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Need to Know: The Redskins' road ahead

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Need to Know: The Redskins' road ahead

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 6, seven days before the Redskins fact the Cowboys in Dallas.

Nickel coverage

Of the 12 games remaining on their schedule there are some that the Redskins are likely to lose even if they improve to their 2012 form. And there are some that they should win even if they are off their game somewhat. That leaves a handful of games that should decide if they will have a return trip to the playoffs on their calendars in January or if they will be going home. Here are those five games in the order they fall on the schedule:

1. Oct. 13 @ Cowboys: Your next game is always your most important one. If Dallas loses to the Broncos today as expected the game could be for first place in the NFC East. The Redskins will not lack for confidence going into Dallas after sweeping the Cowboys last year.

2. Oct. 20 vs. Bears: I’m sure that FedEx Field season ticket holders are well aware that the Redskins are winless at home this year. The Bears have been putting up some points this year behind Jay Cutler, who was Mike Shanahan’s handpicked franchise quarterback in Denver. Robert Griffin III, Shanahan’s handpicked franchise QB here, will have to have the offense moving.

3. Nov. 17 @ Eagles: Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense has continued to churn out yards since the shock and awe display in the season opener at FedEx Field (2nd in NFL in yards gained) but they haven’t translated the yards into points very well (24.8 ppg., 12th). We’ll see if a game of experience against Kelly can give the defense what it needs to give the Washington offense a chance to exploit the Eagles’ struggling defense.

4. Nov. 25 vs. 49ers: This looked like one of those sure losses when the schedule came out but now it appears to be a competitive game. The Super Bowl loser hangover appears to be in full effect in San Francisco and with Colin Kaepernick struggling to find the form that had many counting him among the game’s elite quarterbacks (sound familiar?) this should be a very competitive game.

5. Dec. 8 vs. Chiefs: Under Andy Reid they have already doubled their 2012 win total and in the process they have helped out the Redskins. Kansas City has beaten each of the other three members of the NFC East, helping Washington stay in the race despite the early struggles. We will see if they are still on a roll in December.

In case you missed it

Sun 09.29

Mon 09.30

Tue 10.01

Wed 10.02

Thur 10.03

Fri 10.04

Sat 10.05

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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.