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Need to Know: Will Redskins' tempest carry over into tonight's game?

Need to Know: Will Redskins' tempest carry over into tonight's game?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, November 25, the day the Washington Redskins host the San Francisco 49ers.

What effect will will the controversy have on the field?

Does apparent dysfunction and disarray like the Redskins had this week make it difficult for players to focus on the task at hand? Or does it draw them closer together?

The team has been under fire for about a week and a half. It started out of the blue when Darrell Green questioned the leadership ability of Robert Griffin III despite, as he told Dan Hellie, not knowing anything about the situation.

Then there was the loss to Philly and there is no need to rehash what Griffin, Mike Shanahan, and Santana Moss said over the few days after that. Suffice it to stay that they didn’t appear to be reading from the same book, much less the same page.

For a few days it appeared that the crisis has passed. Griffin said all the right things his Wednesday press conference. Moss blamed the media for the issues. London Fletcher stepped in and praised Griffin.

Move along, nothing to see here.

But the whole thing exploded again on Sunday, when Mike Silver of the NFL Network reported that Griffin had asked that the team not show his negative plays during team film sessions (and that the request was flatly rejected). Shanahan took the unusual step of responding to a media report the day before a game to say that the report was “completely false”.

Silver also reported that some “inside the building” (Redskins Park) say that Griffin appears to be insecure in regards to backup QB Kirk Cousins and that Griffin had talked negatively about Shanahan to his teammates.

What’s the truth? Silver did not stay employed at Sports Illustrated for 13 years and then six more at Yahoo! Sports and then get hired by the NFL Network by making things up. If the story about Griffin not wanting to see what his mistakes in front of the team is false, his source made it up, not Silver.

As far as talking about Mike Shanahan negatively to his teammates, who knows what the heck that means? Was he blowing off some steam about the boss to his co-workers, something that is done daily around every water cooler in virtually every business in the country almost every day? Or was he trying to somehow turn his teammates against the coach? It could have been something in between and there is a lot in there that is pretty innocuous.

Is Griffin worried about Cousins taking his job? He could be, or he could have at least formed a perception in his mind that Cousins is a threat. It’s tough to find much negative there. Athletes find every reason they can to push themselves to practice harder, study that extra hour of film. If Griffin is using Cousins as extra motivation, why not? Some “inside the building” might think it’s odd but if it works for Griffin, who cares?

One aspect of NFL Network report that did not get as much play as the more sensational parts was Ian Rapoport saying that Shanahan and Griffin had met to clear the air and that there was “an air of positivity” after the meeting.

So is this a case of all’s well that ends well? Or are there still issues lingering out there? Most importantly, will all of this make any difference when the Redskins take the field to play the 49ers tonight?

There is the saying that goes, that which does not kill me makes me stronger. The tempest that surrounded the team this week does not appeared to have fractured them. We will see if this will strengthen them in any way, especially if the 49ers prove to be too much for them and they lose their third straight game.

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Stat of the day

—The Redskins are tied for fifth in the league with 22 sacks given up. However, they have lost 193 yards on those sacks, more than all but nine teams.

Timeline

—Days until: Giants @ Redskins 6; Chiefs @ Redskins 13; Redskins @ Falcons 20

—Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. 49ers 8:30 p.m.

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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.