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Need to Know: Redskins have contained Peterson

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Need to Know: Redskins have contained Peterson

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 6, one day before the Washington Redskins visit the Minnesota Vikings.

Nickel coverage

Five notes and quotes from the Redskins locker room:

1. David Amerson may have saved the Redskins season by knocking running back David Woodhead out of bounds just short of the goal line late in Sunday’s game against the Chargers. But being a hero did not cross his mind at the time. “I wasn't thinking about trying to save the game or whatever,” said the rookie cornerback. “I just, I can't let him get in this end zone. I'm going to do everything in my power to keep him out. That was my mentality.”

2. The Redskins gained some nice yardage with a few new offensive wrinkles including a couple of 18-yard runs out of the triple option. Robert Griffin III says that the benefit of such plays can go beyond the immediate yardages picked up. “I think it can be a little confusing for a defense,” he said. Nothing that such plays can “mess up guys’ keys”, Griffin said that you might just need one big play. “All you need is a few, a couple of big plays every game to kind of help you establish yourself and get into a rhythm as an offense,” he said.

3. The Redskins have done a pretty good job of containing Adrian Peterson over the years. He has played in four games against them, including one in 2007 before the current coaching staff was in place. He has 180 yards on 44 carries, an average of 45 yards per game and 4.1 per carry. Both averages are well under his career numbers of 98 yards a game and 5.0 per carry. They do need to watch for him catching some passes out of the backfield, however. He has 12 receptions for 119 yards against Washington.

4. On Tuesday the Redskins practiced in the bubble wearing no pads or helmets. With the short week the focus now in more on film work and other such preparation rather than going through physical reps. “A lot of it right now is mental preparation—watching a lot of film over the next 48-plus hours,” said Mike Shanahan. “It’s not really physical coming off of that game we just had, especially going into overtime. You take all those factors into consideration in a short week.”

5. NFL players have tremendous focus, often to the point where they don’t know things that most fans and media members just assume they know. After Sunday’s game, Griffin knew the Redskins were playing the Vikings next but he didn’t know who they played the week after that (it’s the Eagles). And when asked about the possibility of a letdown against a 1-7 Vikings team, Brandon Meriweather replied: “Honestly, I didn't know even know their record. I try to take it one game at a time. We was 3-6 last year and made the playoffs, you really can't overlook anybody in this league.”

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Stat of the day

—With a win tomorrow night the Redskins will improve to 4-5. Their playoff chances will get better but, historically, they will still be a long shot. Since 1990, 14 out of the 122 teams to start 4-5 made the playoffs (11.5%).

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Vikings 1; Redskins @ Eagles 11; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 19

—Today’s schedule: Practice 10:30; Player availability, Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan, and Jim Haslett news conference after practice (approx. 12:00)

In case you missed it

“How could we overlook them when we’re not that good?”

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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.