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After a solid draft, is the dysfunction at Redskins Park a thing of the past?

After a solid draft, is the dysfunction at Redskins Park a thing of the past?

If you look around the internet you see many analysts praising the Redskins’ draft. I would have been ecstatic if one of my high school report cards came back like the draft grades the Redskins have received.

SB Nation and USA Today both gave them an A-minus. Rob Rang of CBS Sports wasn’t quite as impressed but you should be able to win games with players from a B-graded draft. I went with a B-plus. There may have been a contrarian or two out there giving them a C but most of the reviews were positive.

Hit the rewind button to about eight weeks ago, to March 9. After about a week of speculation, Scot McCloughan was fired as the team’s general manager. The organization was being called a dysfunctional clown show and a GIF of a dumpster fire was a common attachment to tweets about the team.

But life went on at Redskins Park. They checked a lot of boxes in free agency, signing two defensive linemen, a safety, linebacker Zach Brown, and receiver Terrelle Pryor. The building of the defense continued during the draft with the acquisitions of DL Jonathan Allen, OLB Ryan Anderson, and CB Fabian Moreau. The contracts for the free agent acquisitions were reasonable and they got solid value for most of these draft picks.

RELATED: Grading the Redskins 2017 draft

There was nothing dysfunctional about the process. We will see how things work out on the field, which is what really matters. But taking an objective look at it, it appears to be a carefully thought out and well-executed offseason personnel plan.

Sometime in the next few weeks the Redskins will name a new general manager. Perhaps it will be Scott Campbell, the current director of college scouting who has been working in the personnel side of the NFL for 30 years, including 16 years with the Redskins. It could be Doug Williams, who has been involved in both coaching and personnel in the 30 years since he was a Super Bowl hero for the Redskins.

Perhaps hiring from within is not ideal. While Campbell and Williams are both sharp and good at their jobs, it isn’t like either name comes up when another team is looking to interview GM candidates. The Redskins may be better served by casting a wider net in their general manager search.

Still, if the search turns out as expected, Campbell or Williams would be an acceptable general manager. The hiring of either would not scream dysfunction, just that they could do better.

So, has the dumpster fire been put out? While the correct answer is yes, there is no assurance that (to mix in another metaphor here) the train will stay on the tracks.

MORE REDSKINS: Five Redskins who could lose their jobs to draft picks 

We’ve see this all before. Marty Schottenheimer had a strong finish in 2001 only to be fired after one season on the job. Joe Gibbs had a bumpy four-year second run that ended abruptly with his second retirement. Mike Shanahan was in the process of trying to patiently assemble a winning program until the RG3 trade blew things up. There has been some semblance of stability with Jay Gruden entering his fourth year as coach but that was marred by the ugly McCloughan dismissal in March.

There always seems to be plenty of fuel in the dumpster just waiting for an ignition spark.

Enjoy it while you can, Redskins fans. There is a glimmer of hope on the coaching front. There will be stability long enough to build a team that can make a playoff run or two. Maybe the past won’t repeat itself but it’s up to you to determine how much hope you want to invest in that possibility.

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.

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Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

roullier-ap.png
Associated Press

Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 21, 21 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The Redskins appear to be set at center

Originally published 12/19/17

Chase Roullier might have been the Redskins’ fourth choice to play at center this year. But he could be snapping the ball for Washington for a long time.

Kory Lichtensteiger, the starter for the previous three years when healthy, retired. Veteran backup John Sullivan departed as a free agent. Spencer Long started six games this season before knee and quad problems pushed him to the sideline, elevating the rookie Roullier into the starting lineup.

The sixth-round pick started three games before breaking his right hand at some point during the game against the Saints. That’s his snapping hand and him finishing that game was an underrated act of courage this year. But he was out for three games before returning against the Cardinals on Sunday. Jay Gruden was pleased with his play. 

“Chase did good. He did good,” said Gruden. “It was good to see him back in there. His snaps were outstanding and handled the calls and play well.”

That was good but standard praise. What was interesting was what he said next.  

“I like Chase’s progress right now,” he said. “I think he is going to be a very good center for a long time here. It was a great pickup for us in the draft.”

It appears that you can at least pencil in Roullier as the 2018 starter at center, if not put him in with a Sharpie.

Where would this leave Long, who is slated to be a free agent in March? The Redskins could let him walk and go with the younger and cheaper Roullier. They also could sign him to be their starting left guard. That job has belonged to Shawn Lauvao. But Lauvao also is a pending free agent and he is 30 and he has missed large chunks of two of the last three seasons with injuries. When he missed the last 13 games of the 2015 season, Long went in at left guard and played well.

If that happens, that would give the Redskins a starting offensive line consisting entirely of players drafted by the team and with only Trent Williams over the age of 27 in Week 1 of 2018.

Regardless of what happens at left guard, it looks like Roullier will be the man in the middle for 2018 and beyond.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 8
—NFL Draft (4/26) 64
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 200

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, however, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players, too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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