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Need to Know: Amerson on track to play vs. Bears

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Need to Know: Amerson on track to play vs. Bears

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 18, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Chicago Bears at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

Five things from Redskins Park

1. As noted here a couple of days ago the Bears have four legitimate pass-catching threats in Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffrey, Martellus Bennett, and Matt Forte. It would be very good for the Redskins to have their nickel cornerback available for the game. David Amerson practiced on a limited basis on Thursday with no contact. According to Mike Shanahan he passed his tests and as long as he continues to do so he should be good to go on Sunday.

2. Sunday will be just a few days shy of the three-year anniversary of DeAngelo Hall’s four-pick performance against Jay Cutler in Chicago. All four picks came in the second half. His second interception was the biggest; he jumped in front of a Culter pass intended for Johnny Knox when the Bears were in the red zone and threatening to break the game open. Hall rolled 92 yards up the sideline to give the Redskins a 17-14 lead. That turned out to be the final score as Hall helped preserve the win with two more interceptions in the fourth quarter.

3. Of course, this is hardly a rematch of that game; only a handful of players who were around then are still with the respective teams. My friend @ZacBoyer tweeted out a reminder that Donovan McNabb was the QB, Ryan Torain the leading rusher and Rocky McIntosh the leading tackler.

4. Mike Shanahan believes that the Redskins’ opponents will now play them differently now that Robert Griffin III has demonstrated that the can do some serious damage running the ball. “I think everybody will approach Robert differently, but you’ve got to get ready for a quarterback that has the ability to run and pass,” he said. “There’s no question about that. I think everybody could see that he made a couple of plays with his legs, so he is able to make plays where you couldn’t really see that in the first four games.”

5. Kyle Shanahan is not at all fazed by Griffin saying that he wants to “be the playmaker I can be.” “That’s usually what I start off saying to him before every game, ‘Just make sure you go out there and be you and have fun,’” said Shanahan. “During the week it’s about fundamentals, execution, your technique, trying to get a guy better, but when you get to game day, it’s about playing. You’ve got to let it loose and go out there and just react and see what happens and when you make mistakes you’ve got to get it corrected that week in practice.”

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Stat of the day

—The Bears defense this year already has scored four touchdowns. They also have 11 pick sixes since 2012. That’s by far the most of any team in that period, next best team has six. (h/t @HogsHaven)

Timeline

—Days until: Bears @ Redskins 2; Redskins @ Broncos 9; Chargers @ Redskins 16

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Player availability and Mike Shanahan news conference after practice (approx. 1:15)                                          

In case you missed it

Two-minute drill

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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.