August 5, 2015

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 4 Observations

On the fourth day of training camp it was much of the same for the team as they went through a relaxed morning walk through before another full padded practice in sweltering 90 degree heat though cloud cover helped. The Redskins are fast approaching there three day joint practice with the Houston Texans on Friday, August 7th that will prepare them for their first preseason action on Thursday, August 13th against the Cleveland Browns.

Free agent pickup Chris Culliver spoke to the media about his evolving role as a Washington Redskin and the new defensive culture the team is trying to create. Culliver optimistically stated that “overall the defense is coming along good”. The ex-49er also mentioned that DeAngelo Hall is looking good on the field and they are building chemistry together by giving one another pointers. When asked point-blank why Scot McCloughan decided to give him a chance with his own off the field issues, Culliver mentioned that the Redskins GM trusted him. That same might be said for the case of Junior Galette. A big grin grew on Culliver’s face when the possibility of a dominant pass rush was brought up, he clearly feels the same way when sincerely stating that “the talent here is special”. In a secondary that could see three new faces getting significant playing time, it is good to see Culliver already reiterating that they are all here to get better together.

When GM McCloughan came to talked to the media, he was bombarded by questions about the Redskins group decision to sign Junior Galette. McCloughan, President Bruce Allen, and head coach Jay Gruden all met with Galette for “hours” as they did “thorough, thorough research…talked to over 20 people” that began as soon as they heard the OLB may be released. McCloughan made sure he knew Galette as a person and saw that he was honestly sincere. The head personnel man also went into that the Redskins figured out the truth and that what the media has reported is not always that. McCloughan did acknowledge the chance that Galette will be suspended by the league offense but put his foot down by saying “I will not bring a bad guy in here”. The latter events of Galette’s stay in Richmond culminated with emotions being let out through tears, which McCloughan described as how badly he wanted to be a Redskin.

McCloughan said he would not address Bashaud Breeland’s suspension incident because it was something that he was not on staff for, but did talk positively of the second year corner as well. “He has a chance to be a really good player” which McCloughan seemed to insinuate as all-pro if not better caliber.

After answering “non-football” related questions that irritated McCloughan, the general manager was able to shed some light on the current season at hand. First, McCloughan vehemently explained that they hope Alfred Morris is a career Redskin despite all of the hype of using a third round pick on rookie RB Matt Jones. Gruden also spoke highly of starting running back Alfred Morris who he says has improved his receiving out of the backfield and is one of the few in the league who does not complain about getting the ball. That and his previous three year track record with the Redskins compelled Gruden to agree with what McCloughan stated just minutes before that they want Alfred to be here “for a while”.

When asked about how many wins would define a successful season in his mind, McCloughan smartly avoided setting a standard quantitatively. However, McCloughan did optimistically imply that the Redskins will no longer be the laughing stock of the NFC East because “when you play the Redskins this year you are going to feel it”. Gruden also ended his press conference by saying, we are “building a team such that they [opponents] have to worry about us more than we have to worry about them”.

As expected, McCloughan stated that although he has final say on all transactions including the cuts to get the team to the needed 53 man roster, everyone is involved from the coaching staff to his own personnel team.

Gruden brought up a few surprises went asked if any rookies will not get playing time because of their lack of experience, which he instantly refuted. As expected first round pick Brandon Scherff will receive any and all playing time as the 5th overall pick. However, Gruden also brought up fourth round pick Arie Kouandjio as possibly pushing veteran Shaun Lauvao for playing time at left guard. Gruden also discussed fellow fourth rounder WR Jamison Crowder and sixth rounder S Kyshoen Jarrett as possibly earning additional practice/playing time with the first team.

