2007 second-round pick to move up 18 spots to draft McIntosh (there was a 2006 sixth involved also). As was discussed here before the draft, the Redskins way of doing things is to be aggressive and go after the players that they want rather than letting things come to them. True, it is not a move that such successful franchises as the Steelers would make. To them, a second-round pick is way too precious to part with a year early and their results validate their methods. However, it is also not a move that franchises such as the Detroit Lions or Arizona Cardinals would have made and their records of futility are testimony to the fact that sitting on your hands and taking whoever falls into your lap isn’t a guaranteed ticket to success either.

It’s not what you do, it’s how well you do it. Time will tell, just as it will with the rest of the draft. If you came here looking for a draft grade, you came to the wrong place. Check back in a couple of years. Golston and Simon are the keys. If they can shed their injury-ridden pasts and play to their potentials, they could be something that the Redskins have not had many of in recent years—late-round steals. That would, at least by this team’s standards, make the draft a smashing success.

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book has an account of every game that the Redskins played from when the moved to Washington in 1937 through the 2001 season. For details and ordering information, go to http://RedskinsGames.com

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Redskins interviewed Greg Manusky for defensive coordinator

Redskins interviewed Greg Manusky for defensive coordinator

The Redskins interviewed current outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky for their defensive coordinator opening, the team announced yesterday.  

Manusky has a long history with the Redskins organization. He served as outside linebackers coach this past season, and was also linebackers coach back in the 2001 season. In his playing days, Manusky was a Redskins linebacker from 1988 to 1990. 

He has held three separate defensive coordinator positions in his coaching career, including with the San Francisco 49ers (2007-2010), San Diego Chargers (2011) and Indianapolis Colts (2012-2015).

For more on his defensive philosophy and background, check out Rich Tandler's profile of Manusky

The Redskins have confirmed four interviews for the defensive coordinator position: Manusky, Rob Ryan, Gus Bradley and Mike Pettine

MORE REDSKINS: Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

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Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

Projecting the Redskins' 2017 roster—Defense

The Redskins are looking at potential free agents and continuing with the draft process as they try to move team from residing in the middle of the pack in the NFL to becoming annual contenders to go deep into the playoffs. The process is all about trying to build a solid 53-man depth chart. Let’s get out the crystal ball and see what that depth chart might look like.

Earlier this week we looked at the offense; today the defense is up. Although there could be a change to a 4-3 base defense in the making depending on who the coordinator is, we’ll line them up in a 3-4 until there is word to the contrary.

*Pending unrestricted free agent

Defensive line

Starters: Chris Baker*, draft pick/free agent X 2
Backups: Matt Ioannidis, Ricky Jean Francois, Anthony Lanier

It seems that Baker wants to stay and give that the Redskins would be starting their D-line virtually from scratch without him the chances of coming up with a deal seem strong. I will spend the entire 99 days between now and the draft saying that it’s not a given that they will take a defensive lineman, or any defensive player, with their top draft pick. But someone like Malik McDowell of Michigan State sure would fit in well here along with a free agent like Bennie Logan of the Eagles. The organization will be looking for leaps forward from Ioannidis and Lanier.

Related: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Outside linebacker

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Backups: Junior Galette, Trent Murphy, Lynden Trail

Although nothing is certain until pen is put to paper, the chances of Galette giving it another go after two torn Achilles in two years are strong. Trail and Houston Bates will battle for a fifth spot, if there is one. Given Smith’s inconsistency and the uncertainty of Galette’s health it wouldn’t be surprising to see them draft an edge rusher.

Inside linebacker

Starters: Will Compton, free agent
Backups: Martrell Spaight, Mason Foster, draft pick

I’m putting Compton there in dry erase marker, not in Sharpie. They love his leadership and work ethic but he must make more plays. I have a free agent starting beside him because it’s a tough position for a rookie to learn. But if they spend a high draft pick that player could jump into a starting job quickly.  Foster moves into the nickel role that he performed well after Su’a Cravens went out with an injury. Steven Daniels, a 2016 seventh-round pick who spent the year on injured reserve, could push Spaight for a job.

Cornerback

Starters: Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar
Backups: Kendall Fuller (nickel), Tharold Simon, free agent/draft pick

This could go in a lot of different directions. The only spot set in stone is Norman’s. I have Bashaud Breeland moving to safety, which is something of a speculative hot take. If they make that move, they could spend a high draft pick or substantial free agent money on a corner or they could stay in-house with Dunbar or Fuller. Simon could make the team and contribute or he could be cut.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Safety

Starters: Su’a Cravens, Bashaud Breeland
Backups: Will Blackmon, Deshazor Everett, draft pick

Safeties are hard to find. In college, potentially good safeties gravitate towards cornerback, where the NFL money is better. If a good one hits the free agent market, the laws of supply and demand push the price up beyond the value of the position. For those reasons, the Redskins might try Breeland at safety. Some in the organization have believed for a couple of years that safety is his best position. Cravens announced that he would be moving to safety so that change is firm. Duke Ihenacho, who is a free agent, could be back but I think he moves along. Blackmon is a good veteran reserve who can play nickel also. Even though he made a key interception when forced into duty against the Eagles, it still seems that they don’t trust Everett at safety and perhaps a mid-round pick will replace him.

Specialists: LS Nick Sundberg*, P Tress Way, PK Dustin Hopkins

I predict that Sundberg will be the first of the team’s pending free agents to agree to a contract. Hopkins may get some camp competition but it is unlikely to be of more than the token variety.

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.