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Redskins practice report Day 9: Appreciating the fans

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Redskins practice report Day 9: Appreciating the fans

RICHMOND—It was Fan Appreciation Day for the Redskins and an announced crowd of 20,447 made its way in to the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center on an overcast but dry Saturday. The team decided to put on a good show for them and showed up in full pads. Here are my observations from practice.

—Bacarri Rambo had a tough time in open-field, one on one tackling drills. The offensive player got by him twice.

—As you can see here on the Instagram video, the drill favors the offensive player. He knows where he’s going and the defender does not and the defender is on an island. Only reserves participate in this particular drill. (I am trying Instagram for the quick videos due to the longer time available. You can follow me @RichTandler.)

—After missing Tyler Polumbus early in the week and Trent Williams later, the Redskins had their starting line intact.
Trent Williams is back at left tackle. #RedskinsTalk

— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) August 2, 2014
—Here’s a look at one more drill with tight ends getting knocked around to teach them to hold on to the ball.

—Nick Williams had a little screen pass go right through his hands. A receiver on the bubble can’t have too many of those. The eye in the sky will catch all of them.

—DeAngelo Hall was back playing some safety. He was lined up as a free with Brandon Meriweather at strong. We saw this yesterday, too.

—You’re probably going to hear a lot of great things about Keenan Robinson before he makes his first NFL start. Today it looked like Roy Helu had a running lane off the left side but Robinson flew over and closed it in an instant.

—After 11 on 11, the front seven practiced some stunts. They were blocking two on two with the outside linebacker looping around the defensive end or vice versa. It was hard to tell who had the upper hand since the quarterback was stationary. Also the blockers knew a stunt was coming so it could react accordingly Front seven practicing some stunts against o-line. And OL practicing stunt pickups. Hard to tell w/o a real QB dropping back. Plus OL knows there is some kind of stunt coming.

—Richard Crawford was in off coverage and Ryan Grant ran a nice curl, prompting this tweet.
Ryan Grant run routes better than some WRs who have been in the NFL for years. That is all. #RedskinsTalk — Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) August 2, 2014
—A couple of nice Robert Griffin III passes as they practiced in goal to go situations. First he fired a dart to Aldrick Robinson for one TD. Then it was a nice fade pass to Pierre Garçon for another six points. Good timing and a good catch by Garçon.

—In what has been a tradition lasting a few years, the players are all give footballs to walk out and present to a lucky kid in the crowd. Here they are going out to give them out. This is definitely a case of there not being enough footballs to go around.

—The most popular guy for autographs? You guessed it.

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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.