Quick Links

Need to Know: Five things the Redskins must do better in 2014

rg3-fumble-vs-49ers.png

Need to Know: Five things the Redskins must do better in 2014

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 5, 65 days before the start of free agency.

Offense or defense? How about neither?

Here are five numbers the Redskins’ new coach is going to work to improve in 2014:

1. Defensive passing yards per play: Redskins 7.58, NFL average 6.65—This means that every time the other team drops back to pass it gains almost a yard more than the league average (this number takes yards lost by sacks into account) and over two yards more than the Seahawks and Bengals.

2. Punt return average allowed: Redskins 16.8, NFL average 9.4—We’ll just let this represent all of the special teams woes since this entire post could be made of kicking game performance that were well below the NFL average.

3. Offensive interception rate: Redskins 3.11%, NFL average 2.77%--This could be an anomaly due to Robert Griffin III’s struggles and Kirk Cousins appearing in garbage time earlier in the season and then having some issues in NFL starts number 2,3, and 4. But the turnovers have to stop.

4. Fumbles lost: Redskins 15, NFL average 9.75—The other element of the turnover equation didn’t look too good either. They didn’t have particularly bad luck in recovering fumbles; they put the ball on the ground 30 times and a 50 percent recovery rate is right around the NFL average.

5. First quarter scoring differential: Redskins minus-79 points, league average 0—The Redskins were last in the league here and one of the five worst in NFL history. A team that has to play from behind from the very beginning game after game is not going to be very successful.

Like Real Redskins on Facebook!

Timeline

—On this date in 1991, the Redskins beat the Eagles 20-6 in a Wild Card playoff game. The win was revenge for the “Body Bag” game in Philadelphia two months earlier.

—Days until: NFL free agency 65; Offseason workout start 92; 2014 NFL Draft 123

In case you missed it:

Sunday 12.29

Monday 12.30

Tuesday 12.31

Wednesday 01.01

Thursday 01.02

Friday 01.03

Saturday 01.04

Quick Links

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>>>

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!

Quick Links

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.