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Need to Know: Who's in-out for Redskins-Steelers

Need to Know: Who's in-out for Redskins-Steelers

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Monday, August 19, five days before the Redskins take on the Bills at FedEx Field.

Game chat tonight

We had a great turnout for our first game chat of the year so tonight should be a lot of fun as well. Tarik, JP, and I will all be at FedEx Field for Redskins vs. Steelers. We'll get the chat going right here at 7:30 getting ready for the 8:00 kickoff.

See you there!

Playing time estimate roundup

Mike Shanahan is well known for keeping estimates for playing time in preseason games a closely guarded secret. He has, however, been more forthcoming lately. Here is the information I’ve been able to glean from various comments by players and by Shanahan.

Starters: “Normally, going into the second game, we double the reps of the first game,” said Shanahan. This might be a little bit more depending on how the game goes but in that 25-30 play range is what we normally do in the second game. We’ll just have to kind of get a feel as the game goes, but it’ll be somewhere in that area.”

For reference/comparison purposes, the Redskins ran 35 snaps on offense against the Titans while Tennessee ran 26.

Here is what was said about some specific players:

Brian Orakpo: Missed practice with a bruised quad but Shanahan said he could play “barring a setback”.

Rookie running backs Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison: Shanahan gave a somewhat vague answer when asked if these two would play. “A lot has to do with kind of the flow of the game, how the game’s going,” he said. “Yeah, we’re going to try to evaluate all our players over the next three games, get everybody a chance, but it’s kind of hard to tell you exactly what’s going to happen because I’m not positive at this time.” Thompson did tell Tarik El-Bashir that he will play.

QB Kirk Cousins: Shanahan said that Cousins, who is both the No. 1 and No. 2 QB for the time being, will play a half, which could carry him beyond the 25-30 snaps the starters are schedule to play.

QB’s Rex Grossman and Pat White: Shanahan said both are likely to play, depending on how many snaps the offense runs.

RB Roy Helu Jr.: After having a strong game against the Titans, Helu will get some more snaps this week. “He’ll get some playing time this week,” said Shanahan.

TE Fred Davis: Might play past when the other starters exit. “He will probably play close to half,” said Shanahan.

TE Jordan Reed: It looks like Reed will make his debut on Monday. “I think so,” Shanahan said when asked.

WR Donte Stallworth (hamstring): He did not practice all week. “He’s getting a little bit better, but not good enough to play,” said Shanahan.

ILB Rodderick Muckelroy (shoulder): “Muckelroy right now, his shoulder is still sore,” said Shanahan. “We’ll see how it is over the next couple of days. It’s probably a long shot.”

CB Ryan Mouton (hamstring): “Mouton is a longshot as well,” Shanahan said.

LB Nick Barnett: The in-camp signee is still working his way into shape and recovering from offseason knee surgery. “He will not play” against the Steelers on Monday night, Shanahan said. “Hopefully there is an outside chance that he might take a few reps against Buffalo.”

Reports out of Pittsburgh indicate that the Steelers will play their first offensive unit for about a quarter but their starting offensive line may play the entire first half, depending on snap counts.

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Today’s schedule

Steelers at Redskins, FedEx Field, 8 p.m., ESPN

Minnifield turning heads in camp

In case you missed it

Days until: Bills @ Redskins 5; Final cuts 12; Eagles @ Redskins 21

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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.