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Need to Know: Health not an issue for the Redskins

Need to Know: Health not an issue for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, November 2, one day before the Washington Redskins host the San Diego Chargers.

Nickel coverage

Five notes and quotes from Redskins Park:

1. The Redskins certainly can’t complain about their health. They did list nine players on their injury report on Friday but only one, safety Jose Gumbs, is listed as questionable. The rest are probable. While some have missed games here and there, no projected starters are on injured reserve. This team has 99 problems but health ain’t one.

2. Safety Reed Doughty was an injury concern last week and he ended up missing the game in Denver due to a concussion. He is one of those listed as probable after he practiced in full all week. “He’s had a good week. There’ve been no setbacks,” said Mike Shanahan. “He gets tested every day, so right now he’s listed as full-go. Unless something happens in the next 24 hours, which I don’t anticipate, he’ll be ready to play.”

3. What a difference some takeaways can make. The perception is that the Chargers’ offense is humming along efficiently with Philip Rivers completing nearly three-fourths of his passes while the Redskins are sputtering with Robert Griffin III trying to get his season together. But the Redskins have outscored the Chargers 174-168 this year. The difference, of course, is four defensive touchdowns scored by the Redskins. San Diego, on the other hand, has just four takeaways at all this year and not return touchdowns. It will be tough to get a pick six off of Rivers (only 5 INT thrown all year) but that would go a long way towards helping the Redskins’ cause on Sunday.

4. Some will be concerned when a Chargers player catches a pass and Brandon Meriweather comes streaking into the picture. Did he learn his lesson on illegal hits after the NFL suspended him for last week’s game? Shanahan isn’t worried. “I think sometimes people get a little carried away with that,” he said. “We understand what the rules are and he’s been penalized for it. We’ve been penalized as a team as well. So he knows where the emphasis is and he wants to play football for a long time. When he does get that hit, he’s going to try to hit in the right area. Hopefully he does.”

5. What’s missing from the Redskins’ passing game this year? Success using play action is way off. From the number crunchers at ESPN via my man John Keim we learn that last year the Redskins led the NFL in play action yards per game (118.5) and per attempt (11.8). This year they’ve slipped to sixth in yards per game with 68 and a lowly 23rd per attempt at 6.7.

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Stat of the day

—The Redskins lead the league with an average of 4.98 yards per rushing attempt.

Timeline

—Days until: Chargers @ Redskins 1; Redskins @ Vikings 5; Redskins @ Eagles 15

—Today’s schedule: No availability, Chargers at Redskins Sunday 1:00 p.m.

In case you missed it

Kyle Shanahan looking at results, not stats

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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.