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Saturday’s game vs. Bills—first look

Saturday’s game vs. Bills—first look

The Washington Redskins have left behind the glow of Canton and the combined QB rating of 147.2 that Campbell, Collins, Brennan and Devine laid on the Colts' scrubs. They now turn their attention to their Saturday night preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

As you are all sophisticated Redskins fans, you know that teams do not prepare for August games the way that they do for games played in September. There will be no endless film study to determine tendencies or to find a tell in a player's stance. None of the backup quarterbacks will be running around with a scout team imitating Trent Edwards or (shudder) J. P. Losman (that could do permanent damage).

Instead, the Redskins will work on their plays and on their defensive alignments, paying scant attention to how Dick Jauron and his coaching staff do the same.

Part of the game planning is planning who will play and how much. There will be a few variations from what we saw on Sunday but since this really is the second playing of their first preseason game (like the 31 other NFL teams they have four to go), don't expect a whole lot of difference.

It looks like the first team offense is on the same pattern as they were last Sunday. They'll go one series, two if that first one is brief due to either ineffectiveness or, as happened against the Colts, exceptional efficiency (a three-play touchdown drive).

Todd Collins will then take the wheel for the rest of the first half. He hopes he can hold onto it given that he will be protected by an offensive line that is makeshift even by preseason standards. Injuries to Stephon Heyer (knee) and Todd Wade (ankle), the two primary backups at tackle, have forced the patchwork. Forming the wall for Collins with be, from left to right, Chad Reinhardt, Tavares Washington, Justin Geisinger, Jason Fabini, and Devin Clark.

The unit has a combined 145 games of NFL playing experience, all of them belonging to Fabini.

Collins likely will be doing a lot of handing off to Marcus Mason and Rock Cartwright, who again will carry the load all game long at running back.

On the defensive side of the ball, the crowd at FedEx Field should be treated to the sight of Jason Taylor making his Redskins debut. Don't be in line getting a hot dog or beer, however; his workload will consist of about a half a dozen plays. London Fletcher will participate about the same number of snaps.

The biggest difference from the HOF game will be that punter Derrick Frost will get his turn to audition for his job. Durant Brooks handled all of the punting and holding duties against Indy and this is Frosty's game.

Join me for a live blog of Saturday's preseason game. Go here for details.

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Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 25, one day before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 16
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 28
—Training camp starts (7/27) 92
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 137

Wrapping up the Redskins pre-draft presser

We’ve looked at a some of what Redskins college scouting director Scott Campbell said during his pre-draft press conference on Monday, covering possible trades, who makes the final call on those trades, and how the organization handles character issues. Here are a few more bullet points from Campbell’s presser:

—Asked if the Redskins would draft to fill needs or take the best available player, Campbell gave the stock answer. “I guess as you asked the question, you kind of framed it and the way I’m going to frame the answer, and the age-old answer of ‘I’m going to take the best player available,’” he said “And if that serves your needs, that’s a bonus.” So, there you go. That said, don’t be surprised if the best players as defined by the Redskins in the first few also happen have the “bonus” of filling one the team’s top two or three needs.

—The needs could line up well because the strength of the draft as Campbell sees it coincides with side of the ball where the Redskins need the most help. “Well, I’m excited because I think it’s one of the strongest, deepest classes on the defensive side of the ball that I’ve seen,” he said. “I’ve told the guys upstairs I’m excited because we’re going to get better . . . And several different positions – sometimes it’s just maybe defensive line or outside backers or corners. Across the board on defense, I’m really excited about the class and the guys we’re going to bring in are going to help us.”

—The draft board is still used after the draft ends and the scramble for undrafted free agents starts up. “There’s going to be guys left on the bottom of that board that didn’t get drafted that we had rated as draftable,” said Campbell. “So that’s our No. 1 targets. I assign a scout to all the coaches, and really the coaches talk to the players – once the draft ends, let me be clear, it’s after the draft ends when we start making calls – the scouts are on the phone with the agent finding out what our competition is, how much.” Campbell said that money isn’t much of a factor in recruiting the undrafted players; selling opportunity is the key.

—The draft board was influenced by former GM Scot McCloughan but adjustments have been made since he was fired in early March. “Well, he certainly had influence on it because we all met as we always did the last couple of years and every team does. You meet right after the all-star games before you go to the combine and kind of get an initial ranking of how you like the guys. Of course Scot hadn’t been here since, so just like when he was here before, there’s adjustments being made to the board with the new information.”

—The 2016 draft class did not contribute a lot but does not mean that there is more pressure on the organization to do better this year. The pressure is always there regardless. “Always pressure. Every year’s pressure,” said Campbell. “I grew up in an NFL household. My dad was a coach and a player for 40 years. Pressure every year to perform, that’s what the NFL is. You’ve got to perform every year.” His father was Marion Campbell who played in the NFL for eight years and then coached for 21 seasons including stints as the head coach of the Eagles and Falcons.

—Campbell also asked for a little patience with the 2016 draft class, citing a group from a few years ago. “It takes a couple of years to develop a class,” said Campbell. “People are saying the ‘14 class had some success. Well, if I read articles and see what happened and what was said right after that draft, our grades in the mock drafts were not very good. It takes time. Morgan Moses didn’t start his first year, you know, but he’s come on to be one of the best right tackles in the league. That’s my opinion anyway. It takes time to develop. I still think with time, that class [2016] will be just fine.” I guess I buried the lede here—Campbell reads draft grades.

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 2017 NFL Draft preview: What you need to know about the Redskins' draft

Redskins 2017 NFL Draft preview: What you need to know about the Redskins' draft

The 2017 NFL Draft isn't officially here, but it's very near. And for the Washington Redskins, this year's NFL Draft brings with it a lot of intrigue.

The Redskins are coming off an 8-7-1 season and are in the middle of an offseason that's included a lot of change. Therefore, the team needs to ace their 2017 NFL Draft and bring in a rookie class with a lot of talent. 

How will they do that, though? Starting with pick No. 17, will the Redskins draft a player based on need or based on their board? And which prospects would be the best fits for Washington?

Scroll through CSNmidatlantic.com's 2017 Redskins draft preview for the most in-depth coverage of the team's draft you'll find before the big night.

What will the Redskins' draft strategy be for the 2017 Draft?

 

 

 

What are the Redskins' biggest draft needs? 

 

 

 

  • Feeling a safety? Malik Hooker and Budda Baker both figure to be in the mix when the Redskins first pick on Thursday night.

 

What are mock drafts projecting the Redskins to do at No. 17?

 

 

 

 

Other Redskins draft storylines that Redskins fans should know

 

 

Draft busts: 15 draft busts taken in Round 1

NFL Draft history: The best players taken 17th overall