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Player Problems Nothing New for Gibbs

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Player Problems Nothing New for Gibbs

Dexter Manley provided big plays and
big headaches

Poooor Joe Gibbs. He just didn't know what he was getting into when he came back as an NFL head coach. Sure, he can manipulate the X's and O's with the best of them, but he has never deal with the likes of today's modern-day player with the dollar signs in their eyes and huge egos. Nope, players in Gibbs' day never created any distractions.

Well, that's what many would have you believe these days. What short memories some writers have. Issues with players, involving money, the law, and other areas, are nothing new to Joe Gibbs. Some examples from Gibbs Era I:

March 1981: Gibbs goes to John Riggins' Kansas farm to try to talk the flaky running back out of his one-year, contract-driven retirement. Riggo greets Gibbs on the porch not long after sunrise with a just-opened beer in his hands. The coach left not having any idea whether or not he'd talked Riggins into returining--and not sure if he really wanted him back. A few months later, Riggins showed up at camp, proclaiming that he was "bored, broke and back."

September 1982: The Redskins, along with the rest of the NFL, go on strike.

August 1983: During training campPro Bowl safety Tony Peters was arrested in the wee hours of the morning in the dorm at Dickenson College on cocaine distribution charges. Peters received a two-year suspension

August 1983: Defensive end Matt Mendenhall, who started every game the year before, walks out of camp.

August 1983: Cornerback Jeris White, who started every game the year before, fails to report to camp due to a contract dispute. He never played for the team again.

August 1984: Mendenhall leaves camp again, this time for good.

August 1986: Dexter Manley ends a holdout that lasted all of training camp by signing a new contract.

September 1987: The Redskins, along with most of the rest of the NFL, go on strike. No veteran crossed the picket line, the only NFL team that didn't have at least one vet participate in the replacement game.'

August 1988: Manley suspended for all of training camp due to a positive drug test.

August 1988: Markus Koch, who was an occasional starter at defensive end, walked out of camp.

August 1989: Defensive tackle Dean Hamel, citing "burnout", walked out of training camp.

November 1989: Starting cornerback Barry Wilburn is suspended for four games due to a positive test for cocaine.

November 1989: Manley tested positive for narcotics for the third time and was banned from the NFL.

August 1990: A quartet of Redskins--Gerald Riggs, Raven Caldwell, Darryl Grand, and Markus Koch--fail to report for camp due to contract disputes.

August 1993: Mark Rypien misses the first two weeks of camp in a contract holdout; Jim Lachey, Darrel Green, and rookie Desmond Howard didn't report until the team had broken camp.

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Need to Know: The Redskins month that was—Salary cap, schedule, the draft

Need to Know: The Redskins month that was—Salary cap, schedule, the draft

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 30, 24 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 12
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 24
—Training camp starts (7/27) 88
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 133

A look at the Redskins month that was

Here is a look back at some of the most popular and talked about posts of April on CSNmidatlantic.com and on RealRedskins.com. 

2011 bill comes due, Redskins' salary cap space shrinks—The sudden disappearance of $4.5 million in salary cap money got a lot of fans riled up. But it goes back to 2011 when the cap unexpectedly shrunk with the new CBA and teams were allowed to “borrow” cap money from future years and pay it back by 2017. The Redskins’ bill came due and, as they had planned, they had to pay it back.

Redskins full 2017 schedule released—I think most agreed that it was a pretty fair schedule. The only complaint I had was that they have to play on the road before hosting their Thanksgiving Day game. But it’s just a trip to New Orleans for a 1:00 game, only one time zone over. It’s not ideal but it is a much better deal than having to play a Sunday night game and then go on the road for Thanksgiving like they had to last year. It’s a moderately tough slate but that was determined already by the rotation of playing the different AFC and NFC divisions.

Redskins agree to deal with big free agent—When it was reported that Pro Bowl linebacker Zach Brown was coming to Redskins Park for a visit, nobody thought that much would come of it. Brown had been trying to reach a deal with the Raiders and it looked like his visit was just a negotiating ploy. But he signed a one-year deal and the inside linebacker corps got an injection of speed, athleticism, and playmaking ability

Impossible to probable? Draft day slide could land Redskins a steal —Nobody thought that Jonathan Allen, a consensus top-five talent, would fall to the Redskins at pick No 17. Well, nobody but colleague J.P. Finlay and Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Media, anyway.

Redskins have kept focus on defense at the Draft—This was written after the first three rounds. For the first time in 20 years, the Redskins had drafted defensive players in the first three rounds. And after they added another defensive player, safety Montae Nicholson, with the second pick of the fourth round they had taken a defensive player in each of the firrst four rounds of the draft for the first time in the common draft era (since 1967). Add to that Brown and three other defensive free agents signed prior to the draft and you have the organization making an effort to upgrade the defense, just like they said they would.

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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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. Terrence 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 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix 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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