Practice Notes and Evaluations

  • Tevin Mitchel (right shoulder) will receive further tests, Jeron Johnson (tweaked hamstring) is going to try and give it a go, and Willie Smith (achilles) will be out 2-3 days.
  • Like DeAngelo Hall yesterday, veteran left tackle Trent Williams, center Kory Lichtensteiger, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, defensive end Jason Hatcher, and safety DaShon Goldson received scheduled days off.
  • RB Matt Jones was sidelined for part of practice to ice his leg while standing and watching. He later walked with trainers back to the facilities with a wrap on his right knee.
  • WR DeSean Jackson did not practice today because of an injured finger that is believed to be dislocated though still being evaluated.
  • Newly signed OLB Junior Galette continues to work on a side field to enhance his own personal craft (hand placement) before joining the team practices. We could see Galette practice with the team as early as Wednesday.
  • With Williams and Lichtensteiger sitting out, Morgan Moses and Josh LeRibeus both got the nod to work with the starting unit today.
  • Colt McCoy saw opportunities with the second team unit today and looked better than previous lesser outings.
  • Preston Smith struggled against both Moses as well as third string tackle Takoby Cofield in one-on-one passing drills.
  • Robert Griffin III continues to be fairly sharp during training camp and had looked to improve his deep ball, which was a let down last year for the team whether it be under or overthrown balls. In one particular play today he hit Ryan Grant 40 yards down the field in stride does the sidelines.

For more updates about Redskins training camp come back and visit District Sports Page.

Important Dates:

  • Training camps is officially ongoing and will last until Sunday, August 16th. See a full schedule of the Redskins training camp practices here.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 (at 8 PM) in 11 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 42 days.

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 3 Observations

After yesterday was headlined by the signing of ex-Saint OLB Junior Galette and the suspension and later MCL injury of CB Baushad Breeland, today was highlighted by the first padded practice of the 2015 season.

In a post-walkthrough press conference, Brandon Scherff started out by continuing the complimentary remarks towards offensive line coach Bill Callahan describing him as a grinder. After the Redskins made a smart financial move in cutting RG Chris Chester, they are looking to fill the role through a variety of candidates including last year’s third rounder Spencer Long and this year’s fourth rounder Arie Kouandjio. Scherff remarked that he would be “pretty comfortable” if he were asked to take on the guard position. However, that would leave a void at right tackle that would otherwise have to be filled by veteran Tom Compton or last years third round pick Morgan Moses. Scherff has been taking a majority of his reps at right tackle where head coach Jay Gruden says Ryan Kerrigan is “showing him the ropes” across the line. Gruden also hinted that as expected Scherff will be the Week 1 starter when referencing that he will have Dolphins pass rusher Cameron Wake to handle.

Later in a pre-practice press conference, Jay Gruden confirmed the reports of a MCL injury to Breeland and that being sidelined 4-6 weeks is close to a best case scenario after the scary scene at yesterday’s practice. Week 2, the first game Breeland is eligible is seven weeks away from tomorrow. Breeland would later take to Twitter to apologize for a mistake he made last year as a “boy” and will continue to grind to help his team as a “man” that he grown into. The Redskins made a move to sign CB Deshazor Everett to the current 90 man roster, a possible reactionary move to having one less corner in training camp. Gruden would also remark that Justin Rogers and rookies Tevin Mitchel and S Kyshoen Jarrett will get reps in the slot at CB. During practice Rogers took snaps in the slot with the first unit tandem of David Amerson and Chris Culliver. DeAngelo Hall had a scheduled day off and Tevin Mitchel was sidelined with a sore right shoulder. Although the Redskins have significantly upgraded their talent in the secondary, the new personnel is leading to some miscommunication problems that will have to be worked out before the Dolphins visit FedEx Field in over a month.

Gruden mentioned that pass rusher Galette is still a couple of days from practicing with the team while he becomes settled in the new environment. For the second straight day, Galette worked off to the side. Today Galette was working on hand techniques with GrandMaster Joe Kim, a black belt in Taekwondo. Childhood buddies of Chris Baker and Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton have seen to taken the troubled OLB under their wing as the newest addition to their pass rushing unit of “Capital Punishment”.

