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Need to Know: How will Redskins' GM McCloughan handle free agency?

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Need to Know: How will Redskins' GM McCloughan handle free agency?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 3, 15 days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL assemble in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.

Question of the day

We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today's question is from Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Redskinsmeme/status/562349107088355328

Let’s approach this question from two angles. First, let’s look at what Scot McCloughan said.

“I honestly think the draft is the lifeline of your organization, but also you’ve got to understand with free agency that’s a tool that you can use and you can use it in a positive manner,” he said at his introductory press conference. “You know, you start dabbling too much in free agency sometimes, you’re getting older guys; you’re getting medical history . . . “

“See, in Washington, we’re going to draft these guys and we are going to draft them and mold them as Redskins. We’re not going to have to go out to other organizations and bring in 32 and 33 year olds who have different plans. I think the best-case scenario is you draft and mold your own and re-sign your own. But free agency is still there to be used to make your roster stronger too. You can’t lose sight of that.”

He specifically mentioned Ron Wolf, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, and Ted Thompson, his mentors when he was a scout with the Packers. They are purists when it comes to free agency, rarely bringing in talent from outside of the oranization. It doesn’t sound like McCloughan plans to have a roster almost completely stocked with home-grown talent like the Packers do but his vision is to have a team that is built mostly through the draft.

But you should watch what he does and not what he says. In order to get an idea of what he might do, let’s take a look back at 2005, when he took over personnel decisions for the 49ers as their vice president of player personnel. San Francisco had gone 2-14 the previous year so it obviously was a roster that was in just as bad a shape as is the current Redskins’ roster.

McCloughan, however, did not go on a spending spree to pump up the Niners’ roster. He brought in two free agents who found their way into the starting lineup. Johnny Morton, a 35-year-old receiver, was signed away from the Loins and defensive end Marques Douglas, 28, came from the Ravens. Neither was a big splash signing. That was it. All of the other starters were either holdovers or McCloughan draft picks from 2005.

One other note here: McCloughan had come to the 49ers from the Seahawks and, as noted, started with the Packers. He did not sign any players who had been with his previous employers. So those of you trying to connect the dots and bring Frank Gore or Vernon Davis to Washington should think twice.

Putting what McCloughan said and what he has done together it looks like the Redskins will not be big players in the free agent market but they won’t be sitting on the sidelines either. Look for them to plug a few holes with some younger players who won’t break the bank or perhaps with an older player on a one-year deal.

Free agency starts five weeks from today so we will see what he does starting then.

Timeline

—It’s been 37 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 222 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 35; Redskins offseason workouts start 76; 2015 NFL Draft 87

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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Giants TE grabs crotch, immediately introduced to NFL's celebration rules

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USA Today Sports Images

Giants TE grabs crotch, immediately introduced to NFL's celebration rules

It took the New York Giants a full game and another quarter before they scored their first touchdown of the 2017-18 NFL season.

Giants rookie Evan Engram was the recipient of their first touchdown of the season, scoring the first of his career on Monday Night Football.

Naturally he began to celebrate his accomplishment, but perhaps his celebration was too natural. 

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In the clip, right in front of the cameraman, the 23-year-old proceeds to dance with a finishing move crotch grab in the midst of his teammates.

Apparently the loosened NFL celebration rules from this off-season did not take out any sexually suggestive actions. 

It resulted in a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kick-off for the Giants.

With the ball then kicked out of bounds the Lions had the ball at their own 45-yard line.

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Likely the grab will give Engram a fine from the NFL.

Last season Antonio Brown was fined for a similar celebration, by twerking following a score.

The touchdown remains the only time New York has found the end-zone through two games.

With only 13 points it is the lowest scoring two game start in 70 years for the franchise. 

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Snap Chat: Josh Doctson plays more but still looking for first reception

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Snap Chat: Josh Doctson plays more but still looking for first reception

The playing time of Josh Doctson in the Redskins’ season opener was a topic of discussion. In Week 2 against the Rams, his playing time increased by nearly 50 percent but he still is looking for his first catch of the season.

After being in 20 plays against the Eagles and not being targeted on a single pass attempt, Doctson played 29 snaps in the Rams game. The result was one target but it was a fade pass in the end zone that he never had a chance to get his hands on. The 2016 first-round pick still has a zero on the stat sheet in the receptions column.

Some other observations on playing time against the Rams:

Kirk Cousins and four of the offensive linemen played all 71 offensive snaps. Morgan Moses left on the last play of the third quarter with a sprained ankle. He was out on the ensuing third-down play, the Redskins punted and when they got the ball back Moses was back in there after missing just the one snap.

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—When Rob Kelley was in the game he was getting the ball. He played 16 snaps and had 12 carries before he left the game in the second quarter with a rib injury. Chris Thompson (29) and Samaje Perine (26) split the other running back carries.

—The Redskins played a lot of multiple tight end sets with Jordan Reed (40), Vernon Davis (55), and Niles Paul (36) combining to play 131 snaps. That’s an average of almost two tight ends per snap. Contrast that to last week when the tight ends played a combined 87 of the 69 plays on offense.

—On defense, CB Bashaud Breeland, S D.J. Swearinger, and ILB Mason Foster played all 50 defensive snaps. That means that Foster didn’t miss a play after he suffered a shoulder separation and popped it back into place on the sideline.

Zach Brown missed a snap and Josh Norman missed three, probably due to his shoulder injury.

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—Rookie Jonathan Allen again led the defensive line in snaps played with 29 this time. Matt Ioannidis was right behind him with 28.

—Non-Allen rookie watch: Fourth-round pick Montae Nicholson was a surprise starter at strong safety, playing 26 snaps before leaving with an injury. Fellow rookie CB Fabian Moreau played one snap on defense and 21 on special teams. Ryan Anderson played a dozen snaps on defense. Chase Roullier did not play an offensive snap but he got in on six special teams plays.

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.