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Need to Know: A new mindset at Redskins Park?

Need to Know: A new mindset at Redskins Park?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 28, 63 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

Some Robert Griffin III notes and quotes:
“Right now I’m a 25-year-old young man who can do a lot of different things, so I’m not going to limit myself to just being a dropback passer. But if Coach Gruden and Sean McVay asked me to be a dropback passer in any given situation, my job is to make sure that I can be.”
This is the whole RG3 as a drop back passer issue in a nutshell. He has to be able to do it. Maybe not all the time, in some games maybe not even the majority of the time. But he has to be able to do it consistently and reliably if he is going to be a successful NFL quarterback. It’s what you have to do in pro football.
"Sometimes it’s not about what kind of guys you have on your team as far as the talent level, it’s about the mindset you have. So, that culture change first happens upstairs and I was blessed enough to experience that and go through that with my teammates at Baylor and I want to go through that with my teammates here with the Redskins also. So it all starts upstairs. It’s a mindset change with not accepting mediocrity."
Is there a new mindset at Redskins Park? We’ll have to see. I know that some of you hate this being brought up repeatedly but the laughter and cutting up in the locker room after the loss to Seattle and the frequent cases of players and coaches patting themselves on the back after close losses is very much a sign that many of them accept mediocrity. Sure, a change in mindset can happen but, like the mythical attacking defense that forces bushels of turnovers we hear about this time every year, I’ll believe it when I see it.
"It’s fun to be around your guys and be around your teammates because every organization, at the beginning of the year, when they come in in April, is a group of 90 guys, it’s not a team. You have to form into a team. That what we’ve been doing here and having the new guys has been awesome and I enjoy being around them, so for me it’s awesome. I love coming out and playing football. That’s what I’m paid to do and that’s what I love to do.”
I could be wrong about this but I don’t recall Griffin talking about coming together as a team much in the past. The whole “RG-Me” thing is highly overblown by some fans but talking more about the team and less about himself (even though that’s what he usually gets asked about) could do him a lot of good.
“I’ve always been dedicated to the film study, I just hadn’t been asked about it. My man Jeff over there did a great job with his article. But no, I hadn’t really been asked about that. It wasn’t very different from before. You know you have to dedicate yourself in those ways and it’s not about really standing up and talking about it and saying what you do, but he asked me a specific question and I gave him a specific answer in that setting and that’s what it was.
I don’t doubt that Griffin has watched a lot of football film in his time in the NFL. How much, and how the amount that he watches stacks up against what other NFL QB’s watch, I have no idea. As with any job, sometimes is not a matter of how much you do something (working harder) but getting more out the time you spend doing it (working smarter). Griffin may not need to watch more film, but he may need to improve on what he is looking for and how to use that information. Matt Cavanaugh has the potential to be a great help here.

Timeline

—It’s been 151 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 108 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 19; Redskins training camp starts 63; Thursday night Redskins @ Giants 119

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always 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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Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Alabama dominates college football in a way few teams ever have. In the last two seasons, the Crimson Tide has lost just two games, winning one national title and narrowly missing a second.

The strength of 'Bama, year after year, is their defense. Nick Saban coaches it, Nick Saban knows it, and Nick Saban demands the best from his players. 

Oddly, however, a few recent Alabama defenders drafted to the NFL have not produced. Or at least their production did not match their draft status. 

It's not too hard to pick names that fit that perception. Rolando McClain. Terrance Cody. Dre Kirkpatrick. And at running back, Trent Richardson didn't help.

Still, the Redskins invested heavily in the Tide during the 2017 draft. Their top two picks played for Saban's defense last year, and Washington coach Jay Gruden does not buy any part of the perception that 'Bama products regress in the NFL.

"I don’t see any negative whatsoever with them going to Alabama," Gruden said late Friday night.

The 'Skins selected Jonathan Allen in the first round and Ryan Anderson in the second. Both guys started on the Tide's front seven, and both players dominated.

"They come there and they are well coached. Anytime you watch college football, and you watch other defenses, no disrespect, and then you flip on an Alabama game, it’s different," Gruden said. "The speed is different. They are well-coached, they are in their gaps, they play hard, they play physical, and that’s from Week 1 until the end. That has to appeal to you as a coach. They are using their hands, they are physical, they are chasing the ball, they are running to the ball."

The perception, right or wrong, has two main positions. The first is that the Alabama defense looks so good because it is full of five-star recruits. When everyone is good, or great, on the college level, it's hard to truly judge any singular player's game tape. The second is that Saban is so exhausting, so demanding of his players, they arrive to the NFL with too many reps.

For those around the NFL, both theories are laughable. Pro scouts know game tape. How else can they judge a future first rounder when he matches up against a walk-on? And for every alleged 'Bama bust, think about Haha Clinton-Dox or Landon Collins or C.J. Mosley or Dont'a Hightower. 

Might some Tide players get overdrafted because of their success and high profile? That's a different conversation. What's certain is the Redskins are quite confident in both of their Alabama draft picks.

"We know they are both highly intelligent guys. They understand football, understand X’s and O’s and they both play very hard with a high motor and they are well-coached."

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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