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Kevin Barnes Notable Quotables

Kevin Barnes Notable Quotables

On how excited he is to be a Washington Redskin:

"I love the area, being that I played right down the street. My mom's not too far away. It's really an honor to play for such a passionate organization. So, I am very proud to be a Redskin right now."

 

On if he had any indication he would be chosen early today:

"I wasn't sure. They said late second, early-to-mid third, so I was just sitting there waiting and then Washington picked me. They called me right before it came across the screen. Here I am now."

 

On his reaction when the Washington Redskins called:

"I saw the number and it wasn't stored in my phone so I knew it had to be something good. I was pretty much speechless. I wasn't really expecting them to pick me. I hadn't really talked to them too much in the process. From what I've talked to my former teammates, that's how it usually happens. The team that you don't really talk to the most has the most interest in you."

 

On what he knows about the Redskins situation at cornerback:

"I know they signed DeAngelo (Hall). I know Carlos (Rogers) is on the last year of his deal. (Fred) Smoot, he's getting a little bit older. I'm ready to get in there and compete as soon as possible. I'm trying to have an immediate impact."

 

On what he does well at the cornerback position:

"I feel like I compete with anybody. I'm a big corner, but I also move like a smaller guy. It's not like I'm a big guy who is a very long-strider, not very quick. I am very quick also. So I feel like, being a big corner, I can compete with the big receivers and move with the smaller receivers too. Having a great set of receivers on the team it helped me more in practice just getting reps with them."

 

On the injury to his shoulder last season:

"I was going for a hit and just got hit in an awkward part of my shoulder, the back of my shoulder. It was diagnosed as a fracture in my shoulder blade. They inserted a pin in. I think this happened the second week of October and I had the surgery the last weekend of October and I've just been rehabbing. Actually, by the time we were practicing for our bowl, because we played our bowl in Boise, I was actually practicing again, but they weighed my options and said, 'It would probably be best for you to not play in this game because your career is on the line. We don't want you to get hurt again.' I've been healthy for a while now."

 

On if the pin is still in his shoulder:

"Yeah, it's real small. It's nothing that is going to affect me at all. I've been checked out by several doctors. Everything will be fine. I will be back to normal."

 

On if he was worried about his future when the shoulder injury occurred:

"I had to weigh my options. The initial doctor told me I would be out five to six months and when I heard that I was initially panicking a little bit because I realized if I was out five to six months I wouldn't be able to compete in the combine or anything. I went and got a second opinion and he told me two to three months. I've always been a fast healer, throughout my whole life, so I personally took a few weeks off that myself because I knew I was going to rehab hard and just naturally a good healer. I'm not going to regret anything. My last hit, even though I got hurt, I caused the guy to fumble. I have to look at it that way, put a smile on my face."

 

On if he thinks his injury caused him to drop in the draft:

"Any injury I feel definitely causes a drop in the draft a little bit. Sometimes you fall into the right place and I feel like I fell right into the right situation, the best situation for me."

 

On if he has talked with former Terrapin Stephon Heyer:

"I see him around every once in a while, but I am pretty sure we will hang out a lot more now that I am a part of the family. He's a great guy."

 

On what he thinks about the Washington Redskins:

"I definitely know that they are one of the most passionate organizations, if not the most passionate, in the NFL. They go out there and they look for the best talent. They are great evaluators of talent and they do whatever it takes to get a winning team. I really feel like with the new coaching staff that came in last year they are on the right track. I just hope to be the last part to that puzzle."

 

On which NFL team he grew up rooting for:

"See now, that's a funny question because I grew up partly in North Carolina, because my parents are in the military. The Carolina Panthers weren't in North Carolina at that time, so my family was actually Cowboys fans. So I actually grew up a Cowboys fan for a while, but the more I got into football, the more I started appreciating good teams and good players. Initially, the first team I liked was the Cowboys, so how ironic that I would go to the Redskins, but I love to be a Redskin. I've been telling people that for months because everybody was telling me, 'You're going to the Redskins.' I was like, 'Hey, I love the area, so, I would definitely love to be a part of it."

 

On if his parents are still in the military:

"No, they are both government employees in D.C., so they are nearby. My mom, she works for the US National Physical Disability Agency and my dad, he is a U.S. Park policeman."

 

On what NFL players does he look up to:

"Asante Samuel, he is just a great playmaker. He is a winner. Champ Bailey, every year he is dominating. Even DeAngelo (Hall). We trained in the same place in the combine and I've seen all his records and how explosive he is and how physical of a player he is from watching him on TV. Not one player I would say, but I appreciate what everybody can do."

 

On what bigger corners in the NFL does he compare to:

"Champ Bailey is about 6'1". Antontio Cromartie from San Deigo, he is about 6'2", 6'3" and he moves like a cat. So I definitely watch his game. He is definitely a playmaker. Al Harris from Green Bay. Charles Woodson from Green Bay also. They are big corners."

