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Three and Out: Training Camp Week 1

Three and Out: Training Camp Week 1

You can reach me by email at rtandler@comcast.net

After a week of dropping a few pounds in the heat and
humidity at Redskins Park—pounds that those of you who know me know were ones I
can well afford to lose—here are my three random observations of Week 1 of
Training Camp 2005.

  1. I don’t know if Lemar Marshall if big enough to make it at middle
    linebacker, but it’s sure easy to root for him to do so. The other day he
    has his jersey and pads off and was talking to a group of reporters and,
    looking from 15 yards away, I thought, “Who is this receiver all these
    guys are talking to?” He not tiny, mind you, but standing there in his
    sweat-soaked Under Armor shirt, he just didn’t have the look that one
    associates with the likes of classic MLB’s like Butkus or Singletary. In
    talking to him, though, he seems to have the mental side of it down.
    Marshall has a quiet, intense personality like those of his new teammate
    David Patten and, going back a little further, Art Monk. Since Gregg
    Williams’ scheme doesn’t place as much importance on the size of the Mike
    man, emphasizing instead smarts and toughness, Marshall’s lack of stature
    and bulk doesn’t preclude success for him. As Marshall said, “It's not
    about your weight, it's about your heart."
  2. Kevin Dyson, the touchdown scorer on the Music City Miracle and the near-TD
    scorer on the last play of the Titans’ Super Bowl loss to the Rams, is
    also easy to root for but he is struggling on the practice field. He’s an
    engaging guy, quick with a smile and always willing to talk. On the field,
    however, he looks like what he is, a guy who hasn’t played much in the
    past two seasons (he missed most of 2003 with an injury and all of 2004
    after getting cut in camp). His movements are not fluid, he seems to be
    out of synch with the quarterbacks and his hands haven’t impressed. The
    good thing for Dyson is that his primary competition for the last roster
    spot at receiver is Darnerien McCants, who has had a severe case of the
    dropsies himself. The bad news for both of those players is that the
    performance of those two has opened the door for receivers like Jimmy
    Farris and Jamin Elliott to move up there and steal that last spot.
  3. Patrick Ramsey has been unimpressive. Not great, not terrible, just
    unimpressive. Don’t project that assessment beyond the first week of camp,
    it’s just for right now. It is based mostly on the longer throws, which
    are supposed to be both Ramsey’s strength as a quarterback and the new
    focus of the offense this year. Bombs tend to rely less on “chemistry”
    between the QB and his receiver than do shorter routes when the
    quarterback has to throw the ball before the pass catcher cuts. Ramsey
    seems to do fine on the deeper passes in pitch and catch stuff, where
    there is no defender on the receiver. The ball has a nice trajectory and
    the receiver doesn’t have to break his stride to run under the ball. When
    a defender gets involved, however, it’s a different story. The receiver
    has to adjust, the defender is able to make a play, or, most frequently,
    the ball is overthrown beyond the reach of anyone. It’s not like this
    happens all the time, but enough so that it’s disturbing. Nothing to
    portend doom and gloom here, mind you. It’s just something to look for
    when the start playing against guys in different-colored uniforms.

OUT!!

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Risk vs reward when Redskins consider Alabama LB Reuben Foster in NFL Draft

Risk vs reward when Redskins consider Alabama LB Reuben Foster in NFL Draft

An undeniable talent, Reuben Foster seemed for months to be a lock for the Top 10 of the 2017 NFL Draft. The Alabama star is a sure tackler, playmaking force and winner of the 2016 Dick Butkus Award as the nation's best college linebacker.

The actual football season went great for Foster, he logged 115 tackles and was named the SEC Championship Game MVP. Since play on the field stopped, things have stalled. Foster had an unfortunate incident at the NFL Combine, where he was sent home after an altercation with a hospital worker. In the time since, it's come out Foster tested positive for a diluted urine sample and will enter the NFL in the substance abuse program. 

Still, despite a tough two months, Foster's talent is too rich to pass up for some NFL teams. And per NFL Network's Lance Zierlein, the Redskins could be that team

In his mock draft released Wednesday, Zierlein predicts Foster's draft day slide to end with Washington at the 17th pick. From NFL.com:

Foster could fall due to off-field concerns and worries about injuries, but he fits a need for the Redskins, bringing a tough playmaker into the fold.

Beyond the diluted sample and the combine altercation, Foster also has had stinger issues throughout his career at 'Bama. He has elite speed at the linebacker position and the type of athleticism defensive coordinators dream about, though some pro scouts question if he can handle the calls of a Mike linebacker in the NFL game.

The Redskins are not desperate for interior linebacker help, this season. The team added Zach Brown in free agency, re-signed 2016 defensive captain Will Compton earlier this week and Mason Foster remains under contract. All three players, however, are headed to free agency in 2018. Adding Foster would provide depth this year and a potential star in the future.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Final Redskins seven-round mock draft: Defense first, a surprise in the third

Final Redskins seven-round mock draft: Defense first, a surprise in the third

We’re a day away from the start of the NFL draft and all the questions surrounding the Redskins’ intentions will start to get answered when they go on the clock at about 10 p.m. on Thursday.

[More Redskins: Full Redskins Seven-Round Mock Draft]

Speaking at the team’s annual pre-draft news conference, Scott Campbell, the team’s director of college scouting, stuck with the company line when he was asked about making picks based on team needs.

“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.”

It would be a big “bonus” for the Redskins if a defensive lineman who can rush the passer and stuff the run was the best player on the board when their first-round pick comes up at No. 17. But it doesn’t look like the board will play out that way. That’s OK because the Redskins have plenty of needs.

In fact, it’s not hard to do a mock draft for the Redskins because they have needs at virtually every position. Certainly, some needs are more urgent than others. But once you get past the first couple of rounds there is enough doubt at each position, whether it’s immediate depth or possible free agency holes in 2018, to get that need “bonus” with every pick.

Campbell said that this is a strong defensive draft and this is reflected in these mock selections, with six of the 10 picks going to defense including the top two. The first offensive pick may surprise some but the talent was just too good at that point in the draft.

Go here to see the full seven-round mock draft.

Your comments are welcome, as always. Make them here in the comments or hit me up on Twitter and Facebook.  

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.