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Redskins have opportunities but fall to Falcons

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Redskins have opportunities but fall to Falcons

The injury toRobert Griffin IIIwasthemajor storyline after Sundays 24-17 loss to the Falcons.Concern No. 2? The state of the teams shaky kicking game.A week after missing his first three field goal attempts before making a job-saving 41-yarder in Tampa,Billy Cundiffwent 1 for 2 at FedEx Field, connecting from 23 and missing from 31.As Cundiff pointed out, the Redskins lost by seven points, not three. But who knows how the game would have turned out had Washington pulled ahead 10-0 in the second quarter? Thats a very makable kick, Cundiff said. I should have made it. Lets just keep it simple: I just missed it. Its my responsibility to make those kicks and it just didnt happen.Cundiff is now 7 for 12 on the season.Asked if he was unfocused or distracted by previous misses, he said. I dont think so. I just think I missed it, to be perfectly honest. I should have.After last weeks struggles, CoachMike Shanahanelected not to audition kickers. Its unclear whether hell do so this week.Im disappointed, especially when its a chip shot there, Shanahan said. I never say anything right after a game. You let 24 hours go by and collect your thoughts and make decisions based on what you think gives you the best chance to win.Cundiff said he wont worry about a decision thats not in his hands.Its not my job to worry, he said. My job is to focus on what I do and thats make kicks. It is frustrating. ...You look at the final score, even if I would have made that field goal, we would have needed four more points.Some other notes, quotes and observations from todays loss:Home (not) sweet home:After Sundays loss the Redskins eight in a row at FedExField the team has now gone almost 13 months between victories on its home turf.The last win, in fact, was a 22-21 win over the Cardinals on Sept. 18, 2011.Its kind of confusing trying to figure out what the common theme is, nose tackle Barry Cofield said. But I dont really see one. Theres been all sorts of different types of games, different types of opponents. Weve played some tough games and played some games where we came out flat. I dont know. All I know is we have to get it figured out. If we dont bounce back quick, well be out of this division race.Teachable moment for RG3?:Lorenzo Alexander said he hopes Griffin realizes the importance of avoiding hits such as the one that knocked him out of the game. Alexander said Griffin should have thrown the ball away instead of trying to make something out of nothing.He was good, Alexander said. Hes coherent and responsive. Obviously, his spirits were down because hes a fighter and wanted to come back out and play. But health comes before anything. He has nothing to prove to us; we know hes a tough guy. Any type of concussion is serious business. Hopefully he learns from it by throwing the ball away and not taking shots like that.By the numbers:Dating back to last weeks game, the Redskins have converted just three of their 20 third downs, including a woeful 1 of 9 against the Falcons.Atlanta, by comparison, was 9 of 17.Play of the game:Ryan Kerrigans second career interception returned for a touchdown.Early in the second quarter, Kerrigan stepped between Matt Ryan and running back Michael Turner and leaped and grabbed Ryans attempted. Twenty-eight yards later, Kerrigan was in the end zone and the Redskins had a 7-0 lead.Just looking at Ryans release, Kerrigan said. Trying to make sure I was in the throwing lane. Not too jump too soon, not to jump too late. Fortunately, I timed the jumped well.It was the Redskins third defensive touchdown of the season, marking the most since the team racked up four in 1999.Elite company:Running back Alfred Morris surpassed the 100 yard mark for the second consecutive week, amassing a career-high 115 yards on 18 carries. His 6.4-yard per carry average was the best of his young career.Morris joined Eric Dickerson as the only rookies to rush for at least 75 yards in their teams first five games, according to Elias Sports Bureau.The 500 Club:With two receptions, including a 77-yard touchdown catch, veteran Santana Moss recorded his 500threception with the Redskins. Only Art Monk, Charley Taylor and Gary Clark have as many.Quotable:Alfred Morris: We have work to do and there is always room for improvement. We have the weapons. We have what it takes to be something great. But it all comes down to how bad we want it. After this loss, we have to get back to the drawing board, get back to working hard, probably rearrange some things.

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Need to Know: With 10 draft picks, the Redskins are ready to deal

Need to Know: With 10 draft picks, the Redskins are ready to deal

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 24, two days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 17
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 29
—Training camp starts (7/27) 93
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 138

Let’s make a deal

Even though the Redskins have 10 picks going into the draft, Scott Campbell, the team’s college scouting director, said that they will still be open to making deals to add more.

Washington has one pick in each of the seven rounds plus additional selections in the fourth, sixth, and seventh rounds. Campbell said that the team will be happy to add picks if the right deal is on the table. He is not concerned about having too large a draft class competing for a limited number of competitive roster spots.

“Yeah, I don’t know if you can have ‘too many guys,’” said Campbell. “I think the main thing to get better is you want to add competition to the team and anywhere you can add competition, even positions where you think you may be set depth-wise, you know, add more competition. Get the best players in here and I think it pushes each other and makes everybody better.”

It’s a matter of improving the odds of finding players who can help them.

“It’s not an exact science, Campbell said of the draft. “You’re not going to hit on all the guys. You’d like to think you can, but I mean that’s not reality, no one’s ever done that. Just increasing the odds of adding the more players, the more guys that can help us, that’s great.”

Campbell specifically mentioned the team’s two fourth-round picks, which are the 115th and 123rd overall selections, as possible capital to move up or as bait to trade back and get more picks.

What could they do with those picks? If they make a deal that goes by the draft value trade chart, they could trade their second-round pick (17th in the round, 49th overall) and the higher of the two fourth-rounders for the 11th pick in the second (42 overall). If they see a player they like in the third, that same fourth round pick would move them up to from the 81st overall pick (17th in the round) to the 68th overall pick (4th pick of the round).

The return for moving back in the fourth round is not very high. You’re looking at a fifth-round pick in return for moving all the way back from 115th overall to the end of the fourth round. That’s OK if you’re in a range where there just aren’t any players you like but you are very unlikely to get a game-changer in the fifth.  

With 10 picks it would be surprising if the Redskins just used all 10 of them without making any moves. It’s just a matter of if there will be a blockbuster deal involving their first pick or if there are more minor deals on Saturday afternoon.

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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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>>>

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