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The injury bug bites other teams, too

The injury bug bites other teams, too

It's getting to the point where many Washington Redskins fans are afraid to turn on Training Camp Daily on Comcast or click on JLC's blog. They cringe at the prospect of finding out who got injured today.

The Redskins do seem to have a extraordinary number of injuries. It started on the first day of camp when two defensive ends, Phillip Daniels and Alex Buzbee, were lost for the year. It continued with Devin Thomas' hamstring, Malcolm Kelly's hamstring, Anthony Montgomery's hand, H. B. Blades' knee, Rian Wallace's hand, and a variety of other nicks. Pile onto those the limited roles that Carlos Rogers, Rocky McIntosh, Chris Samuels and Erasmus James can play due to wounds from last year that still are healing and you have a team that is operating shorthanded.

The injuries to the front-line players make it difficult for the starters to gel as a unit. When the backups are out the remaining players on the unit have to take additional reps and that can lead to fatigue, which can lead to more injuries, which starts the cycle all over again. Or, practice might be cut short, again cutting into preparation time.

As bad as the Redskins' situation seems, they are not alone. There are many other NFL teams being bitten hard by the injury bug. A look in the NFL Notes section of my local paper today reveals the following (after, of course, some 300 words about the Bret Favre soap opera):

  • Amani Toomer (left leg swelling) and Steve Smith (general soreness) sat out Giants practice along with Plaxico Burress (ankle).
  • Dallas cornerback Terence Newman will miss at least three weeks with a torn groin (ouch!)
  • Ravens' starting offensive tackle Adam Terry was carted off the field after apparently aggravating a left ankle problem that was surgically repaired last January. He had flipped from the right side to the left to fill in for Jared Gaither, who is out with a sprained ankle.
  • Steelers punter Daniel Sepulveda tore his ACL on the first day of practice. He will miss the season.
  • Buffalo backup QB J. P. Losman missed practice after jamming his thumb.
  • Jacksonville receiver Reggie Williams hurt his knee making a spin move after making a catch and he had to be carted off the field.
  • Tennessee defensive lineman Ulrich Winkler will miss the season with a torn ACL.

That's just one day's worth of NFL camp injury news in the local paper. It isn't a thorough study. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the Redskins are somewhat worse off than your average NFL team.

Still, injuries are part of the game, they always have been and, until they come out with The Bionic Football Player, they always will be. The teams that can best deal with them are the ones that will be successful.

 

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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.