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Redskins' Gruden takes a more subtle approach to 'Code Red'

Redskins' Gruden takes a more subtle approach to 'Code Red'

Sometimes a coach will shout a message to his team from the rooftops. Sometimes he will take a subtler approach.

Jay Gruden took the former approach last year after his team fell to 2-4 with a loss to the Jets. He said that the team’s game against the Bucs the following week was a “Code Red”. The Redskins apparently got the message as they responded by rallying from a 24-0 deficit to shock Tampa Bay. That started a 7-3 run to end the season and the Redskins won the NFC East.

This week Gruden is being a bit more restrained in talking about the elevated importance of the team’s upcoming home game against the Vikings and the following game against the Packers, also being played at FedEx Field. But the message is clear.

“You hate to make one game more important than the other but these next two games in general are going to be important,” said Gruden. “They’re two home games that are very, very big for us. We’re 4-3-1. We’re right now currently I guess the No. 7 or 8 seed, whatever it is and we’re in a position that we’re in a good position but we’re in a position where we don’t have a lot of room for error. We really have to take advantage of our home games and the advantage that the home field gives us. We have to take advantage of those, so they are important.”

Actually, they are the No. 6 seed in the NFC, positioned for the second wild card spot. They are 0-1-1 in their last two games so if they are going to stay in playoff position they are going to have to start winning some games.

The games against the Vikings (5-3) and Packers (4-4) carry elevated performance because, as Gruden pointed out they are home games. The Redskins are 2-2 at home this year. They will need to do better than break even at FedEx Field to make the playoffs.

In addition, the next two games are against teams that will be in the wild card mix along with the Redskins. It is unlikely that the tiebreaker that comes with winning a head-to-head matchup will come into play since the Redskins’ tie against the Bengals means that barring a tie by one of those teams they won’t end up the same record as either the Packers or Vikings. But adding wins to your ledger while adding losses to your rivals’ records certainly helps your situation.  

RELATED: DESEAN JACKSON'S SHOULDER, MORGAN MOSES' ANKLE FIRMLY IN FOCUS

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Evaluating the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys' 2017 first-round draft picks

Evaluating the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys' 2017 first-round draft picks

Redskins fans can be forgiven for not caring at all about the other 31 picks made in the 2017 NFL Draft's first round on Thursday, since Washington was handed Jonathan Allen at No. 17.

With that being said, other selections were in fact made by other teams, including the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys. So what are analysts saying about how the rest of the NFC East did on the first night of the big event?

Here's a breakdown.

MORE REDSKINS: TEAM NOW HAS THREE OF THE NATION'S TOP RECRUITS FROM 2013

Philadelphia Eagles - Derek Barnett (No. 14)

As the Redskins got closer to being on the clock and top talents like Allen, Reuben Foster and Malik Hooker were still available, every pick before Washington came with a side dish of angst. The Eagles, however, bypassed all three of those prospects for Barnett, a productive pass rusher from Tennessee. 

Reaction to the pick

Andy Benoit of Sports Illustrated: "Many felt the Eagles’ biggest need was cornerback, but in a zone scheme like Jim Schwartz’s, pass rushers are more important... Barnett was a prolific sacker in college and will operate across from Brandon Graham, one of the league’s most underrated edge-attackers." 

Mike Mayock of NFL.com"I love the energy. I love the toughness. People either loved or they didn't like him because he didn't have explosive measurables in the combine. But his tape is too good and I think the city of Philadelphia is going to love him."

Pete Prisco of CBSSports"Love this pick. They might be getting the best pass rusher in this draft."

New York Giants - Evan Engram (No. 23)

Eli Manning has himself another target, and this one reminds Charley Casserly of Redskins' tight end Jordan Reed. Some projected other tight ends, like David Njoku, to go before Engram, but New York clearly liked him enough to select him in the first. 

Reaction to the pick

Andy Benoit of Sports Illustrated​: "It had become painful watching Giants tight ends Will Tye and Larry Donnell play... At worst, Engram can rectify the catching problem. At best, he can revolutionize an already scary passing game."

Mike Mayock of NFL.com: "He's a matchup nightmare. He can block on the perimeter. He'll be an immediate impact player. His skill set is closer to Mike Evans. He runs routes like a wide receiver."

Pete Prisco of CBSSports: "They need a tight end, but I would have gone for an offensive lineman here. He is a good pass catcher."

Dallas Cowboys - Taco Charlton (No. 28)

The Cowboys offense, with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant, is set. Their defense, though, could stand to get better, and Dallas started that effort by taking Charlton out of Michigan.

Reaction to the pick

Andy Benoit of Sports Illustrated​: "Theme of the night: zone-based defenses taking edge rushers. Cleveland, Philadelphia, Miami and Atlanta all did it. And now Dallas, the team that needed that help more than any outside of Cleveland."

Mike Mayock of NFL.com: "This kid has length, power and athletic ability. Reminds me physically of Carlos Dunlap. One-year starter, which makes me question where he was before that."

Pete Prisco of CBSSports: "They need help up front, but this kid flashed at times and did little else."

RELATED: DID PLAYING AT ALABAMA ACTUALLY HURT ALLEN'S STOCK?

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NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: Second round draft tracker updates, analysis

NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: Second round draft tracker updates, analysis

The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft is in the books, and the Redskins got themselves aa steal in Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen with the No. 17 overall pick.

On Friday, the second and third rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, and the Redskins head into the second day with two picks at their disposal.

The Redskins will select No. 49 overall (2nd-17) and No. 81 overall (3rd-17) unless they make a draft day trade.

Will the Redskins make a trade? Who are the best available players in the second and third round? 

The CSN NFL Draft Second Round Live Blog has you covered.

RELATED: REDSKINS CAN GET CREATIVE ON DAY 2

What: 2017 NFL Draft, Rounds 2-3
When: Friday, April 28, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Penn.
TV Channel: ESPN, NFL Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN App

RELATED: FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

Lets head to the Live blog (Click here for First Round Live Blog):

REDSKINS 2017 NFL DRAFT SECOND ROUND TRACKER

7:05 PM - You won't believe this, but the Philadelphia crowd let Roger Goodell have it ... again. 

6:22 PM - File this in the "stories we didn't expect to see" folder -- Per Anita Marks, the Giants were looking to trade up for QB Pat Mahomes II from Texas Tech. I guess Eli Manning can't play forever, but using a first round pick on his heir apparent in 2017 didn't seem likely.

5:27 PM - As more information about CB Gareon Conley taking a polygraph has come out, so too have questions about the legality of it. 

4:50 PM - Rich Tandler narrowed down the Redskins' second and third-round NFL Draft choices to just five guys. Here they are. 

4:45 PM - This list will be important today. Who are the best available players the Redskins could think about drafting in the second round?

4:30 PM - We wrote about this, but this graphic is worth looking at again. And again. And again.

4:20 PM - Want to get to know the NFL Draft prospects? Want to go inside the war room with a former GM? Ever wondered what a player evaluation looks like? Former NFL GM Charley Casserly and CSN's Julie Donaldson have you covered in our CSN Draft Room. It's your go-to source for 2017 NFL Draft material.

4:05 PM - The CSN team is all over the place today. Be sure to follow them on Twitter. Redskins Insider JP Finlay is at the Draft in Philadelphia. Redskins writer Rich Tandler and CSN anchor Chick Hernandez are at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. and NFL analyst Trevor Matich is in the CSN Draft Room. Be sure to follow @CSNRedskins for all your draft night coverage. 

4:00 PM - Welcome to CSN's live draft tracker for the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night.