Practice Notes and Evaluations

  • Redskins running back unit worked on ball security and blocking for much of their individual sets prior to scrimmages.
  • Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, and Kory Lichtensteiger were a few notable players who were putting in extra work in after practice.
  • In our first look at Robert Griffin III in pads, he was again accurate in one on one drills where he rewarded his receivers for running crisp routes and breaking away from coverage. Griffin also had a nice play to turn a play where he was pressured into a positive dump off. Although they may be baby steps, the improvement is clear.
  • Probably the most excited Redskins player about being in full gear is the physical running of Matt Jones. Jones ran hard and on one particular instance pushed the pule ahead for a double digit yardage gain.
  • Those in the punt return rotation to start practice included Andre Roberts, Jamison Crowder, Rashad Ross, and Trey Williams. It is clear that the Redskins want to protect DeSean Jackson from any possible danger although he could be called upon for a big play if the game were to require it.
  • Jamison Crowder has previously stated that his game is quickness and not as much speed. Regardless he is one of the, if not the, fastest player on the field. Today he was utilized on an end around carry that picked up a good chuck of yards before he was even touched.

For more updates about Redskins training camp come back and visit District Sports Page.

Important Dates:

  • Training camps is officially ongoing and will last until Sunday, August 16th. See a full schedule of the Redskins training camp practices here.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 in 12 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 43 days.

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 1 Observations

The Washington Redskins started training camp today with a relaxed walk through session at 10:35 AM, which will be followed by a practice at 3 PM without pads during the sweltering heat in Richmond, VA.

To start the day, it was promising to see offensive line guru Bill Callahan being the first guy out for the start of Redskins training camp. Moreover, Callahan made his unit work extra after practice had finished to try and whip them into a cog similarly to what he was able to do in Dallas. How quickly Callahan can develop the offensive line that was horrendous last year will have a lot to do with the success or lack thereof for the offense, Robert Griffin III, and quite frankly the entire team.

Trent Williams confirmed what head coach Jay Gruden noted yesterday by saying his ankle felt good. The Silverback is also proud that he kept the weight that he shed last suffer off, which in turn is making him faster. The Pro Bowl left tackle also said he was not worried about his contract situation after Ryan Kerrigan was the first Redskins first round selection to be extended since another great left tackle Chris Samuels.

Like Williams, DeAngelo Hall says he feels great. The veteran corner says he will line up with the first team and take as many reps as he wants while also listening to his body. Jay Gruden said that until proven otherwise Hall will be a starter for the team after suffering two tears of his Achilles tendon last season, but names like last year’s rookie sensation Baushad Breeland and/or free agent pick up Chris Culliver could push him for playing time in non-nickle or dime packages.

In Griffin’s post-walk through press conference, he was optimistic and excited because what they are going to continue training and preparing for the start of the 2015 season that they are working hard to turn into a success. The Redskins quarterback was asked about the same critics that Jay Gruden addressed yesterday as having little credibility with the idea that you cannot worry about anyone else because at the end of the day he plays for his teammates and the city. Also, contrary to what others have reported about Griffin’s insubordination in running certain plays, he said there is no middle ground needed between his skill’s and Gruden’s offense because “whatever Jay wants to run we’re going to run”. Nothing can be based on one practice, but RG3 was on a streak early where no balls were hitting the ground; 100% completion rate. Yes it was no contact, yes it was without pads, but his decision making seems to be sped up and his footwork looks more coordinated with his body.

A big story that was reported yesterday by NFL Network’s Albert Breer is that the Redskins are bringing in ex-Saints LB Junior Galette for a visit. Galette was arrested in January for allegedly assaulting a woman as she left his house. This woman was also amongst a group of others who were being hit with a belt by a man that resembles Galette. The talented pass rusher was also kicked out of Temple in college for additional off the field issues. The Redskins were noted to have taken certain players like Randy Gregory, La’el Collins, and others off of their draft board because of off the field baggage, but the 22 sacks that Galette has accumulated over the past two seasons is impressive.

Nothing is set in stone yet as Scot McCloughan and Bruce Allen will try to get a better feel for if they can avoid any off the field issues in the coming season with the 27 year old; it is still set to be decided whether Galette could face a suspension punishments from the NFL for the aforementioned assault allegations. Gruden went on to detail that although he has had some issues in the past, the Redskins would “like to draw our own conclusion”. The process is ongoing and still “very early” as the physical has not yet been administered, though it is planned to be conducted. According to ESPN’s John Keim, Galette is now expected to also meet with coaches while six other interested teams hope he leaves DC without a contract.

