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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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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.