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Jay Gruden, the read option and Dalton vs. Kaepernick

Jay Gruden, the read option and Dalton vs. Kaepernick

So if you want to believe the post-draft revisionist history—and I’m as highly suspicious of that as I am of pre-draft utterings by NFL personnel types—Mike Brown wanted to draft Colin Kaepernick to become the Bengals quarterback. Jay Gruden, who was then the Bengals’ first-year offensive coordinator, fresh out of the UFL, wanted Andy Dalton.

Gruden believed that Dalton could start right away and with Carson Palmer threatening to retire (a threat he made good on until the Bengals traded him in midseason), he thought that was what the Bengals needed.

He was down on Kaepernick for another reason. Nevada coach Chris Ault was a pioneer in the Pistol formation offense and Nevada won a lot of read option plays.

“I also wasn't really into the read-option stuff and it wasn't really that popular at the time,” Gruden said earlier this week.

That line has some Redskins fans flipping out over the possibility of Gruden becoming the Redskins’ head coach. The line of thinking is that Gruden will not be able to get the most out of quarterback Robert Griffin III if he is not “into the read-option stuff.”

That line of thinking is flawed. Most who panic don’t read the last part of the sentence. Nobody was into the read-option in April of 2011. Cam Newton was drafted in the first round that year and had not taken the field. Griffin and Russell Wilson were a year away from entering the NFL and Kaepernick would not become an NFL starter for another year and a half.

Even though Griffin needs to develop into more of a pocket passer if he is going to be successful in the long run (or even to have a long run) there should be some read-option elements in the offense to keep defenses off balance. It is likely that Gruden will see this and, if he gets the job, get “into” the read-option a bit.

It’s pretty simple, really. During his interview today, one of the things that Gruden will be asked to do is to paint a vision of an offensive scheme that will maximize Griffin’s talent and enhance his longevity. Making him into a pure pocket passer won’t accomplish the former and the heavy use of the read-option will have an adverse effect on the latter. The read option or some other element that utilizes Griffin’s speed will need to be incorporated into Gruden’s plan. If it isn’t there, he is unlikely to get the job.

All of this doesn’t mean that Gruden is the ideal candidate for the job. Like almost everyone being considered he has his plusses and minuses. But his apparent distain for the read-option three years ago is a non-factor.

Gruden’s prowess in choosing a QB won’t matter, either. Obviously Kaepernick is the better player now and it’s hard see that changing at any point in the future.

But Gruden won’t be picking the Redskins’ quarterback. Griffin is already here.

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NFL Draft 2017: Top 5 names you want to hear Roger Goodell call

NFL Draft 2017: Top 5 names you want to hear Roger Goodell call

More than 220 players will be drafted over the next three days in Philadelphia, but only five of them make the CSN All-Name team. There are plenty of candidates, but it takes a lot to make this list.

To be clear, this list does not represent the Top 5 players for the Redskins to target. It doesn't even represent players the Redskins might be interested in. These guys just have awesome names. 

Honorable Mention

  • Jake Butt - TE, Michigan - The jokes are too easy, but he did land a toilet paper sponsorship.
  • Corn Elder - CB, Miami - Not enough people named Corn in the world. 
  • Eddie Vanderdoes - DT, UCLA - Vanderdoesitall. 
  • Erik Magnuson - OT, Michigan - This has to be the name of an actual Viking. Has to. 

No. 5 - Forrest Lamp - OG/C Western Kentucky - Invoking a Best Picture winner and the name of a household appliance. Just tremendous. So good he's already landed an endorsement deal. I love lamp. 

No. 4 - Budda Baker - Safety, Washington - Whether you like it for the religion or just the alliteration, it's fantastic.  

No. 3 - Tyus Bowser - OLB, Houston - The bad guy in Mario? The photoshops will be tremendous.

No. 2 - Raekwon McMillan - LB, Ohio State - The Chef. Don't mess with the Chef. 

No. 1 - Taco Charlton - DT, Michigan - It takes a lot to beat Raekwon, but this is the best draft name in years. Everyone loves a Taco.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTuneshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft is finally upon us. Finally.

For the Washington Redskins, the 2017 NFL Draft represents a chance to find impact players, a search that begins with the 17th pick overall in the first round. All those discussions about whom the Redskins will select with their first pick will be answered Thursday night during the NFL's biggest offseason event.

To keep up with the NFL Draft, you'll need two things: A screen to watch it on and this live blog. Redskins fans and NFL fans who want to stay up to date with surprise picks, trades, analysis and anything else draft-related will want to keep this page open all night.

RELATED: FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

What: 2017 NFL Draft, Round 1
When: Thursday, April 27, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Penn.
TV Channel: ESPN, NFL Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN App

Here's what's happened so far. Let's head to the live blog:

REDSKINS 2017 NFL DRAFT TRACKER

 

5:05 PM - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has arrived. Surprisingly enough, fans aren't booing him. We'll have to wait until 8:00 p.m. for that.

4:45 PM - We're three hours away from the start of the 2017 NFL Draft, but it looks like the Cleveland Browns are close to finalizing their choice for the No. 1 overall pick.

4:30 PM - JP Finlay is on the scene in Philadelphia for the 2017 NFL Draft. Several Redskins fans are out and about early.

4:15 PM - Oh, this is going to be fun. Former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan is reportedly advising other teams on their picks at the draft. 

4:00 PM - And with that No. 17 pick, the Redskins could go in several different directions. There will be plenty of defensive lineman and pass rushers to choose from, as well as several high-end cornerbacks. JP Finlay identified the 22 players considered in-play for the Redskins at No. 17.

3:45 PM - The Redskins have the No. 17 pick. With the 2017 NFL Draft starting at 8:00 p.m., we are expecting the Redskins to make their pick at rough 10:15 p.m. ET.

3:30 PM - Want to get to know the NFL Draft prospects? Want to go inside the war room with a former GM? Ever wondered what a player evaluation looks like? Former NFL GM Charley Casserly and CSN's Julie Donaldson have you covered in our CSN Draft Room. It's your go-to source for 2017 NFL Draft material.

3:15 PM - The CSN team is all over the place today. Be sure to follow them on Twitter. Redskins Insider JP Finlay is at the Draft in Philadelphia. Redskins writer Rich Tandler and CSN anchor Chick Hernandez are at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. and NFL analyst Trevor Matich is in the CSN Draft Room. Be sure to follow @CSNRedskins for all your draft night coverage. 

3:00 PM - Welcome to CSN's live draft tracker for the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night.