Galette would likely be the ROLB, replacing Brian Orakpo as Ryan Kerrigan’s book end, but currently the competition is between the second round selections from the past two years: Trent Murphy and Preston Smith. Although much can change, Murphy is hinted to have the current edge in the competition possibly because of his work in the weight room to reshape his body.

Yesterday Gruden was asked about the conditioning of his players and said he would have to evaluate them once seeing them in practice. Today the Redskins finished practice with sideline to sideline sprints, a trick Gruden might have picked up from Patriot’s head coach Bill Belichick during last years joint practices between the teams.

For more updates about Redskins training camp come back and visit District Sports Page.

Important Dates:

  • Training camps is officially ongoing and will last until Sunday, August 16th. See a full schedule of the Redskins training camp practices here.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 in 14 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 45 days.

 

Washington Redskins: Kerrigan gets Extended and Pre-Training Camp Press Conference Pointers

On the eve of the Washington Redskins start of training camp, the unofficial start of the 2015 season, head coach Jay Gruden and Pro-Bowl linebacker Ryan Kerrigan were kind enough to speak to the media.

As was broken today, Ryan Kerrigan agreed to a 5-year/$57.5 million extension with a $16 million signing bonus. Kerrigan would have otherwise made $7.03 million this year before becoming a free agent next summer. After deciding to exercise the option of Robert Griffin III next year, General Manager Scot McCloughan has made his second big move in evaluating in-house talent by making Kerrigan the third highest paid outside linebacker behind Chiefs’ Justin Houston and Packers’ Clay Matthews.

Kerrigan thanked the upper management of owner Daniel Snyder, President Bruce Allen, and GM McCloughan as well as his agent Eric Schaffer. After acknowledging the vote of confidence, Kerrigan gave us the quote of the day to warm Redskins’ fans hearts by saying, “it’s my job to go reward the Redskins for the faith they put in me by playing well this year and for the rest of my career”. Kerrigan is excited to get back to work tomorrow in training camp after having to sit out OTAs and mini-camp due to a precautionary knee procedure. The defensive mainstay for the Redskins over the past years of turmoil was a major proponent in Kerrigan’s extension.

Jay Gruden’s Presser Need to Know Points

  • LT Trent Williams, TE Jordan Reed, CB DeAngelo Hall, LB Ryan Kerrigan, and backup RT Morgan Moses all medically cleared for camp
  • Gruden is excited and happy for Kerrigan because a “great kid” is living the dream, to play for his beloved childhood team
  • Only one question regarding Robert Griffin III today (out of 18); Gruden mentioned that any negative comments against Griffin during the offseason is from unnamed sources who are not reliably credible. Gruden thinks RG3 is mentally tough and is going to handle the adversity by getting better. The head coach went further into detail by describing how Griffin has put the work in, which has never been question, specifically by getting his body and mind  right.
  • Negotiations on a Trent Williams contract extension are still on-going. The Silverback will be owed $14.2 million this year including incentives before becoming on unrestricted free agent next summer after six years of burgundy and gold under his belt.
  • Per usual, second year head coach Jay Gruden was positive about anything and every aspect of the team he was asked about whether it be Scot McCloughan’s mentality to build a team of “big, tough guys”, new coaching staff personnel, and the roster additions particularly on defense.

Important Dates:

  • Training camps starts TOMORROW on Thursday, July 30. See a full schedule of the Redskins training camp practices here.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 in 15 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 46 days.

Washington Redskins Minicamp, Day 2 Practice Observations

For the last time in a while, the Redskins completed offseason practice on a gloomy day in Ashburn, VA. Minicamp was originally suppose to last three days, but it was decided to wrap it up earlier after just two days, joining the trend of calling minicamp. With the upcoming six-week gap before training camp, much of what follows will be the last taste we have of the Redskins for an extended period of time before the season eventually sneaks up on us.

