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Jim Zorn Notable Quotables

Jim Zorn Notable Quotables

"One of the things that is evident for us is we have concentrated on the defensive side of the ball.  Last year, our first four picks were on the offensive side of the ball.  This year, our first four were on the defensive side.  We had some real need and actually trying to address those needs, those kinds of things have come together for us and we've stayed true to that.

 

"[Brian] Orakpo is coming in tonight.  He'll be here tomorrow at 11 a.m.  We've got the young guy coming from Maryland, he's just driving over, Kevin Barnes.  We saw him and thought there would be a chance to get him.  He is a very tall corner, six feet.  He kind of reminds you of- maybe a little thinner, he weighs about 200 or 205- Carlos Rogers is the guy he most looks like.  He is built a little learner than that. He can run fast.  He can run receivers down.  In our division we are going to try to get him in the mix.  That creates an opportunity for us to go into our offseason, more into our offseason, getting ready for the season with a variety of corners.  Being able to move those guys inside, seeing if they can play nickel, helps us out.  It gives us flexibility with him.

 

"We did address the linebacker situation.  We addressed it just recently with our last pick.  We took Cody Glenn, who is a converted running back to linebacker.  Took to that position very quickly.  We think he is sudden when you watch him play.  He has some things to learn, but that is a guy that we wanted to develop.  Coach (Greg) Blache and KO (Kirk Olivadotti, Linebackers Coach) felt like he was the best guy at that particular pick when we had a chance to draft him and those around him, he was the guy we were hoping would hang on.  I think he is going to give us a shot to- again he is versatile.  He will be able to move around.  We don't know exactly where he is going to move around.  We don't know exactly where he is going to end up in those three positions that we have, but he will be in the mix.  Then, we just drafted Robert Henson, a linebacker from TCU.  He is going to be an inside linebacker.  I told him just on the phone, 'I don't exactly know where you're going to end up.  Just come and let's play.'  He is a special teamer, as well as an inside guy that works suddenly.  I think what is nice about the things that I've seen on video is that he likes to attack the line of scrimmage and get into that gap and really blow things up when he gets there.  He likes contact.  He was telling me, because I was mentioning him that we were looking at him as well as not only a linebacker, but a special teams player.  A young guy, that is going to develop into our program and he assures me that is where his specialty was the first few years he was at TCU."

 

On if the Redskins are further along at strong side linebacker:

"What we're going to try, we're going to try to put Rocky [McIntosh] at strong side as well.  You may even see [Brian] Orakpo at strong side as well, just early here so we can see whether or not he has the potential to do that.  Rocky may flip over as well.  It gives us some flexibility with the two guys.  We have to find out what mixture and what the ingredients will come out.  I'm not really sure exactly how it's going to all come out and right now we have some time to develop that."

 

On any concerns about Kevin Barnes' shoulder:

"He had a fractured scapula which is an unusual injury.  We had one of those when I was in Seattle.  One of our DBs had a broken scapula.  I mean, good gosh, how do you break that?  But it was fractured, it was repaired and even in Seattle our DB out there didn't have a problem and he's not going to have a problem at all."

 

On Kevin Barnes' reputation of being a physical cornerback:

"I think at the edge there, in this league, you have to be able to attack receivers and be able to tackle running backs coming off the edge.  I don't know how well these corners in our league can take on guards coming and pulling, but he is not afraid to make a tackle.  As you see some highlights on him, I don't know if you've seen many, but he comes up and he packs a wallop when he gets there, especially on receviers.  He is a decent tackler when he has to tackle a running back.  I don't think he is going to square up on an offensive lineman, but he has good enough feet to get out of the way and then make the tackle.  I have seen that."

 

On the learning curve for Cody Glenn at linebacker:

"What is nice about Glenn was just the fact that he is a little bit raw.  He is new to the position for this year, but he is a good athlete.  I think he took the position, he played at a high level conference, he played on a tremendous team and they had enough confidence in him to start him there at that position.  I think that formula just allows us to be optimistic about what his chances are.  I can't tell you exactly which position he is going to be able to settle in at.  He'll definitely be a special teamer."

 

On if the Redskins have any concerns about Cody Glenn's previous injuries:

"I don't think we have any concerns.  Our doctors have checked him out and we feel very confident he is going to be able to start day one in our camp.  He will be here next week."

 

On Kevin Barnes scoring at 41 on the Wonderlic:

"How do you get 41 on that?  I think it is unusual.  I don't know what to think of that.  I think if you score in the mid-to-high 20s you have to know what you are doing and I think it is very difficult to take that test and do something wrong with a 41.  Maybe it all came together. 

 

"I think most of our guys in this group are very encouraging.  These guys are going to be able to learn football.  Jus talking to these guys, they kind of know what it is all about.  The linebacker, Robert Henson from TCU, very well spoken, can communicate, understands what his situation has been.  They are all very excited just to have the opportunity.  I think you will see that in these guys.  Some humility is coming from these guys and that certainly is going to bode well when they are going to have to line up against some of the players we have on this team."

 

On what the Redskins liked about Kevin Barnes:

"His football awareness on the field was excellent because he has great vision.  He can react to the quick screen very well.  It is very difficult for a receiver to get a quick screen on him if you are just going to go one-on-one.  He understands double moves.  The thing that was said about him, this was not my quote this was a quote from one of his coaches, that he was the only guy maybe in that league that could run with Heyward-Bey, the wide receiver.  That is something to be said about his speed.  That doesn't have to work with his intelligence, although you probably have to have a little intelligence to cover these receivers that have great speed as well. I didn't really look at the 41 [on the Wonderlic].  That wasn't the deciding factor on taking him, 'Oh my gosh, we have to get a guy that has 41 and see what that is all about,' but when we watched him on video, when we inteviewed him, when we talked to the people that know him, we feel very comfortable with him."

