Quick Links

Redskins have a plan to deal with shortened offseason for rookies

redskins-camp-o-line.png

Redskins have a plan to deal with shortened offseason for rookies

The Redskins, like every other NFL team, had an extra two weeks to prepare for the draft, which was held for the first time in May this year.

Being a new coaching staff working together with Bruce Allen for the first time, Jay Gruden and company were glad to have the extra time to evaluate how the draft prospects would fit in to the team’s schemes. But now they are paying for that extra evaluation time.

The rookie minicamp that concluded yesterday at Redskins Park usually takes place on the first weekend in May. So the camp moved back two weeks but the rest of the schedule remained the same. Training camp still will start the last week in July. The season opens the week after Labor Day weekend. That gives rookies two fewer weeks to get up to speed.

“Yeah, that is an issue and that’s a negative of moving [the draft] back,” said Gruden on Saturday. “There’s no doubt about it.”

Some teams like the Giants and Bengals decided to do away with rookie camp altogether. They will bring their draft picks and undrafted free agents right into their offseason programs OTAs with the veterans over the next few weeks. The Redskins considered that approach to deal with the shortened post-draft schedule but decided against it.

“We wanted to have a rookie camp so we could see our draft picks and we could bring in some undrafted guys and let them compete and hopefully find a sleeper or two that we didn’t know about to come in and compete for the roster,” said Gruden.

The decision was to deal with the schedule in a couple of different ways. One was to target players they believe can get up to speed in a hurry.

“We drafted smart guys,” said Gruden. “We try to draft smart guys that are football smart and played in good systems and hopefully they’ll be able to learn fast.”

The organization also tried to take some of the pressure off of the rookies by making sure that they had veterans capable of starting this season in place.

“What we did in free agency, we’re not necessarily having to draft guys that come in and play 70 snaps a game right away,” Gruden said. “They can come in and be a backup and play situationally and then learn and learn and develop, and that’s the beauty of what we did in the free agent market this year.”

“So they’re going to come in and compete, and how much they can handle will be determined after training camp and preseason.”

Of course, every team wants to draft smart players and it’s always good to have veteran players who are capable of starting at every position, especially when you don’t have a first-round draft pick. So the organization’s plan isn’t rocket science. Still, it seems to be a conscious plan to deal with the shortened time frame. We will see if they can take advantage of it and get their rookie class contributing during games sooner rather than later.

Quick Links

Redskins Draft Room Revealed: Who works the phones, and who makes the call

Redskins Draft Room Revealed: Who works the phones, and who makes the call

Since the dismissal of former general manager Scot McCloughan, there's been little question who was in charge at Redskins Park. Unofficially anyway. 

Bruce Allen is back running the show, if he ever stopped, and will be at the center of the Redskins draft room and decision making process.

For weeks, Allen and Jay Gruden made clear that the entire Redskins front office - from scouts to the top brass - have input on draft grades. Those grades will determine what players the 'Skins take, and the team is unlikely to deviate from their draft board. 

On Monday, however, Washington director of college scouting Scott Campbell addressed the media and explained that when a decision needs to be made, it will be Allen's call. 

From Campbell:

The way we have the room when the draft is ongoing is we have Eric Schaffer and Alex Santos are constantly calling teams above us. They’re taking the phone calls from the other teams – also behind [us]. A lot of times per Bruce’s instructions, he’ll say, ‘Hey, you take these five teams. You take the next five teams. Start making calls.’ And then we’re receiving calls too at the same time. Once they get that information, they’ll tell the table in the front and say, ‘Hey, we can trade back for this, we can trade up for that.’ It would be me and Bruce and Jay saying ‘No, no, we’ve got enough guys there’ or say ‘I like these guys,’ or like, “Hey, there’s guys there.’ So it’s kind of a discussion amongst the people, and most times it’s Bruce saying, ‘Just tell them we’re not interested,’ or he says, ‘Get the league on the phone. We’re going to make that trade.’”

Campbell's comments reveal quite a lot. To start, it's interesting to know the roles of Schaffer and Santos during the draft. Both men carry a lot of impact in the team's personnel selection. Also, and it was fairly obvious since McCloughan's firing, but Jay Gruden's role continues to increase.

The biggest tell, however, is that ultimately Bruce Allen makes the decisions. It's not a surprise, but it is important to know. Officially.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Quick Links

Redskins won't say if Joe Mixon is on their board but say character does count

Redskins won't say if Joe Mixon is on their board but say character does count

The Redskins may or may not have one of the most polarizing members of the 2017 draft class on their draft board. But they do believe that character counts.

Scott Campbell, the Redskins’ director of college scouting, would not say if  Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who is seen on video striking a woman and knocking her to the floor in an incident that occurred in July of 2014, is on the team’s board.

“We don't announce who's on and off the board for strategic reasons,” said Campbell on Monday at the team’s pre-draft news conference, saying that it’s the team’s policy.

He added that incidents like the one that Mixon was a part of do come into consideration.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 10.0

“Character is very important to me, it's very important to the Redskins,” said Campbell.

He explained that early in the scouting process, character issues are not taken into account.

“What I always told the scouts and how I was trained 30 years ago when I started is when you start to evaluate guys in the beginning, you don't factor in the character, you don't grade character, you grade talent,” said Campbell, who has been with the Redskins organization for 16 years. “You don't throw away somebody early who may have some redeeming quality or a part of the story you didn't know about.”

It’s later on that the scouts gather information on such incidents as problems with the law, failed drug tests, and other quarters of character.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often 

“Our scouts do a great job getting a lot of information,” said Campbell. “Some of the incidents you brought up happened after the season, at the combine, and just a few days ago. All those things are factored into an evaluation as they are gathered.”

With that information at hand, they start the process of elimination, deciding who fits and who doesn’t.

“When it comes close to the draft, you start weeding out all that, getting more information, deciding, OK, that guy's not our kind of guy, that guy's not a Redskin, this guy could be drafted but good luck to them,” said Campbell.

It seems like much more of a gut feel type of process than anything rigid. There is not much of a clue there as to whether or not the team will consider bringing Mixon aboard, who is inarguably one of the most talented running backs in the draft. The upside is that Mixon could provide a jolt to the team’s offense. The downside would be an immediate public relations hit. The team also must consider what will happen if Mixon were to run afoul of the NFL’s domestic abuse policy in the future, which calls for a six-game suspension for a first offense with penalties getting progressively worse if problems persist.

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.