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Need to Know: Redskins camp news and notes, Day 8: Practicing in the elements

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Need to Know: Redskins camp news and notes, Day 8: Practicing in the elements

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, August 2, five days before the Redskins open the preseason against the Patriots.

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News, notes, and quotes from Day 8 of Redskins training camp.

—Sometimes some of us in the media make too big a deal out of a little bit of rain. As Darrel Young said, they have to play in it so they can't give a second through to practicing in it. “Practice was good, just another day of training camp,” he said. “I actually forgot it was raining until the end when I took my helmet off. You don’t worry about the elements, you just go out there and play. You’ve got to play football in any environment.”

—Robert Griffin III won’t directly compare this year to last but you don’t have to do too much reading between the lines to see that he’s delighted with the change. “I can’t compare it to last year but this year it’s been great,” he said. “We have a new regime, we have new excitement, we have a new direction and that directions starts and ends with Jay. He’s done a great job with that and we’re following him in that regard. You guys can see practice is a little bit different, everyone’s demeanor is a little different. Everyone is excited but we’re all preparing every night.” Honestly, I think that they were preparing every night last year, too. But if it works for Robert, that’s fine with me.

—Before camp started, Gruden indicated that how physical a given camp session might be would be determined on a daily basis. He had plans but he reserved the right to call an audible. On Friday he did just that, switching plans to go with full pads to shells. “We’re going to go full gear tomorrow [Saturday],” he said. “Like I said yesterday, my whole goal is to get everybody 100 percent for Monday so we can all be competing against New England. We had a couple bruises here and there, a couple little hamstring strains, kicked in the shin, all that stuff. So I wanted to just taper off a little bit today and then come tomorrow we’ll be in full gear for the fan day, give them a day off and then they’ll be ready to go for Monday.”

—Keenan Robinson is taking over for London Fletcher at Mike linebacker. Let that sink in. But he believes he’s ready and he doesn’t think that his predecessor will be in his head. “I don’t know if you’re ever truly ready but it’s something that I’ll embrace as the season and as preseason camp progresses,” he said. “It’s something that I am definitely embracing because it’s my duty. When everybody says ‘middle linebacker,’ I think of leading the team, vocal leader, physical leader and on-the-field leader. It’s something that I have to do and make sure that I’m fulfilling those roles as a middle linebacker.”

—Robinson hasn’t played since Thanksgiving Day, 2012. He tore one pectoral muscle that day and then tore the other very early in camp a year ago. He’s not worried about reinjury but he is realistic enough to know that injuries can happen at any time. “I mean, once you rehab and heal them up to how he healed them up – I did a very good job on the first side and I tore the other side,” he said. “It would be different if I tore this side twice. He said it shouldn’t happen again, but injuries happen and football is a very physical game and hopefully I don’t have an issue with either one of them ever again." Prediction: If Robinson plays reasonably well he will quickly become a fan favorite. Good guy, very sharp and he has the potential to be a playmaker.

If you have any questions about what's going on at training camp, hit me up in the comments. I promise I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them! And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Timeline

Today’s schedule: Fan appreciation day; Practice 10:35; Jay Gruden and players media availability after practice.

—It’s been 216 days since the Redskins played a game; in 36 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 5; Final cuts 28; Redskins @ Eagles 50

Griffin on having refs at practice

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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.