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Need to Know: 5 notes and quotes from Redskins players after OTAs

Need to Know: 5 notes and quotes from Redskins players after OTAs

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 6, 11 days before the start of minicamp.

Nickel coverage

Here are five notes and quotes from various Redskins players following Wednesday’s OTA session at Redskins Park.

—Even though Kory Lichtensteiger has been the starting left guard when healthy since about midway through the 2010 season, he has been ready to slide over to play center, his college position, all along: “It’s something I’ve stayed up on the whole time,” he said. “There’s really never been a year since I came into the NFL where I wasn’t snapping the ball in practice. Shotgun snaps, having to take that big step, gaining ground. That’s not really too much.”

—Players tend to be very confident about being able to bounce back from injuries. Hamstring strains, however, are an exception. As are most players, DeSean Jackson was very cautious when discussing his. “It’s a hamstring, a slight pull,” Jackson said Wednesday. “That’s the most I can tell you.” When might he be back? “I don’t know, maybe next week. We’ll see. It’s going good, so we’ll see how it feels next week.”

—The fact that Brian Orakpo doesn’t have a new long-term contract seems to be eating on him a bit; the Redskins hope that he takes out whatever frustration he has on the field. “Once I signed on the dotted line, I don’t have to be here,” Orakpo. “I could still [stay away] like the majority of NFL players do when they [get tagged]. But nothing in my DNA wants to do that. I love my teammates. I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.”

—It’s hard to blame fans and media for tagging linebacker Keenan Robinson with the “injury prone” label; he has logged 21 games missed due to two torn pectoral muscles in his first two seasons in the league. But Robinson insists the shoe doesn’t fit. “In college I never got hurt. In high school I never got hurt,” Robinson said. “I never had to deal with injuries, especially injuries that kept me out for, shoot, six games my first year; my second year, the whole season. Coming back from it I learned to really appreciate the game.”

—The Redskins have been very careful to note that Doug Williams would not be coaching Robert Griffin III about on-field techniques but would be there to serve as a mentor to the young QB. Griffin was asked about Williams on Wednesday. “He’s been great. I get to stop by his office and talk to him whenever I need to. I’ve been doing some things with him here off the field in the community. It’s a pleasure to have him here and I’m glad they brought him back.”

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Timeline

—Redskins Hall of Fame receiver Bobby Mitchell was born on this date in 1935.

—It’s been 159 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 93 days until they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Minicamp starts 11; Training camp 48; Redskins @ Eagles 107

In case you missed it

Tandler' OTA observations

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Redskins Draft Room Revealed: Who works the phones, and who makes the call

Redskins Draft Room Revealed: Who works the phones, and who makes the call

Since the dismissal of former general manager Scot McCloughan, there's been little question who was in charge at Redskins Park. Unofficially anyway. 

Bruce Allen is back running the show, if he ever stopped, and will be at the center of the Redskins draft room and decision making process.

For weeks, Allen and Jay Gruden made clear that the entire Redskins front office - from scouts to the top brass - have input on draft grades. Those grades will determine what players the 'Skins take, and the team is unlikely to deviate from their draft board. 

On Monday, however, Washington director of college scouting Scott Campbell addressed the media and explained that when a decision needs to be made, it will be Allen's call. 

From Campbell:

The way we have the room when the draft is ongoing is we have Eric Schaffer and Alex Santos are constantly calling teams above us. They’re taking the phone calls from the other teams – also behind [us]. A lot of times per Bruce’s instructions, he’ll say, ‘Hey, you take these five teams. You take the next five teams. Start making calls.’ And then we’re receiving calls too at the same time. Once they get that information, they’ll tell the table in the front and say, ‘Hey, we can trade back for this, we can trade up for that.’ It would be me and Bruce and Jay saying ‘No, no, we’ve got enough guys there’ or say ‘I like these guys,’ or like, “Hey, there’s guys there.’ So it’s kind of a discussion amongst the people, and most times it’s Bruce saying, ‘Just tell them we’re not interested,’ or he says, ‘Get the league on the phone. We’re going to make that trade.’”

Campbell's comments reveal quite a lot. To start, it's interesting to know the roles of Schaffer and Santos during the draft. Both men carry a lot of impact in the team's personnel selection. Also, and it was fairly obvious since McCloughan's firing, but Jay Gruden's role continues to increase.

The biggest tell, however, is that ultimately Bruce Allen makes the decisions. It's not a surprise, but it is important to know. Officially.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Redskins won't say if Joe Mixon is on their board but say character does count

Redskins won't say if Joe Mixon is on their board but say character does count

The Redskins may or may not have one of the most polarizing members of the 2017 draft class on their draft board. But they do believe that character counts.

Scott Campbell, the Redskins’ director of college scouting, would not say if  Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who is seen on video striking a woman and knocking her to the floor in an incident that occurred in July of 2014, is on the team’s board.

“We don't announce who's on and off the board for strategic reasons,” said Campbell on Monday at the team’s pre-draft news conference, saying that it’s the team’s policy.

He added that incidents like the one that Mixon was a part of do come into consideration.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 10.0

“Character is very important to me, it's very important to the Redskins,” said Campbell.

He explained that early in the scouting process, character issues are not taken into account.

“What I always told the scouts and how I was trained 30 years ago when I started is when you start to evaluate guys in the beginning, you don't factor in the character, you don't grade character, you grade talent,” said Campbell, who has been with the Redskins organization for 16 years. “You don't throw away somebody early who may have some redeeming quality or a part of the story you didn't know about.”

It’s later on that the scouts gather information on such incidents as problems with the law, failed drug tests, and other quarters of character.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often 

“Our scouts do a great job getting a lot of information,” said Campbell. “Some of the incidents you brought up happened after the season, at the combine, and just a few days ago. All those things are factored into an evaluation as they are gathered.”

With that information at hand, they start the process of elimination, deciding who fits and who doesn’t.

“When it comes close to the draft, you start weeding out all that, getting more information, deciding, OK, that guy's not our kind of guy, that guy's not a Redskin, this guy could be drafted but good luck to them,” said Campbell.

It seems like much more of a gut feel type of process than anything rigid. There is not much of a clue there as to whether or not the team will consider bringing Mixon aboard, who is inarguably one of the most talented running backs in the draft. The upside is that Mixon could provide a jolt to the team’s offense. The downside would be an immediate public relations hit. The team also must consider what will happen if Mixon were to run afoul of the NFL’s domestic abuse policy in the future, which calls for a six-game suspension for a first offense with penalties getting progressively worse if problems persist.

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.