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On Thursday, a glimpse at what could have been

jake-locker.png

On Thursday, a glimpse at what could have been

RICHMOND—The Redskins and their fans should get a glimpse of what might have been on Thursday when Jake Locker starts at quarterback for the Titans.

Going into the 2011 draft, there was plenty of chatter that Mike Shanahan was enamored with the athletic Locker going back to the quarterback’s sophomore year with the Washington Huskies. The Redskins held the tenth pick in the draft and there seemed to be a very good chance that Locker would be there when the Redskins’ turn came up.

But it didn’t happen. The Titans had the eighth pick and they decided to make him the quarterback of their future. The Redskins ended up trading back and taking Ryan Kerrigan. They would get their QB of the future in 2012.

Locker played in five games as a rookie, mostly late in games where the outcome had been decided. He entered last year as a starter but he missed five games with a shoulder injury.

The 6-foot-3 Locker had an up and down 2012 season with 10 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and a decidedly mediocre passer rating of 74.0. He rushed for 41 times for 291 yards.

There is talk that Locker will run some read option this year to take advantage of his speed and athleticism. In the spring, Titans head coach Mike Munchak said that the Titans will "have a lot more things for Jake ... and you want defenses to worry about those types of things."

It is unlikely that we will see much of any new wrinkles the Titans might have for Locker in the first preseason game, but Locker could scramble a time or two in the few series he’ll be in the game. That will give us a glimpse of what might have been here.

The Redskins, of course, limped through the 2011 season with Rex Grossman and John Beck at quarterback and traded up to get Robert Griffin III in the 2012 draft. We’ll never know what might have happened if the Titans had passed on Locker and he had been on the board when the Redskins’ selection came up two picks later. But we’ll get a quick look at the possibility on Thursday.

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Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

New Redskins defensive lineman Jonathan Allen is looking to pattern his game after two All-Pro linemen. 

"I'm a very versatile player and can do anything. I love watching Geno Atkins and Aaron Donald," Washington’s first-round draft pick told reporters on a conference call.

The Redskins will be very happy if Allen can be as productive as Atkins and Donald. Atkins has played for the Bengals since the 2010 season. He has been durable, playing in 16 games in six of his seven seasons, and effective, producing 52 sacks, a good total for a defensive tackle. 

MORE REDSKINS: A COMPLETE RECAP OF ROUND 1

Donald was a first-round pick of the Rams in 2014. He was a first-team All-Pro in each of the past two seasons, recording a total of 28 sacks in his three seasons. 

Both players combine outstanding physical talent and high motors. Allen has selected two pretty good role models to follow. 

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

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Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Jonathan Allen was the perfect pick for the Redskins, filling a need with a player who clearly was the best on the board.

Allen’s slide from a top-five prospect to the middle of the first round is believed to be because of issues with both of his shoulders. During his time at Alabama he suffered labral tears in both of his shoulders that were surgically repaired and he also suffers from mild arthritis in both of them. That apparently scared some teams off but not the Redskins.

“We didn't have any concerns,” said coach Jay Gruden. “We talked to Dr. [James] Andrews, he gave thumbs up on him. We feel very good about the injuries.”

Then why did a top talent slide all the way back to the Redskins’ pick?

“As far as him falling to us, their were a lot of things that happened in the draft, three quarterbacks went, a couple of receivers went pretty high, a lot of offensive players went that probably not a lot of people expected,” said Gruden. “So, some of these very good defensive players fell to us and we're happy.”

Allen told reporters that the shoulders did not cause him any problems while he was playing.

“I didn’t even wear a brace for the [2016] season,” Allen said. “So, I mean, it doesn’t even affect me. Every team I talked to, shoulders were medically cleared, no problems. Probably the best I’ve felt in the last four years, to be honest.”

Alabama team doctor Lyle Cain’s assessment of Allen’s shoulders align with those of the player and Gruden.

"He's played without any problems," Cain told NFL Media last month. "This is something that a lot of offensive linemen and defensive linemen have, things guys play with their whole careers. It's just a little earlier for him because he got hurt in college."

We will see how this plays out. It’s possible that his injury problems could limit his effectiveness or cut his career short. But clearly the Redskins saw that the Allen’s talent made the injury risk a worthwhile gamble.

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.