 

On if Kevin Barnes was the best player on the board when the Redskins selected him:

"He truly was.  I think there was a tight end there up above him, but what were we going to do?  We really felt like he was a good enough player to trust our board and to say that just puts another guy in the mix and gives us some flexibility.  On the flip side of that, there were several offensive linemen down the way, but you want to develop them a little bit later.  They weren't quite graded well enough for that particular pick in the draft."

 

On not drafting an offensive lineman in this draft:

"Well down the way, we've had five picks.  Now we tried to move in different places all throughout this draft.  Very active on the phones, trying to move around so we can capture one of these guys and it either hasn't worked or when we've had that chance to pick the guy hasn't really been there.  We feel really fortunate in the guys that we do have though. 

 

"I'm not disappointed that has happened either because we are developing some offensive players.   We are developing some of our linemen.  We are hoping that Chad Rinehart develops into an outstanding offensive lineman.  D'Anthony Batiste, we hope he can develop.  We just got Mike Williams.  We just got Derrick Dockery, so there are some new faces that are going to be in that offensive line and we will see how they develop as well."

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Robert Kelley, Su'a Cravens, Colt McCoy among Redskins who'll have new numbers in 2017

Robert Kelley, Su'a Cravens, Colt McCoy among Redskins who'll have new numbers in 2017

The next time Robert Kelley plows over a helpless linebacker, he'll do it with a new number on his uniform.

The second-year running back is switching from No. 32 to No. 20, according to Redskins.com. And he's not the only returning player who'll take the field in 2017 with a new pair of digits.

Su'a Cravens will no longer be No. 36 for Washington. Instead, he'll change to No. 30. DJ Swearinger will be taking over No. 36 after coming over from the Cardinals, a number that he reportedly purchased from Cravens for $75,000

Then there's Colt McCoy. McCoy has donned No. 16 for the past three seasons, but he's throwing it back to his college days and will now rock No. 12.

MORE REDSKINS: THE ULTIMATE REDSKINS DRAFT PREVIEW

Finally, second-year corner Kendall Fuller only spent one year with No. 38. As he hopes to improve in his sophomore campaign, he'll be doing so with No. 29.

As for the free agents, Terrelle Pryor will be replacing DeSean Jackson in more ways than one when kickoff rolls around. Not only will the ex-Brown have to shine as a top receiver for Kirk Cousins like Jackson did, but he'll also be sporting Jackson's No. 11.

New linebacker Zach Brown, meanwhile, is now No. 56, linemen Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain are Nos. 92 and 97 respectively and Brian Quick will keep No. 83 from his Rams days.

For a complete list of all the changes, click here.

RELATED: IS REUBEN FOSTER WORTH THE RISK?

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How big a need do the Redskins have at running back?

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How big a need do the Redskins have at running back?

Do the Redskins have a draft need at running back? It depends on who you ask.

Jay Gruden seems to be very happy with incumbent running back Rob Kelley. Here is what he had to say last month about the second-year back, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane, last month:

“Oh, man, I love Rob Kelley,” Gruden said. “I thought he played great. You throw a rookie free agent into the fire like that and see him play and compete. Not one time did I feel like it was too big for him. Not once. That’s a hell of a thing to say for a kid out of Tulane who only had a couple of carries his senior year. He came right in, he competes on every play.”

[Related: Full Redskins Seven-Round Mock Draft]

Kelley played in 15 games last year and rushed for 704 yards and scored six touchdowns. He started the last nine games and if you project his numbers in this games out over a 16-game season you get about 1,050 yards and 11 touchdowns. That’s not Ezekiel Elliott or Le’Veon Bell production but it’s good for a team that is going to rely mostly on the pass.

Gruden also praised third-down back Chris Thompson and backup Mack Brown. In a telling sign, he acknowledged that 2015 third-round pick Matt Jones is still on the roster but he didn’t have much good to say about him.

Why, then, do you see so many draft analysts listing running back as one of the team’s most urgent needs? Mark Maske, who is the Post’s national NFL writer but also a former Redskins beat reporter, has them taking Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey in his mock draft. “There certainly are issues on defense for the Redskins,” writes Maske. But there also is a need at running back.”

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com said that the Redskins “obviously” need a running back as his rationale for mocking Florida State’s Dalvin Cook to Washington at No. 17.

So, what is it? Is Kelley adequate for the Redskins’ needs considering they call pass plays on over 60 percent of their offensive snaps? Would they run more often if they had a back like McCaffrey or Cook? And if they did run more would the offense improve?

I think that running back is like several positions with the Redskins. If they have to get through the 2016 season with what they have they will be OK. But if there is an upgrade on the board when they are on the clock they won’t hesitate to make the pick if he’s the best player available.

We will see what happens if, say, McCaffrey is still on the board when the Redskins pick at No. 17 and top defensive targets like Rueben Foster and Haason Reddick are off the board. That will be the true test to see how committed Gruden and the rest of the organization are to Kelley, Thompson, and company. 

More Redskins: When the talent is there, Bruce Allen has looked past red flags before