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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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A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

This week in Indianapolis the NFL world will converge at the Scouting Combine to watch college football players work out, sprint and lift weights in anticipation of the upcoming draft. For the Redskins front office, this draft needs to be a win.

The 2016 Draft could still yield strong results for Washington, but overall the class did not play particularly well as rookies. This year, Scot McCloughan has nine picks at his disposal, with the extra picks late in the draft in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.

It's no secret that the 'Skins need help along the defensive line, a lot of help. That should be a major area of focus for the Redskins scouts and coaches, and that will make next Sunday arguably the most important of the week in Indianapolis. 

The combine divides players into 11 position groups, but Groups 7, 8 and 9 will matter most. Groups 7 and 8 represent defensive linemen and 9 are the linebackers. That group officially arrives on Thursday but won't work out on the field until Sunday. The days in between include interviews, psychological testing and the bench press.

Obviously the Redskins won't spend all nine picks on only defensive linemen. The team will likely invest in the offensive line as well, and that group will arrive earlier in the week and work out on Friday. Cornerbacks and safeties are the last to work out on Monday, March 6. 

With the likely departure of at least one of DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garçon, and the possible departure of both, it would make sense for the 'Skins to bring in another receiver via the draft. They work out on Saturday, and should the Redskins decide to take a quarterback in the draft, the passers will work out that day too. 

Running back could be another spot the 'Skins invest. Jay Gruden said that Robert Kelley is locked into the RB1 role, but still the team might want increased competition at the position. The backs will work out Friday.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

The NFL has released the official schedule of when NFL coaches and executives will take the podium and address the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. You can find it right here but I’ll save you a click—nobody from the Redskins is scheduled to talk.

NFL teams are not required to have a representative speak at the combine but most do. This year only the Saints and Patriots are joining the Redskins in avoiding the media.

Bill Belichick never talks at the combine and I believe that the Saints have bypassed the opportunity to do so in the past. However, the Redskins head coach traditionally has gone to the podium in the past. Joe Gibbs spoke when he was in his second stint as the head coach. Mike Shanahan, as tight lipped as anyone, met with the press in Indy each of his four years as head coach. Jay Gruden has spoken during each of the three years that he has been head coach.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

And last year Scot McCloughan held a small media gaggle with local reporters in his hotel in Indianapolis.

This year the Redskins are going somewhat dark. McCloughan did not speak to reporters at the Senior Bowl (Gruden held a brief availability in Mobile), a departure from his first two years with the team. And now no Redskins representatives at the combine.

One of the problems with changing what has been a longstanding practice and going into radio silence is that it leaves people speculating. If the team doesn’t want to put any information out there that is the organization’s option. But if you choose not to fill in the blanks, the fans and media will.

So why aren’t they talking? The best bet is that they are in a delicate stage when it comes to dealing with the future of quarterback Kirk Cousins. He is a pending free agent who is likely to be hit with the franchise tag on Wednesday, the day before the combine starts. At that point, the clock will be ticking on Cousins either signing a long-term contract or getting traded to a team that is willing to meet his asking price. It’s my guess that Jay Gruden does not want to face questions about Cousins’ future.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Gruden is not a very good liar; his poker face needs a lot of work. Perhaps that is a good quality for a human being but not a very good attribute for someone who would need to go out and talk about Cousins as the long-term quarterback for the team, or at least the QB for the coming season, when his status may be very much in doubt.

This is not to say that there is definitely going to be a trade of Cousins worked out at the combine. But it is very possible that a deal will be discussed with Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers and any number of other quarterback-needy teams. And perhaps there is concern that Gruden will let something slip or, more likely, say a lot on the subject of Cousins by not saying anything.

Again, this is just reading the tea leaves on my part. But by going silent the Redskins are sending an invitation for people to fill in the blanks. I am just taking them up on it.

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.