Although many fans might be hesitant to think that the team is improving after much promise over the past decades, Jay Gruden stated that he is starting to see results with the team. Not so much with the on field performance, but Gruden stated that the Redskins are “physically in better condition”. He thinks, as well as the rest of the DMV hopes, that will have a positive counter impact on game day. The head coach singled out Trent Murphy and Jason Hatcher for proactively getting their bodies in better shapes. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins Minicamp, Day 1 Practice Observations

Today marked the first mandatory offseason practice of the 2015 season and all healthy Washington Redskins players took part including DeSean Jackson, who was excused from portions of the voluntary OTAs. As a reminder, the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) prohibits live contact during minicamp practices as well as the use of equipment pads. Minicamp is a three day set of practices before a six week layoff that build up to the start of training camp starting in the end of July.

Coach Jay Gruden has been nothing of complimentary to his coaching staff and has reiterated that he loves all of their enthusiasm, much of that was on display today. To start the practice, special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica, a holdover from last year, had his unit working on punt and kickoff coverage while the other starters were still stretching out.

New defensive backs coach Perry Fewell was described as a great person that has been productive in all situations according to Gruden. The head coach laughingly conveyed that coming from the Giants, the Redskins might have an edge against the division foe in the coming season. Gruden also spoke about Fewell’s boss’s energy, new defensive coordinator Joe Barry, which he described as “a consistent upbeat, positive influence on our team and he’s always coaching”. Although contact is not allowed, Barry installed a tackling drill that featured shedding a blocker, hitting a tackling dummy, and landing on a large pad. In a lesser known addition to the coaching staff, Assistant Strength & Conditioning/Skill Development Coach Joe Kim was given praise by Coach Gruden because of his past experience in developing the pass rush of the likes of Justin Houston and Tamba Hali.

As Gruden had stated during OTAs, Bill Callahan, new offensive line coach, is effective in his hands-on style of teaching. The lineman guru, who turned the Cowboys line into arguably the best unit in football last year, was under center taking snaps during positional drills to get a perfect view of his unit’s progress. In case you missed it, the current starting offensive line with Trent Williams currently sidelined is (from left to right): Tom Compton, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Spencer Long, and Brandon Scherff.

Per usual, starting quarterback Robert Griffin III headlined talks both on and off the practice field. Griffin has shown noticeable improvement in his reads since a miserable performance throughout the season last year. When given the time, Griffin surveyed all of his options and make the right reads and accurate throws to his receivers. During 11-on-11 scrimmage, he hit Pierre Garcon for a 15-yard gain, while hitting DeSean Jackson along the sidelines during 7-on-7 drills to beat newly acquired corner Chris Culliver. Griffin later had a 70-yard touchdown bomb to Andre Roberts during the one minute drill; granted Baushad Breeland fell down in coverage, but the former offensive rookie of the year may have missed that read last season.

Coach Gruden continued the same tune that Griffin has been getting a little better each and every day and that is exactly what they ask from him. Griffin was described as starting to have confidence in the pocket by “doing a great job of exhausting all of his progressions, playing the quarterback position with good fundamentals”. Gruden did admit that it is likely that Griffin’s second go-round in a more complex system has helped his development. The second-year head coach went so far to call Griffin a “very gifted quarterback” and chuckled when explaining that “Robert’s going to be Robert” when the pocket breaks down insinuating the use of the former track star’s mobility.

There was little to talk about in the battle for the backup quarterback job. Kirk Cousins was given the opportunity to start with the second unit in 11-on-11 drills, but it seems to be alternating from back in OTAs so do not read too much into it. Cousins did a solid job when practicing as he repeatedly put the ball where it needed to be. The Michigan State product also showed his fleet of foot by avoiding a miscommunicated blitz and completing the play. Cousins’s lone miscue was missing rookie receiver Colin Lockett, who tipped a pass into the bread basket rookie corner Tajh Hasson for an interception.

Colt McCoy was also efficient in dissecting many of the undrafted free agents the Redskins brought into camp. Both backup signal callers received help from their receivers, Ryan Grant and Roberts, who made tremendous grabs to make their QBs look good.

