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Skins draft a numbers game

Skins draft a numbers game

It'll take a wide-angle lens to take the class picture for the Redskins' 2008 draft.

Ten new players were selected Saturday and Sunday. That ties for the most players drafted by the Redskins since they started the seven-round draft in 1994. They also took 10 players in 2002.

As the '02 draft indicates, a lot of picks doesn't always mean that you better your team considerably. From that haul, only Ladell Betts (second round, #56 overall) and Rock Cartwright (seventh, #257) still are with the team. Tight end Robert Royal (fifth, #260) and quarterback Patrick Ramsey (first, #32) are still on NFL rosters. A few others may be bouncing around trying to catch on but the most are moving on with their post-football lives.

The hopes for the current crop are much higher. It's easy to see the top four picks—wide receivers Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, tight end Fred Davis and guard Chad Rinehart—still contributing with the Redskins or elsewhere in 2014. In addition to those four, sixth-round pick Durant Brooks could make a string of appearances in Hawaii as the Pro Bowl punter.

Thomas and Kelly will have the perfect opportunity to work themselves into the lineup. Moss and Randle El will start and the two rookies will get a healthy but not overwhelming workload. Davis will be able to work in situations where he can be successful as well. Rinehart will have a year to learn under Joe Bugel and then step in to the starting left guard spot when Pete Kendall is gone in 2009.

As for the rest, time will tell. Cornerback Justin Tyron is not lacking for confidence. How can you not like a fourth-round pick who says, "I bring wisdom to the game. I bring heart to the game. I was made for this. I was made to play football. I was made for this ... This is all I can do."

If his game is anything like his talk, he'll be a nice surprise. He will compete with Leigh Torrence for time as a nickel and dime back.

Colt Brennan is who he is—a developmental quarterback. All of the records he set at Hawaii combined with five bucks will get him a latte at the Ashburn Starbucks.

His sidearm delivery doesn't need tinkering, it needs an overhaul. He certainly was overmatched against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, but so was the entire Hawaii squad. One quarterback, no matter how good he is, is good enough to lift his team to the level of an SEC team that had a legitimate argument that it should be playing for the national title.

He could develop into a solid backup quarterback in a couple of years or the Redskins might have to find another Todd Collins.

The chances of Kareem Moore, Rob Jackson, and Christopher Horton making the team or sticking with the practice squad depend largely on their special teams abilities.

My favorite pick was Rinehart. The scouting reports talked about his mean streak and his aggressiveness. He was taken with the compensatory pick awarded for the loss of Derrick Dockery in 2007. Dockery had the size and athletic ability, but he played timidly, even soft at times. If Rinehart lives up to his nasty billing he'll be an excellent replacement.

I like the Brooks pick as well. This offense will struggle at times while learning a new system and working the rookies into the mix and you can't rely on a fortuitous roll to get you out of the hole. Brooks can both boom the ball and place it inside the 10.

You do have to wait three years to get a good handle on how successful a given draft was but we'll have some kind of idea in late August when the 53-man roster is finalized. If at least seven or eight of these guys are still around that will be a good start.

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Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

The day after the Eagles 32-14 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, Philadelphia coach Doug Peterson said that he didn’t think that all his players played hard.

Not everybody, and that’s the accountability that I talk about,” Pederson said, via the Birds 24/7 blog. “I hold coaches accountable for that; I hold myself accountable for that because it all starts with me. I pride myself each week to make sure the guys are ready to go, but at the same time, it comes down to a mentality by each individual player. This is a business where we have to be ready to go every single weekend because every team in the league — there are some teams that are better than others, but for the most part anything can happen any weekend.”

This sort of vague shot fired at the team did not sit well with the players. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the most respected voices on the team, said that the comments put players in a bad spot.

“I know the intent of the guys that I practice with and play with every day, and I didn’t see effort being an issue,” Jenkins said. “It puts us in a little bit of a tough position as players because now everybody wants to know, ‘Well, who were you talking about?’”

Some in the media in Philadelphia surmised that two of the players Pederson was talking about were tight end Zach Ertz and safety Rodney McLeod. One on play it looked like Ertz failed to block Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on a Carson Wentz scramble.

“I’m not going to get into the details of every thought I had on that play,” said Ertz. “I’m focused on giving this city everything I have on each and every play. I promise going forward, I will do that. I think I have done that in the past.”

It didn’t look like McLeod did everything he could to keep Bengals running back Jeremy Hill from scoring a touchdown on a two-yard run in the first quarter.

“I thought the ball was going to hit somewhere else, and then obviously it came through. By the time I could react, Hill already crossed the plane,” said McLeod. “Just got caught flat-footed, tried to react and by the time I did, I feel like if I were to hit him it could possibly be late. Just a tough situation.”

You can see both of the plays in question here.

We don’t know if Ertz and McLeod are among the players that Pederson was talking about when he spoke of issues with effort. Leaving things vague like that doesn’t do much for the coach’s credibility in the locker room. And when that starts to be in doubt the coach gets asked about his job security. Pederson said that owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman have been supportive.

“From both of them, it’s been 100 percent support on everything. I meet with Jeffrey and Howie every week and we discuss a lot of things and go over a lot of things. Every week, it’s very positive,” Pederson said. “I just don’t think you can base a guy’s career on one season. I think you got to give it time to develop.

But the fact that these questions are being asked after he has been in his job for a dozen games is an indication that he is facing at least a minor crisis as his team prepares for four games that are likely to be meaningless in terms of the playoff picture. We will see if he can get the train back on the tracks by Sunday.

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Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

As usual, answer the poll and either rely on Twitter or come back here and hit the comments section.