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Little news is good news

Little news is good news

There was very little news coming out of the Washington Redskins minicamp this past weekend and that is exactly what the team wanted.

You don't want your team to make news during minicamp.

Any headline that comes out of the spring get-together is almost invariably bad news. It's about someone who's not there because of a contract dispute. Or someone who had to be carted off the field and his participation in training camp, if not the season, is in doubt.

There was the Fred Davis episode. The rookie tight end overslept and missed Sunday's practice. If his screwup proves to be an isolated incident then it will soon be forgotten. If he ends up leaving a trail of irresponsible actions, it will be recounted over and over again.

Most are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I agree, but we shall see.

Davis' mishap still is being discussed on Tuesday, with the Riggins show devoting a segment to it and a buzz still lingering on the message boards. That's a sign that it was a slow new weekend.

The most humorous analysis of the story comes from Giants and Cowboys fans trying to get in a few digs about it. The Giants would be happy if their tight end slept in. That would mean that Jeremy Shockey wasn't whining about the offense or demanding a trade. And society at large is much safer if the newest veteran member of the Dallas Cowboys, Pac Man Jones, is in his hotel room.

And after the events of this past weekend, Colts and Bears fans had better not be saying anything, either.

Other than that, it was all football coming out of Ashburn. Specifically, it was about the team learning two new systems, those of Jim Zorn and Greg Blache.

Indications are that Blache's defense will be easy to pick up. Gregg Williams employed a couple of dozen packages of personnel and alignments each game. Blache thinks that simpler is better

"We will have fewer packages because this is about the players," Blache said after a practice at this weekend's minicamp. "This is not about building the perfect castle or whatever. It's about giving the players something they can execute in the heat of battle under stressful situations. We are trying to be a hard, physical defense that's intimidating with our speed and hitting ability, and you can't do that when you're thinking about 20,000 different things."

It wasn't exactly as though Williams' defense seemed to be suffering from paralysis by analysis. The unit was among the top ten in the NFL in three of his four seasons in DC.

Still, letting players play isn't a bad thing. It will be interesting to see how all looks.

Blache did coach under Williams for four years, but it would be inaccurate to call him a GW disciple. He's been a coordinator before. His 2001 Bears unit was one of the best in recent memory as they allowed an average of just 12.7 points per game, in part because the unit collected 34 takeaways.

No doubt, he'll be bringing in a number of his own ideas to the defense as he crafts a scheme that isn't overly disruptive while sticking to his core philosophies and methods.

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The best players left in the draft for the Redskins—Offense

The best players left in the draft for the Redskins—Offense

The Redskins have seven picks in the final four rounds of the draft today. Here are some of the top players available on offense. Will look at the defense a little later this morning.

Offensive line

G Dorian Johnson, Pitt—The Redskins probably would want him to add a few pounds to his frame, as at 6-5 he currently carries “only” 300 pounds. He’s smart, tough, and athletic.

G Nico Siragusa, San Diego State—At 6-4, his weight is about right at 319 pounds. A three-year starter with a great power game and pass protection skills that will need to be coached up.

RELATED: Redskins focus on defense in first 3 rounds

Tight end/receiver

TE Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech—He’s big enough to be your blocking tight end and athletic enough to line up split out wide.

WR Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma—One of the most productive receivers in the country and a Heisman finalist. He’s a little small at 6-0, 178 but he has excellent deep speed.

Running back

RB Samaje Perine, Oklahoma—As a true freshman in 2014 he set the national record by rushing for 427 yards in a game against Kansas. He probably doesn’t have that kind of monster game in him at the next level but he will be a solid, reliable back who can handle a heavy workload.

RB Jeremy McNichols, Boise State—A very productive runner and pass catcher who posted over 2,200 yards of offense last year.

MORE REDSKINS: Three reasons to like the pick of Ryan Anderson 

Quarterback

QB Nathan Peterman, Pitt—Nobody would have batted an eye if he had gone off the board in the third or maybe even the late second round. If the Redskins are concerned about Kirk Cousins leaving as a free agent, Peterman carries a very similar set of skills.

QB Brad Kaaya, Miami—Another QB many thought may be off the board by now, Kaaya has the mental makeup to succeed at quarterback but his game needs a lot of polish.

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 best Redskins late-round picks of the last 10 years

Need to Know: The best Redskins late-round picks of the last 10 years

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 29, 25 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.

Timeline

At Redskins Park—Fourth through seventh rounds of the NFL draft; conference calls with players selected; Gruden will speak to media shortly after Redskins’ final pick.

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 13
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 25
—Training camp starts (7/27) 89
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 134

The Redskins’ best late-round picks since of the last 10 years

While no aspect of drafting in the NFL is easy, it is much harder to find key contributors on the last day of the draft than it is in the first three rounds. The Redskins will have seven picks in this afternoon's draft to try to find one or two of them. 

Since the 2007 draft the Redskins have taken 56 players from the fourth round on. Of those, 45 played in at least one NFL game but only 12 of them were the Redskins’ primary starter at their positions for at least one season. Here are the five best of those players.

QB Kirk Cousins (round 4, 2012)—He was probably the most controversial pick on this list since the Redskins had just drafted Robert Griffin III a couple of days earlier. History proved Mike Shanahan right.

RB Alfred Morris (6, 2012)—This pick came a few hours after and with much less noise than the Cousins pick did. Many believed that the Redskins were set a running back with Roy Helu and Evan Royster. Morris not only surprised many by making the team but he lined up as the Week 1 starter. He went on to break the team’s single-season rushing record by piling up 1,613 yards rushing.

LB Perry Riley (4, 2010)—He didn’t get into the lineup until midway through his second season. Riley was always solid for four-plus seasons as the starter but never spectacular. The team let him go last year in training camp and he played well for the Raiders after they picked him up.

CB Bashaud Breeland (4, 2014)—Breeland started 15 games as a rookie. At first he was in the slot but after DeAngelo Hall was injured in Week 3, Breeland moved to the outside and he has stayed there ever since. He has seven career interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

WR Jamison Crowder (4, 2015)—At 5-9, many teams thought Crowder was undersized and he didn’t run a great 40 at the combine. But he was big enough and fast enough to break the Redskins rookie record for receptions in a season and then to lead the team in touchdowns with eight last year.

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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