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Need to Know: Other Redskins 'distractions' minor compared to this situation

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Need to Know: Other Redskins 'distractions' minor compared to this situation

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 11, four days before the Washington Redskins visit the Atlanta Falcons.

Now THIS is a distraction

When things like the Albert Haynesworth controversy or the Redskins name debate pop up some fans and folks in the media immediately label it a distraction.

That’s accurate to some extent. The players will get some questions about what’s going on and, in the case of Haynesworth, there are ripple effects in the locker room.

However, if you are gong to call things like that distractions you have to come up with a new word to describe what is happening now, with the future of the head coach and the entire coaching staff up in the air.

While some players have been asked about the team name from time to time, the topic is not anything that affects their daily lives. There were plenty of questions about Albert but the fate of the other 52 players was not in any way tied to his.

This is a different situation. For one thing, the status of Mike Shanahan will be an all-encompassing subject in the locker room. They won’t be able to escape it.

Far more significant than getting asked questions during the 45-minute open locker room is that some of these players may have their NFL futures at stake. A change in coaches inevitably brings about roster change. If the new coach doesn’t use the zone blocking scheme or wants to switch to a 4-3 defense, many won’t have jobs with the Redskins. Even if there are no scheme changes some will not be back.

So there are some who are wondering if they will have to pick up their families and move if they are going to continue their NFL careers. And those are the lucky ones. There are some, “Shanny’s guys” who wouldn’t be in the league if not for Shanahan and there is no guarantee that even if Shanahan lands a job elsewhere that they will be able to continue drawing six- and seven-figure paychecks.

To be sure, a player doesn’t get to this level unless he is able to compartmentalize. But Santana Moss said to LaVar and Dukes on 106.7 The Fan that this is the low point in his nine season in Washington when it comes to facing this type of adversity.

“Every moment you get, it’s more, it’s more, you know like, you’re able to deal with so much as a player, especially when it’s not containing you. So you kind brush a lot of things away but, when it’s like okay, I brushed that away, now you’re bringing back more . . . you try to get away from it man, so it sucks to be a part of and it sucks that we all, even though your name or what you’re doing might not be a part of it, but it’s your team, and so we’re all a part of it. And you hate to walk around with that on you. “

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Stat of the day

—On the season the Redskins have one of the better teams in the NFL when they get near the goal line. They score touchdown when they get into the red zone 59 percent of the time (8th in the NFL) and score touchdowns 74 percent of the time they get in goal to go situations (tied for 11th).

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Falcons 4; Cowboys @ Redskins 11; Opening Sunday 2014 season 270

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III news conferences and player availability after practice (approx. 2:00)

In case you missed it

Shanahan on focusing on the job at hand

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

It's been a confusing stretch for Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead. 

The charges against the Bealeton, Virginia native have no been dropped, after it was determined by Prince William County Police that Whitehead is not the man accused of shoplifting at a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 22.

Here's the full statement released Tuesday:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys.

The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr. Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.

The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.

The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation. The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family. 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys hadn't officially released Whitehead on Monday, despite reports it to the contrary. 

 

Although it's looking like he still may be looking for a new home.

 

 

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Redskins 2017 training camp preview—defense

Redskins 2017 training camp preview—defense

RICHMOND— The Redskins will assemble here tomorrow to get ready to get ready for the 2017 season. There are plenty of position competitions and other storylines. Here is a look at what we at CSN will be paying attention to. The key points on offense were published earlier; here’s a look at the defense.

Rebuilding the line

In a way, the situation on the D-line is similar to the one at wide receiver in that free agency and a release has created some holes. Chris Baker, the team’s best defensive lineman last year, left for Tampa Bay as a free agent and Ricky Jean Francois, arguably the second-best DL last year, was cut.

This is not all bad news. The wide receivers were one of the strengths of the team. The D-line was one of the weak spots so perhaps doing some major renovating there is just what the unit needs.

RELATED: Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense

The big move was one they really hadn’t planned on. Defensive end Jonathan Allen was projected by many to be a top-10 draft pick. But he slipped right into the Redskins’ lap with the 17th pick. He gets to work on Thursday and the sooner he can get up to NFL speed the better. They also signed two free agents in Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain and they re-signed Ziggy Hood. As with Allen, their roles will be determined over the course of the next few weeks of practice and during the preseason games.

Nobody knows who is going to end up playing nose tackle. It could be McGee, Hood, former first-round pick Phil Taylor or one of the 2016 practice squad members, Joey Mbu or A. J. Francis. The fact that there is no obvious candidate is troubling and perhaps a sign that the line will show only marginal improvement this year.

Starters at ILB

The Redskins got an upgrade here late in free agency with the signing of Zach Brown, who was last seen playing in the Pro Bowl for the Bills. How he fits in with incumbent starters Will Compton and Mason Foster remains to be seen. All three are likely to earn substantial playing time and who plays in what situation will be sorted out here in Richmond.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, 11-20

Adjustments at safety

The Redskins could be set at safety for the next several seasons. Or they could be scrambling to make adjustments by midseason. Su’a Cravens moves to strong safety from outside linebacker. He may be a step slower than the ideal for his position and he needs to make up for it by being, as he likes to say, assignment perfect. The Redskins signed D. J. Swearinger, who has been a strong safety for most of his career, to play free safety.

When the dust settles, they could be the best safety tandem the Redskins have had in years. Or they could be showing the effects of trying to put square pegs into round holes.

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.