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Need to Know: Redskins’ Friday draft picks could be just as vital to success as first-rounder

Need to Know: Redskins’ Friday draft picks could be just as vital to success as first-rounder

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 23, four days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 10
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 31
—Training camp starts (7/27) 95
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 140

In search of someone, anyone, to stop the run

One of the areas the Redskins needed to improve last year was their rushing defense on first down. In 2015, they gave up 5.0 yards per carry on first down. That was the worst performance in the league. It’s pretty tough to play defense when a handoff makes it second and five. The Saints, who had a historically bad defense that year, were second, fiving up 4.8 yards a pop.

Well, it was no better for the Redskins defense in 2016. Again, they gave up 5.0 yards per carry on first down, again the worst performance in the league.  Remember, this is on first down, when teams are most likely to run.

The Redskins’ problems on third down were well known. They were dead last in the league allowing first downs on 46.6 percent of third-down attempts. For context, an average performance on third down is allowing about 38 percent and the best teams are around 35 percent.

That doesn’t tell the whole story, however. The Redskins weren’t very good at getting teams to third down. They allowed first downs on 33.8 percent of their opponents’ second-down plays. That put them in the bottom third of the league. Again, you don’t have to look too hard to connect the dots to link that back to the five yards per rushing play on first down. Second and five is a piece of cake most of the time.

You don’t need an advanced degree in statistical analysis to figure out that the Redskins defense isn’t going to get much better if they can’t stop teams from running the ball on first down.

It’s easy to point to the defensive line, which has not been very good, and say that the problem is there. That certainly has something to do with it. But the Redskins didn’t have a very good D-line in 2014 and they allowed 4.1 yards per first-down rushing attempt, a performance that was right at the league average.

The factor that was common in 2015 and 2016 and was different in 2014 was the defensive coordinator. It’s possible that opposing teams found a flaw to exploit in Joe Barry’s scheme that wasn’t there in Jim Haslett’s (which surely had flaws in other places).

But X’s and O’s can only get you so far. The Redskins will be looking to take a defensive lineman early and perhaps use an additional pick or two at the position later in the draft. While getting one who can rush the passer would be a plus, they need a run stuffer who can take snaps on first down and bottle up the ground game.

The focus in the draft will be on the first-round pick but, as has been discussed here many times, that pick is unlikely to be a defensive lineman. There isn’t likely to be one at 17 who would represent good value. That could mean that the Redskins’ second- or third-round pick, perhaps an interior lineman like Caleb Brantley of Florida, Larry Ogunjobi of Charlotte, or Montravius Adams of Auburn, is just as important to the team’s success as the first-round pick.

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.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Mock drafts, cap bargains

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Mock drafts, cap bargains

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 22, five days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 20
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 32
—Training camp starts (7/27) 96
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 141

The Redskins week that was

Redskins full 2017 schedule released—Even with the Caps and Wizards in full playoff mode, the DMV stops to take a look and see when the Redskins will be playing. The Thanksgiving game was surprising. It’s another working day but I worked at various places since I was 14 and last year was the first time I’ve had to work on Thanksgiving so I can’t complain too much about working two in a row. It’s a small price to pay for having the best job in the world.

Don't count out any RB for Redskins at 17—Yeah, I know that NFL teams aren’t supposed to take running backs in the first round any more. But that is one of those trends that comes and goes. In 2013 and 2014 there were no RBs taken in the first. Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott in the last couple of years began to shift the thinking. If the Redskins think that Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey can help them win games more than any other player on the board they should pull the trigger.

Rise of Patrick Mahomes could bring big payoff for Redskins—It seems likely that quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky will be taken before the Redskins pick at No. 17 goes on the clock. That means that two players in whom the Redskins might be interested will be available, pushed back by the quarter backs. Could Mahomes, out of Texas Tech, push a third player back to Washington. The buzz is that a team might grab him in the first half of the first round.

The Redskins' five best salary cap bargains for 2017—When I started pulling the numbers for this post I thought I’d find more key players with salaries of under $1 million. I only found three and one of them is the kicker. This means that they don’t have very many late-round or undrafted players who are contributing a lot of value. They need more out of players like Anthony Lanier, Matt Ioannidis and Maurice Harris. That is how a team thrives in the salary cap era. A couple of Saturday picks could make or break this draft.

Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often—There are a lot of ways the first 16 picks of this draft can work out. It seems almost certain that everyone’s favorite first-round pick, a stud defensive lineman, won’t be a realistic option on the board. This could send things in an odd direction for the Redskins. It’s fun to do a mock and I’ll do one or two more prior to draft day but there are too many variables to think that it has a high degree of accuracy. 

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.

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