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Redskins practice report, Day 7: Focus on details

Redskins practice report, Day 7: Focus on details

RICHMOND—All of the pre-camp talk about being here this year was about the heat, how the law of averages would catch up with last year’s relatively mild conditions and we would run into scorching temperatures this year.

But the law of averages isn’t in play so far this year. Between some rain, the 8:35 start to the practices, and a run of just plain nice days like today, we haven’t had many heat issues. Here is some of what I saw:

— Special teams have been starting off by breaking players into groups and working on techniques. Today they started with full team kickoffs. Apparently it’s time to start pulling things together for preseason game.

—Kirk Olivadotti was giving some very detailed coverage instructions to his inside linebackers, going over responsibilities depending on what direction the receiver takes. Earlier the ILBs were working on some pursuit and closing angles.

—The D-line was practicing audibles and adjustments in various situations. Jacob Burney would call out the audible and the line would have to adjust its alignment. There’s no time to think, the reaction to the audible has to be instantaneous. —The status along the offensive line is the same as it was yesterday.
Tyler Polumbus not at #Redskins practice again. Personal matter as we were told yesterday. #RedskinsTalk — Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) July 31, 2014
—Darryl Sharpton and Niles Paul got into a brief scuffle after a running play. It was quickly broken up before anything major started.

—Sometimes it’s hard to judge what’s good and what’s bad on a play. In 11 on 11 play Ted Bolser made a nice catch of a Colt McCoy pass for a gain of about 12 yards. But safety Trenton Robinson was near Bolser but he turned around wrong and just got off a swipe at the football. Good offense or bad defense? The coaches will have to sort that out on film.

—A few times, Robert Griffin III set to pass, was forced to move, reset his feet, and threw an accurate pass. This skill isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds and it may be more important than actually running the ball.

—But he still does run. He galloped for about 20 yards late in the last 11 on 11 session. But as with his long run yesterday you have to wonder if he would have been as successful had he not been wearing the yellow no contact jersey. It looked like some defenders had an angle on him but may have pulled up to avoid hitting the franchise QB

—Here’s rookie nose tackle Robert Thomas doing rookie duty by carrying a bunch of helmets off of the field.

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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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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.