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Need to Know: Shanahan says Giants focused on stopping Morris

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Need to Know: Shanahan says Giants focused on stopping Morris

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 3, five days before the Redskins host the Chiefs.

Nickel coverage

Five notes from Mike Shanahan’s Monday news conference:

1. During the Redskins’ second-quarter touchdown drive Robert Griffin III scrambled out of bounds and tried to stop on a hard surface near the stands. He took a nasty spill, drawing gasps from the fans in the stands. Shanahan did not know what the surface was. “Well, I didn’t see it until today. That was a fall,” he said. “That was probably the best hit of the whole day. We’ve got to do something because somebody can seriously get hurt right there.”

2. Shanahan was asked about his message to the team after being eliminated from the playoffs. “After it’s over and you go out there and play and the way you prepare, you play just as though you are in the playoffs,” he said. “You want to spoil somebody else’s year. You want to play at a high level. You’re always being evaluated for the future. That never changes.”

3. Although you have to think that Alfred Morris should have had more than 11 carries in a game that the Redskins never trailed by more than one score, it was pretty clear that the Giants were focused on stopping Morris. He had just 26 yards on those 11 carries. “You have to take a look at the front too, what type of front you’re going against,” said Shanahan. “You’ve got to look at the front. I know that doesn’t mean anything to you, but it does to people that try to run the football. We believe in the running game, I think you realize that, so for us not to run it, there’s a reason why.”

4. It seems that Shanahan was willing to give a pass to his three veteran players who committed dumb penalties in the second half. On DeAngelo Hall’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty: “After I took a look at what the offensive lineman did to him, I could understand why he retaliated even though you never want a guy to retaliate.” On Santana Moss’ 15-yard penalty for arguing a holding call with the refs: “I could see why he was upset because I agree with Santana, it should not have been called a holding penalty.” On Pierre Garçon getting five yards for kicking a ball in frustration: “It was one of the best kicks I’ve ever seen, I’ve never seen a ball go that far – but on the serious side he’s one of the most fierce competitors I’ve been around. If I get everybody playing like him, you won’t need coaches.”

5. Veteran safety Reed Doughty suffered a concussion during the game. Earlier this season he was forced to miss the Broncos game because of a concussion. Two such injuries in a little over a month certain causes raised concerns about Doughty. “Yeah, I think you’re always more concerned after the first concussion,” said Shanahan. ‘When the guy has a second one there is more concern”

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Stat of the day

—Robert Griffin III has now attempted 430 passes this year, already more than the 393 he attempted in 15 games in 2012. But he still has to pass for 161 yards to match his 3,200 total from last year. Griffin is down a full yard per pass attempt this year (7.1) to last (8.1).

Timeline

—Days until: Chiefs @ Redskins 5; Redskins @ Falcons 12; Cowboys @ Redskins 19

—Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability

In case you missed it

Shanahan on playing for pride

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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.