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Pasquarelli on Skins "Unfiltered" OTA's

Pasquarelli on Skins "Unfiltered" OTA's

We have created the news and it is us.

One can imagine the Redskins organization uttering that line, an alteration of a famous line in the old "Pogo" comic strip (for those not as old as I am, which is most of you, the line was "We have seen the news and it is us".)

From the Washington Post:
The Washington Redskins are being investigated by the NFL and the NFL Players Association for possible violations during offseason practices after video of some drills was made available on the club's Web site. Representatives from the NFL and NFLPA said they are looking into whether the Redskins conducted practices that were too physical and in which offensive and defensive linemen engaged one another in live contact, which is prohibited.Some will remember reading here last month about the Redskins' effort to present the news about the team "unfiltered". Part of this campaign was to webcast highlights of their offseason practices or OTA's as they are called. It was during one of these webcasts that someone in the player's union noticed the activity between the linemen.
"Do you know how we caught them?" NFL Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw told the Associated Press. "We saw it on their Web site."Although it's unlikely that the Redskins will face anything but very minor sanctions for this, it's a safe bet to say that they wish that they had filtered that particular news.

Should the Redskins be penalized for violating OTA SOP's, they would be the second team to have that happen to them in the past month. The Philadelphia Eagles forfeited a week of OTA's or about a third of the total allowed. The issue involved improper reporting of dates of the workouts to the NFLPA, a sloppy mistake by the Eagles.

And this brings us to the Len Pasquarelli angle on this story. As one would expect, the ESPN.com NFL writer had a field day with this, calling the Redskins "The Capital Gang That Can't Shoot Straight," among other knee-slapper lines. Then, he goes too far. After saying that virtually every other team in the NFL has similar drills during their OTA's, Lenny P takes a cheap shot at Joe Gibbs:
As Gibbs noted, just about every team in the league uses a similar drill in mini-camps and so-called "organized team activities.". . . Hey, you can't make this stuff up, you know? But as long as the Redskins are around, we don't have to, because they keep providing more than enough fodder. Gibbs suggested that he didn't fully understand the rule banning the drill, further evidence that perhaps the Hall of Fame coach should have stayed in a NASCAR pit instead of relocating to an NFL sideline.So nobody else fully understands the rule and everyone violates it but Gibbs alone should quit his job.

And as if we need any proof that Pasquarelli just flat doesn't like the Redskins, let me share with you the results of a search for remarks that Lenny P made that were critical of Andy Reid. Surely Lenny must have had some pretty harsh words for Reid, whose team actually lost a good chunk of their allotted OTA's due to sloppy scheduling. The results of the search for Pasquarelli's comments on Reid follow between the quotation marks:
" "Of course, it's not surprising that Pasquarelli would bash Gibbs, who is suspected of the equivalent of a misdemeanor--even if the Skins are determined to have violated the rule, they are unlikely to lose any OTA sessions--and not do the same to Reid, whose record in this case is like a felony conviction.

In fact, the only shocker here is that Lenny didn't find a way to praise Reid for losing the OTA's, perhaps giving his players some badly-needed rest from the rigors of the offseason.

The Redskins deserve criticism as long as they continue their mediocre on the field performance. I guess it's too much to ask, though, that teams receive somewhat equal comments for somewhat equal issues. Certainly it is too much to ask when the subject is the Redskins and the critic is Len Pasquarelli.

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QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

Quarterbacks will come off the board in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night. That much is certain. Where those quarterbacks come off the board, however, matters much more for the Redskins. 

Mitchell Trubisky will be the first passer off the board, and depending on the information, he could be drafted as high as the first overall pick, and will certainly go early.

Trubisky, though, seems like the only certainty of a QB going early. Questions plague guys like Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Those guys could all go in the first half of the draft, but they could all slide into the 20s as well. 

For Washington, the earlier quarterbacks get drafted the better. It seems highly unlikely the Redskins make a draft day trade of QB Kirk Cousins, limiting hardly any interest in a first-round passer.

The more passers that go before the 'Skins pick at 17 means the more high-quality players slide down the draft board. Look around the internet at lists of the best prospects available. Hardly any signal callers crack the Top 20, but the positional need at QB demands the position be overdrafted.

Though the Burgundy and Gold continue to slow-play contract talks with Cousins, he is under contract for 2017 and the team holds an option for 2018. That means Bruce Allen can sit in his draft room and potentially be a trade partner for a team that wants to land a QB, or just wait patiently and watch as they come off the board and send other desirable prospects closer to 17.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 25, one day before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 16
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 28
—Training camp starts (7/27) 92
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 137

Wrapping up the Redskins pre-draft presser

We’ve looked at a some of what Redskins college scouting director Scott Campbell said during his pre-draft press conference on Monday, covering possible trades, who makes the final call on those trades, and how the organization handles character issues. Here are a few more bullet points from Campbell’s presser:

—Asked if the Redskins would draft to fill needs or take the best available player, Campbell gave the stock answer. “I guess as you asked the question, you kind of framed it and the way I’m going to frame the answer, and the age-old answer of ‘I’m going to take the best player available,’” he said “And if that serves your needs, that’s a bonus.” So, there you go. That said, don’t be surprised if the best players as defined by the Redskins in the first few also happen have the “bonus” of filling one the team’s top two or three needs.

—The needs could line up well because the strength of the draft as Campbell sees it coincides with side of the ball where the Redskins need the most help. “Well, I’m excited because I think it’s one of the strongest, deepest classes on the defensive side of the ball that I’ve seen,” he said. “I’ve told the guys upstairs I’m excited because we’re going to get better . . . And several different positions – sometimes it’s just maybe defensive line or outside backers or corners. Across the board on defense, I’m really excited about the class and the guys we’re going to bring in are going to help us.”

—The draft board is still used after the draft ends and the scramble for undrafted free agents starts up. “There’s going to be guys left on the bottom of that board that didn’t get drafted that we had rated as draftable,” said Campbell. “So that’s our No. 1 targets. I assign a scout to all the coaches, and really the coaches talk to the players – once the draft ends, let me be clear, it’s after the draft ends when we start making calls – the scouts are on the phone with the agent finding out what our competition is, how much.” Campbell said that money isn’t much of a factor in recruiting the undrafted players; selling opportunity is the key.

—The draft board was influenced by former GM Scot McCloughan but adjustments have been made since he was fired in early March. “Well, he certainly had influence on it because we all met as we always did the last couple of years and every team does. You meet right after the all-star games before you go to the combine and kind of get an initial ranking of how you like the guys. Of course Scot hadn’t been here since, so just like when he was here before, there’s adjustments being made to the board with the new information.”

—The 2016 draft class did not contribute a lot but does not mean that there is more pressure on the organization to do better this year. The pressure is always there regardless. “Always pressure. Every year’s pressure,” said Campbell. “I grew up in an NFL household. My dad was a coach and a player for 40 years. Pressure every year to perform, that’s what the NFL is. You’ve got to perform every year.” His father was Marion Campbell who played in the NFL for eight years and then coached for 21 seasons including stints as the head coach of the Eagles and Falcons.

—Campbell also asked for a little patience with the 2016 draft class, citing a group from a few years ago. “It takes a couple of years to develop a class,” said Campbell. “People are saying the ‘14 class had some success. Well, if I read articles and see what happened and what was said right after that draft, our grades in the mock drafts were not very good. It takes time. Morgan Moses didn’t start his first year, you know, but he’s come on to be one of the best right tackles in the league. That’s my opinion anyway. It takes time to develop. I still think with time, that class [2016] will be just fine.” I guess I buried the lede here—Campbell reads draft grades.

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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