One of the hardest things to watch with the Redskins last year was the self-inflicted wounds that just made the game so heart breaking. Gruden is having it none of that this year because he knows you cannot go from the bottom to the top without perfecting what is in your control. If a defensive back dropped a potential interception during a positional drill, they did push-ups. If an offensive lineman had a false start, they ran a lap around the field and were replaced on the ensuing play.

Injury Updates:

  • Those players who are already rehabbing from injury will NOT practice during minicamp, but home to be back by the start of training camp at 100 percent.
  • DeAngelo Hall went through positional drills with comfort. The veteran was held out of the scrimmages for precautionary reasons. During the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drives, Hall worked on the side simulating dropping into coverage, cutting and then catching passes.
  • Silas Redd has started to turn a few heads during practice; on one instance he had an excellent cut to get to open field. However, the Penn State product tweaked his ankle and will be held out of the rest of minicamp. That could open the door for Chris Thompson to secure a position as the third string running back behind Alfred Morris and rookie Matt Jones.
  • Trent Williams (left ankle), Jordan Reed (knee procedure), and Ryan Kerrigan (knee scope) were all non-participants during practice but are all expected to return for training camp.

Important Dates:

  • Minicamp runs through Thursday, June 18.
  • Training camps starts on Thursday, July 30 in 44 days.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 in 58 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 89 days.

Washington Redskins First Day of 2015 OTAs Observations

After the first day of organized team activities, Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and current starting quarterback Robert Griffin III addressed the media to provide insight on the upcoming NFL season.

Gruden expressed that coaching is a learning process and one of the biggest things he is getting used to is what buttons to push with the players at his disposal to get the most out of them.

After naming Griffin the preliminary starter early in the offseason, Gruden had Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy split the second team reps today. Both threw interceptions in their limited playing time, while Griffin had no turnovers. Gruden expects both to “push Robert and themselves”.

That being said, Gruden wants Griffin has to put together multiple strong practices to show the consistency that is desired because the work ethic is there ready to pay off. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins Select DE/OLB Preston Smith and Trade Down before taking RB Matt Jones on Second Day of NFL Draft

After the Washington Redskins found their potential bookend on the offensive line to complement Trent Williams Thursday in the first round of the NFL Draft in Iowa’s Brandon Scherff, Scot McCloughan looked to continue rebuilding his team in a manner similarly to what he did while with San Francisco and Seattle. With the sixth pick in the second round, the Redskins selected DE/OLB Preston Smith.

Preston Smith is out of Mississippi St. standing at 6’ 5’’ and 271 pounds. Smith had 15 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, and even chipped in with two interceptions last year in the defensive powerhouse of the SEC. Continuing the trend of big nasty guys for McCloughan, Smith has long arms and refuses to get pushed around. Smith is also versatile enough where he can line up anywhere from nose tackle, edge rusher opposite Ryan Kerrigan, or at times in coverage. In a 3-4 system, he should be able to produce enough havoc to make an impact as he plays the run well after shedding blockers. In Jay Gruden’s post game press conference, he confirmed that his versatility was something that sold the team on him.

After being seen as slow on film by some, Smith was a top performer at his position during the combine as he ran the 40 yard dash in in 4.74 seconds, had a broad jump of 121 inches, and completed the 3-cone drill in 7.07 seconds. Smith might be too slow to be an edge rusher, which the Redskins might want to plug him into, but he did speak of the possibility of losing weight to increase his quickness. According to Gruden, Trent Murphy’s status with the team is unaffected as everyone is going to have to compete for their right at playing time.

McCloughan continues to build his team from the inside on both sides of the ball and could continue to do so in the rest of this draft. McCloughan and company must have felt that they wanted Smith badly enough to not attempt to trade down to get to the 10 picks that the Redskins newly hired general manager desired. The New York Giants moved up to the #33 overall pick and the Carolina Panthers moved up to the #41 pick.

S Landon Collins (Alabama) to Giants from Titans, OT Donovan Smith (Penn State) to Buccaneers, DL Mario Edwards (Florida State) to Raiders, RB T.J. Yeldon (Alabama) to Jaguars, and WR Devin Smith (Ohio State) to Jets were all taken before the Redskins pick in the second round.

