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Six pack of Redskins-Lions observations

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Six pack of Redskins-Lions observations

Six observations from the Redskins’ 27-20 loss to the Lions:

1. Robert Griffin III started to look like the RG3 of 2012 early on. At the 10:16 mark of the first quarter he pulled the ball out of Alfred Morris’ belly and scampered around right end for seven yards before going out of bounds. But then the 2013 issues returned and two incompletions later the Redskins were punting. The sequence set the tone for the day with the Redskins making some nice plays but failing to take advantage of them.

2. The Redskins had only six penalties for 41 yards but it seemed like more than that. That’s because of penalties like the defensive holding flag against London Fletcher on the Lions’ second drive. It was called while Matthew Stafford was throwing an incomplete pass on third and six at the Washington 29. Instead of having David Akers trying a 45-yard field goal—he missed two from that range last week—the Lions got a fresh set of downs. Three plays later Joique Bell scored on a 12-yard run.

3. You have to wonder about the Redskins’ play selection. The didn’t face a two-score deficit until less than four minutes remained in the game but Alfred Morris had just 15 carries and Griffin threw the ball 50 times. It seemed like the Lions were not going to let Morris beat them and they were willing to give Griffin a few relatively short runs if he pulled the ball out and took off.

4. Giving up seven receptions for 115 yards and one touchdown is not a horrible performance. Letting Nate Burleson light you up for 116 yards on six catches is embarrassing. Burleson’s last 100-yard receiving game came in November of 2010. The big play was the 41-yard catch and run late in the first half that set up a Detroit field goal. David Amerson tried to make a play on the ball but he really had no chance and should have just tried to tackle Burleson.

5. Perhaps the next time Griffin has a defender pulling him down from behind he’ll just take the sack or throw the ball into the stands, especially on a first-down play in the red zone. But even after throwing that second-quarter interception I’m not 100 percent sure that he will. “Another play where if you make the play, it’s a great play, but if you don't, it’s a bad play,” he said. “And it was a bad play.” Well, not really. If you make the play it’s a miracle and if you don’t it’s a disaster.

6. The Redskins sacked Stafford on the first play from scrimmage and did not get to him again on the subsequent 65 snaps. They did harass him in the pocket from time to time but not when they needed to. On the clinching touchdown pass to Johnson the Redskins elected to rush three and drop eight back in coverage. Stafford was able to set, survey the field and find Johnson near the goal line. There were four defenders within a couple of yards of the receiver but it still wasn’t enough.

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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.