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Tuesday Take: The bad with the good

Tuesday Take: The bad with the good

The Washington Redskins enter the second half of the 2008 season with plenty of classic good news/bad news scenarios.

Good news: The Redskins are 6-2. No other NFC team has won more games; they are a half game out of the NFC East lead and a game up in the race for a Wild Card spot.

Bad news: They haven't played particularly well lately. Mistakes, including fumbles, at key times are stalling offensive drives. They lost to the then-winless Rams and struggled to beat Cleveland and Detroit.

Good news: Nobody seems to be satisfied with the performance of the team. There is not a Norv-like "what we do works" mindset at Redskins Park. After his defense held the opposition to 274 yards, including just 57 yards rushing, 13 first downs, and 17 points in a win, Greg Blache likened the performance of his unit to "the South end of a North-bound skunk". Jim Zorn said, "We have to play more sudden. We have to know our assignments and know the technique. . . Were almost getting there – we just need to fix those little things."

Bad news: The injury bug is biting this team hard. Five starters—Chris Samuels, Cornelius Griffin, Jason Taylor, Shawn Springs, and Chris Horton—missed the Detroit game. Taylor and Springs already have been ruled out for Monday night's game and none of the other three is 100% certain to go against the Steelers. Clinton Portis and Santana Moss got dinged up later in the game and, at best, their practice time will be limited this week.

Good news: It could be a lot worse. These injuries are day to day, week to week issues. There hasn't been a season-ender or even a multi-week injury (typed with one hand while knocking on wood with the other). The bye week is coming after Monday and that's not a moment too soon.

Bad news: For the next four weeks, the schedule gets tougher than a three-dollar steak. There are contests against the two of the legitimate Super Bowl favorites in the Giants and Steelers. Another game is against the preseason favorites, the Dallas Cowboys, who will be coming off of a bye with Tony Romo back under center.

Good news: All three of those games are at home. On top of that there is the aforementioned bye coming in between the Steelers and Cowboys so Dallas has no advantage in terms of being rested.

Bad news: The Redskins will pay for all of that November home cooking by hitting the road for three of their four December games.

Good news: Two of those games are against teams that are flat-out bad, the Bengals and 49ers, and the other is against the up-and-down Ravens. It's never easy to win on the road in the NFL but it's unlikely that the Redskins will be facing stadiums packed with amped-up fans in Cincy and Frisco.

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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.