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NOTN: Bugel not a night owl

NOTN: Bugel not a night owl

Notes on the News

Bugel still blows with the Redskins, even without Gibbs - USATODAY.com: Gibbs' departure allows the world to be let in on a little secret: Bugel really isn't a night owl. All those infamous late-night meetings when Gibbs would meet with the coaching staff until the garbage truck arrived at Redskins Park in the wee hours of the morning? That's not Bugel's style.

'I like early bird,' Bugel said. 'I get here about 5:30, quarter to 6 every morning. I have an easy time getting up. Joe didn't like to start until 9 or 10 o' clock.'

That meshes well with Zorn, who gets to work early and plans to goes home at a decent hour.

'This is an early bunch,' Bugel said, 'and I kind of like it.'So, now it's out. All of those years, Joe Gibbs kept the meetings going until nearly dawn and all the while Joe Bugel was wanting to hit the sack.

I thought that it was a forgone conclusion that when Gibbs left, Buges would go back into retirement as well. For his first couple of years back, I was thinking that he should have stayed retired. He was given two 2004 draft picks to develop in Mark Wilson and Jim Molinaro. Neither one panned out. Jon Jansen went out during the first preseason game with an Achilles tear and the team had to pull Ray Brown out of retirement to play right tackle. The nickname he came up with for his charges, The Dirtbags, never took hold because they didn't accomplish anything worthy of gaining a moniker.

Bugel had failed to do what a coach is paid to do, develop talent and make things work when things aren't going well.

The last couple of years, however, he has regained his form. Ladell Betts was able to gain 1,000 yards rushing in a little more than half a season when Clinton Portis was injured in 2006. Last year he coached up rookie free agent Stephon Heyer to the point where he filled in ably for an again-injured Jansen. Jason Fabini moved inside to guard to replace injured Randy Thomas and held his own.

This year, Bugel has the highest rookie o-line draft pick he's had since he's been back in Chad Reinhart plus some rookie free agents with potential in Kerry Brown and Andrew Crummey. A couple of years ago, my confidence that he could make players out of the potential would have been very limited. Now, there is hope.

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Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Alabama dominates college football in a way few teams ever have. In the last two seasons, the Crimson Tide has lost just two games, winning one national title and narrowly missing a second.

The strength of 'Bama, year after year, is their defense. Nick Saban coaches it, Nick Saban knows it, and Nick Saban demands the best from his players. 

Oddly, however, a few recent Alabama defenders drafted to the NFL have not produced. Or at least their production did not match their draft status. 

It's not too hard to pick names that fit that perception. Rolando McClain. Terrance Cody. Dre Kirkpatrick. And at running back, Trent Richardson didn't help.

Still, the Redskins invested heavily in the Tide during the 2017 draft. Their top two picks played for Saban's defense last year, and Washington coach Jay Gruden does not buy any part of the perception that 'Bama products regress in the NFL.

"I don’t see any negative whatsoever with them going to Alabama," Gruden said late Friday night.

The 'Skins selected Jonathan Allen in the first round and Ryan Anderson in the second. Both guys started on the Tide's front seven, and both players dominated.

"They come there and they are well coached. Anytime you watch college football, and you watch other defenses, no disrespect, and then you flip on an Alabama game, it’s different," Gruden said. "The speed is different. They are well-coached, they are in their gaps, they play hard, they play physical, and that’s from Week 1 until the end. That has to appeal to you as a coach. They are using their hands, they are physical, they are chasing the ball, they are running to the ball."

The perception, right or wrong, has two main positions. The first is that the Alabama defense looks so good because it is full of five-star recruits. When everyone is good, or great, on the college level, it's hard to truly judge any singular player's game tape. The second is that Saban is so exhausting, so demanding of his players, they arrive to the NFL with too many reps.

For those around the NFL, both theories are laughable. Pro scouts know game tape. How else can they judge a future first rounder when he matches up against a walk-on? And for every alleged 'Bama bust, think about Haha Clinton-Dox or Landon Collins or C.J. Mosley or Dont'a Hightower. 

Might some Tide players get overdrafted because of their success and high profile? That's a different conversation. What's certain is the Redskins are quite confident in both of their Alabama draft picks.

"We know they are both highly intelligent guys. They understand football, understand X’s and O’s and they both play very hard with a high motor and they are well-coached."

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Redskins focus on defense through three rounds in the NFL Draft

Redskins focus on defense through three rounds in the NFL Draft

Coming into the offseason, there was plenty of talk coming from the Redskins organization that the team needed to upgrade the defense. Those who have been following the team for a while have heard this for many years now. However, usually the talk is just that, with more draft capital and free agency money going to the offense year in and year out.

But this year things are different.

The lion’s share of free agent spending went to the defense. They added linemen Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, linebacker Zach Brown, and safety D.J. Swearinger. Now they have started off their draft with a laser focus in the defensive side of the ball.

RELATED: Redskins add cornerback with first round talent, but injuries pushed him to the third round

In the first round, they were delighted to take Jonathan Allen, the top-rated defensive lineman on their board. In the second round they went with outside linebacker Ryan Anderson, a teammate of Allen’s at Alabama. Then in the third round the pick was cornerback Fabian Moreau out of UCLA.

It’s been 20 years since the Redskins have gone so heavy with defensive picks at the top of the draft. Not since 1997 have they taken defensive players in the first three rounds of the draft. That year they took DE Kenard Lang, LB Greg Jones, and LB Derek Smith in rounds one, two, and three, respectively.

We will see how much impact the three draft picks have on the defense and, as Redskins fans have learned over the years, an influx of free agents on defense doesn’t guarantee improvement on that side of the ball.

But at least the Redskins organization is putting its money, and its draft picks, where its mouth is and that has be considered a positive development.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins make it two Alabama defenders in the 2017 draft class so far

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.