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Need to Know: Callahan says Redskins' running scheme will be diverse

Need to Know: Callahan says Redskins' running scheme will be diverse

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 23, 37 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp

 

Read and react

Here are some quotes from offensive line coach Bill Callahan’s media session during minicamp and my reaction to them:

On guard Spencer Long:
“Coming out he was a very mobile, strong, athletic-type guard so putting him into that position and trying to elevate his skill level is challenging for all of us. Hopefully he can hang on to it and compete for that starting spot.”
Callahan and the organization took something of a leap of faith in letting go of Chris Chester last month and essentially handing the right guard job to a player who has all of 18 NFL snaps under his belt. Callahan believes that he can be coached up and get the job done.

On changes in the Redskins’ running scheme:
“I think when you have balance in you running game, whether it’s the gap scheme, the zone scheme, using your draws, using wide zones, or tight zones, or whatever that may be I think it just keeps the defense off balance and it plays to your players’ strengths.”
As with the Cowboys last year, the Redskins aren’t going to go with power blocking plays exclusively. They will mix it up. I would still look for more power than zone because of the last several words of that quote.

More on playing to strengths:
“When you walk in the door you look at the players first and what they do best and you fashion a system around their strengths and their skill levels. That’s what we’re trying to do in this OTA and this minicamp session.”
Or you can walk in the door and replace one starter with a top draft pick and give another one the heave-ho and replace him with a second-year player. They already had Trent Williams, who is scheme versatile, and Shawn Lauvao, who was a fish out of water in the Redskins’ zone-oriented scheme last year. By drafting Brandon Scherff and elevating Long they transformed the line into one that is better suited to just push defenders out of the way. I’d say they adjusted the talent to run the scheme they want.

When asked about the enthusiasm he displays on the job:
“I love it, I absolutely love it. I look forward to practice every day. There’s nothing like it. I’m just an old school ball coach, you know what I mean? . . . I have a passion for this game. I love the game and what it stands for and what it’s all about, what it brings to the table and what it gives to a person and what they learn from it.”
I have to think most NFL coaches also love the game—you couldn’t put in all the hours that they do if they didn’t—but Callahan expresses it better than most I’ve heard.

Timeline

—It’s been 177 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 82 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 37; Preseason opener @ Browns 51; final cuts 74

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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In case you missed it

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If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

It still seems like a long-shot the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, but if there is one persistent rumor, it's that the San Francisco 49ers want the Washington passer. The story is too familiar at this point: New Niners coach Kyle Shanahan was in D.C. when Cousins was drafted and wants the quarterback to come run his offense in San Francisco. With the second overall pick, the 49ers have a tremendous asset they can dangle in trade talks.

<<<CLICK HERE TO SEE 5 PROSPECTS FOR THE REDSKINS AT NO. 2 PICK>>>

Whether or not any of this rumor is true, it sure makes for engrossing speculation. With the NFL Draft Combine next week in Indianapolis, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he wouldn't be shocked to see the trade go down.

That's the backdrop. Beyond the debate of the merits of trading an established QB like Cousins, which is a very serious debate, there's also the notion of what player the 'Skins would select with the second overall pick.  

MORE REDSKINS: 2017 top heavy Cap could be a problem

It's worth examining the impact players available to Washington with the second selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the options are varied, including perhaps a new QB. Check it out. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

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Washington Redskins' 2017 cap is top heavy—is that a problem?

Washington Redskins' 2017 cap is top heavy—is that a problem?

It seems almost inevitable that the Redskins will put the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins between now and the March 1 deadline. This will set the Redskins up to have a very top heavy salary cap structure.

As the website Spotrac noted yesterday, if the Redskins do tag Cousins, giving him a cap hit of $24.9 million, he, Josh Norman ($20 million cap number) and Trent Williams ($15.1 million) will account for a total of $59 million against the cap or 35 percent of the estimated $168 million cap for the 2017 season.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

That’s a lot of money to go to 5.6 percent of the players on the roster. To compare, the top three players on the Cowboys’ cap account for 34.2 percent of the cap. The top three with the Giants take up 29.7 percent and in Philadelphia it’s 17.8 percent. In fact, a check around the league shows that none of the 2016 AFC or NFC playoff teams has a higher percentage of their cap expended on its top three than the Redskins have on theirs.

This caused some consternation among Redskins fans and while it’s something to keep an eye on it does not present a big issue for the team at this time.

For one thing, the Redskins still have a good amount of cap room. If you assume the Cousins tag, they still will have about $40 million in cap space with the ability to create perhaps $10 million more by releasing some veterans and/or redoing some contracts.

Also, it’s a temporary situation. Let’s say that the Redskins hang on to Cousins with a long-term deal and he has a $22 million cap number in 2018. If that the case then Cousins, Norman ($17 million), and Williams ($13.9 million) would still be the top three players on the cap number list and they would total $52 million.  On a cap that is projected to be $178 million that would be 29.2 percent of the total. That’s still on the high side but certainly manageable.

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

And if you are going to have three players taking up a high percentage of the cap they should be your quarterback, left tackle, and No. 1 cornerback. Those, along with an edge rusher, are the most important players on the team and it’s appropriate to have them among you highest-paid players.

Still, the Redskins must be careful. Signing another free agent with a cap hit like Norman’s is out of the question. And as key contributors like Morgan Moses, Trent Murphy, Jamison Crowder, and Brandon Scherff become eligible for contract extensions or for free agency over the next couple of years, the organization needs to be sure that there is room to retain their own players when the time comes.

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.