Sunday, February 28, 2010

Redskins News and Notes, Combine Aftermath Day 1

There have been some Redskins news stories coming out of The Combine but first let's look at some of the results from the combine.

Combine Day 1 (Saturday):
- I won't go in detail on who did what (ie. drills) because NFL.com has a section where all of that info. is available. Go here to read the full results.

- Russel Okung and Mitch Petrus (the top 2 guys in the bench press for the OL by the way) both suffered injuries and could not finish. Okung had a minor groin pull and Petrus pulled his hamstring.
-Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland) has impressed scouts and the panel of announcers at the combine. Many said he looked liked the best tackle in the draft, until you watch the game tape. He does look good in the Under Armour like a bigger, faster version of Jason Smith from last year and had the fastest 40 time and was 3rd in the bench press. The problem is that none of this really matters on what Campbell will do on game days. Can he hit? Can he drive guys off the ball? Campbell is a pretty young guy (21) and has limited experience but I think he could easily be developed into a great tackle if he has the right coaching and can start as a RT (like Michael Oher is doing in Baltimore) to get the snaps under his belt. My concern is that a team will fall in love with the intangibles here at The Combine and draft him too high and have too high expectations for a kid that still needs to be developed. Something tells me that the Raiders will again be calling for a very fast Terp. If that's the case, expect Raider Nation to be thoroughly disappointed for the second year in a row with the top pick from Maryland. I see Campbell as a late 1st early 2nd round pick, which means that he could be a target for the Skins depending on what they do at #4 overall.

- Could this be the deepest draft class ever for O-linemen? Gil Brant at NFL.com thinks so. That's great news for the Redskins who could arguably need 3-5 new starting O-linemen and another 2-3 players as depth/developing roles. What is also good is that even with the top talent picked clean by the end, there will be a few UDFAs that will fall through the cracks even though they might be considered late round talent. If the Redskins are smart, they will hopefully get 3-4 kids coming out of this draft class either as draft picks or UDFAs.

- Keep an eye on Roger Saffold and Tony Washington. Washington was considered to be a late round pick and Saffold also was a later round pick (depending on what position draft sites have him playing and what they think of him). Both stood out well in O-line drills (not 40's and bench presses but the actual drills) and both should be rising on some boards.

-I'll be honest, I really didn't pay much attention to the TEs participating at The Combine. C'mon, there is no way in hell that the Skins should spend any draft picks on a TE (even though Todd Yoder could be gone and the Skins would have a need for a blocking TE) when they already have Cooley and Davis and have only needs at a bunch of other positions.
That said, Dennis Pitta of BYU reminds me of a slightly bigger version of Chris Cooley. I also expect maybe 1-2 TEs this year to go in the late 1st/early 2nd rounds.

-I'm already bored out of my mind watching the combine and have started to DVR it. You get about 15 minutes of pertinent information for every 2 hours of combine. I don't know how the announcers stand it.

Redskins News and Notes
-Mike Shanahan had a pretty lengthy press conference with the media at the combine and said that Jason Campbell will be tendered. This is no real surprise as the Redskins have no one currently on the roster who should be starting. Does this mean anything about what the Skins will do at #4? Nope. All it means is that Jason Campbell will most likely be the starter in 2010. Even if the Skins draft Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen at #4, I doubt they will take the field barring injury b/c our O-line will still be a bit of a mess. Shanahan also mentioned how he admired how Campbell has handled himself with the Redskins. This is a no brainer, Shanahan expects a strong work ethic from his players and it's pretty well known around the league that you'll get that from Campbell. Also, Shanahan is doing the exact opposite of what Cerrato did with him last year. Shanahan is building up his quarterback which is a smart move, especially when that QB has been nothing but been beaten up both physically and mentally by the moves that the Redskins have made over the past few years.

- Shanahan also emphasized that he wants full participation in the off season program by his players.
"The first thing we have to do is make sure these players understand that we're gonna give them a chance to get better, relative to how we run the offseason program or strength and conditioning program [and] what they can do to better themselves. I think it's very important for them to understand that the team comes first, and to work together and do the little things the right way. It's a long process, the offseason program. It's not easy. A lot of hard work involved, and I think it's very important to show your teammates exactly how hard you work and how dedicated you are to the program."
From Mike Shanahan's press conference (via transcript) at the combine. Excellent transcript of the entire presser over at Matt Terl's Redskin's Blog, I highly suggest you read it.
What this means is that Shanahan is sending a message to all of his players that he expects them to train and to be at Redskins park to train and to work as a team. Sure, the message may be aimed at Clinton Portis but it also is going to other guys that don't regularly show (Laron Landry). This will be a hard off season for the players but hopefully a much better regular season.

-Skins are currently negotiating with Casey Rabach on a new contract per Redskins Insider.

-Ethan Albright also is hoping to be re-signed by the team before March 5th.

- Two nice articles by Rick Snider and John Keim of the Washington Examiner on why the Skins shouldn't trade out of the #4 spot and why they shouldn't go after Jimmy Clausen if they stay at #4.

- Of course, the Redskins are linked to every free agent on the market or soon to be on the market. Matt Mosley reports that Mike Shanahan is friends with LaDainian Tomlinson, so of course he'll be a Redskin. Brian Westbrook grew up as a Redskins fan and his brother (Byron) currently is a Skin, so obviously he'd also like to play here. The big name of discussion would be whether the Skins are interested in Karlos Dansby which has been floating around. It's a possibility especially if the Redskins do convert to a 3-4 scheme. That said, in a 3-4 what happens to Rocky McIntosh if the Skins sign Dansby? Tony Pashos of the 49ers is another name that has been floating around.

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