Washington traded their 69th overall selection to the Seattle Seahawks, McCloughan’s old stomping grounds. The Redskins will receive the 95th, 112th, 167th, and the 181st  overall pick in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th round of the NFL Draft respectively. The trade is relatively even as per the Jimmy Johnson chart, the Redskins give up 245 points and get back 238 (http://walterfootball.com/draftchart.php). McCloughan wanted 10 draft picks in the 2015 draft and now has it by trading down 29 spots to pick up three additional picks.

After the Redskins moved back 26 spots to gain three draft picks from Seattle, Washington ended up drafting RB Matt Jones out of the University of Florida. Jones had a modest 817 yards on about five yards a carry and six touchdowns last season for the Gators in 2014 in a mere five games of work. Jones season was cut short early because of a torn meniscus in his left knee, which took two surgeries to repair in October. As a result, Jones was only projected to be a fifth or sixth round pick in the draft. For a big running back he is relatively athletic and can move the pile, but must develop into a more patient runners as his vision is not great. McCloughan saw his potential as a third down back because he is arguably the best back in pass protection in the draft because he squares up linebackers, whom he has comparable size to.

Jones met with the Redskins in Ashburn and he says that Washington showed him love leading to his good feeling of coming to the nation’s capital. Matt Jones believes he is a complete back and says he patterns his game after Marshawn Lynch (5′ 11”, 215). In the 25 picks that were made between where the Redskins could have picked in the third round and where the eventually did, names like Tevin Coleman (Indiana), Duke Johnson (Miami), and David Johnson (Northern Iowa) came off the board. While some running backs came off the board, the Redskins passed on names like Jay Ajayi out of Boise State and Jeremy Langford from Michigan State. In the coming months, it will be interesting to see how Jones’s rehab continues and how soon he can get back on the field to fight for a position on the Redskins roster with names like Silas Redd, Chris Thompson, and Michael Hill. Gruden elaborated that Alfred Morris would not be affected as the #1 ball carrier for the team.

Moving forward, the Redskins have seven draft picks moving forward in the last four rounds of the NFL Draft starting with the 6th pick tomorrow (105th overall). Gruden stated that there are still a lot of players left in the draft that can still help the Redskins.

Washington Redskins’ General Manager Scot McCloughan Pre-Draft Press Conference Need to Know

Scot McCloughan met with the media today to talk about the Redskins strategy heading into the 2015 NFL Draft, which begins this Thursday with the highly anticipated first round where Washington holds the No. 5 overall pick. This is the first first round pick the Redskins will have to play with since drafting Robert Griffin III in 2012. Speaking of the current starting quarterback of the Washington Redskins, McCloughan announced that they are going to exercise the 2016 option on RGIII as was reported earlier today by NFL Network’s Albert Breer.

According to the Redskins’ GM, the decision was arrived at awhile back because he has “good tape,” including extraordinary playmaking ability back in the 2012 season. The hope is that with a full offseason and going into his second year in Jay Gruden’s system, Griffin shows flashes of his rookie year brilliance that the franchise can continue to build around. Clearly this is a $16.2 million financial risk that the Redskins are going to take as they plan to officially announce their intentions to the league on Monday, May 4. The Redskins clearly did not want to gamble of not having control of his contract for 2016. [Read more…]

Five takeaways from the Washington Redskins season finale loss against the Dallas Cowboys

Here are the five biggest takeaways from the Washington Redskins’ 44-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, ending the season at 4-12:

1. Robert Griffin’s performance gets worse as the game goes on.

Griffin’s stats are inflated by big gains after the catch on screen plays, but Griffin did nothing to fuel the offense or put the defense in bad situations. Griffin took another sack that helped stall a drive, although Chris Chester being pushed into your face cannot help in reading progressions down the field. Griffin was also not helped by his receivers when Roy Helu and Niles Paul dropped catchable balls and Jordan Reed didn’t run the necessary depth on a route on fourth down. [Read more…]

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