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Little news is good news

Little news is good news

There was very little news coming out of the Washington Redskins minicamp this past weekend and that is exactly what the team wanted.

You don't want your team to make news during minicamp.

Any headline that comes out of the spring get-together is almost invariably bad news. It's about someone who's not there because of a contract dispute. Or someone who had to be carted off the field and his participation in training camp, if not the season, is in doubt.

There was the Fred Davis episode. The rookie tight end overslept and missed Sunday's practice. If his screwup proves to be an isolated incident then it will soon be forgotten. If he ends up leaving a trail of irresponsible actions, it will be recounted over and over again.

Most are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I agree, but we shall see.

Davis' mishap still is being discussed on Tuesday, with the Riggins show devoting a segment to it and a buzz still lingering on the message boards. That's a sign that it was a slow new weekend.

The most humorous analysis of the story comes from Giants and Cowboys fans trying to get in a few digs about it. The Giants would be happy if their tight end slept in. That would mean that Jeremy Shockey wasn't whining about the offense or demanding a trade. And society at large is much safer if the newest veteran member of the Dallas Cowboys, Pac Man Jones, is in his hotel room.

And after the events of this past weekend, Colts and Bears fans had better not be saying anything, either.

Other than that, it was all football coming out of Ashburn. Specifically, it was about the team learning two new systems, those of Jim Zorn and Greg Blache.

Indications are that Blache's defense will be easy to pick up. Gregg Williams employed a couple of dozen packages of personnel and alignments each game. Blache thinks that simpler is better

"We will have fewer packages because this is about the players," Blache said after a practice at this weekend's minicamp. "This is not about building the perfect castle or whatever. It's about giving the players something they can execute in the heat of battle under stressful situations. We are trying to be a hard, physical defense that's intimidating with our speed and hitting ability, and you can't do that when you're thinking about 20,000 different things."

It wasn't exactly as though Williams' defense seemed to be suffering from paralysis by analysis. The unit was among the top ten in the NFL in three of his four seasons in DC.

Still, letting players play isn't a bad thing. It will be interesting to see how all looks.

Blache did coach under Williams for four years, but it would be inaccurate to call him a GW disciple. He's been a coordinator before. His 2001 Bears unit was one of the best in recent memory as they allowed an average of just 12.7 points per game, in part because the unit collected 34 takeaways.

No doubt, he'll be bringing in a number of his own ideas to the defense as he crafts a scheme that isn't overly disruptive while sticking to his core philosophies and methods.

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Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' defensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

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Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' defensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 20, 37 days before the NFL draft.  

Looking at the 2018 depth chart—defense

The Redskins are likely to make a few more free agent acquisitions and there is the draft, but the depth chart is beginning to settle in. Let’s take a look at where the defensive side of the ball stands now. The offense was covered yesterday.

Defensive line: Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee
Backups: Terrell McClain, Anthony Lanier, Ziggy Hood

I wrote this on Monday afternoon wondering if I would have to edit it to add Jonathan Hankins but that has not happened yet. I have to think that they will use a top draft pick on a D-lineman if they don’t land one in free agency. That could create some competition between Hood and McClain for the last roster spot.

Linebackers: OLBs Preston Smith, Ryan Kerrigan; ILBs Mason Foster, Zach Brown
Backups: Ryan Anderson, Zach Vigil, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Martrell Spaight

Again, I thought I might have to edit this because of the return of Junior Galette or the addition of Pernell McPhee but as it is, the Redskins are looking for an additional reserve edge rusher to go with Anderson. There might only be room for two backup inside linebackers between Vigil, Harvey-Clemons, and Spaight.

Defensive backs: CBs Quinton Dunbar, Josh Norman; FS Montae Nicholson, SS D.J. Swearinger
Backups: Orlando Scandrick, Fabian Moreau, Josh Holsey, Deshazor Everett

I debated including Su’a Cravens here because he is on the roster, but I think that the odds that he will be on the 53-man roster in September are slim. If he doesn’t return they will need some help at safety. You can count on Scandrick playing in the slot. They seem to like both Dunbar and Moreau better on the outside and Scandrick can give Holsey a chance to develop inside.

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

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Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 28
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 130
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 174

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

The Redskins seem to love former Cowboys. They signed another one today.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Media is reporting that Washington has agreed to terms with cornerback Orlando Scandrick. The early numbers put the contract at up to $10 million over two years.

Scandrick, 31, has played for the Cowboys since they made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. In nine seasons in the league, Scandrick has eight interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

He has been plagued by injuries the last three years. Scandrick was out for the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL. In 2016 he missed four games with a hamstring injury and he finished last season on injured reserve with a back injury. Whether his struggles last year were due to injuries or age remains to be seen.

Scandrick joins Nosh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, and Josh Holsey at cornerback for the Redskins. Holsey is the only natural slot corner in the group and he played very sparingly as a rookie last year. Scandrick likely will fill the slot role until Holsey is ready.

We will see what the signing costs in terms of salary cap impact when we see the details of the contract. The phrase “up to” generally means that there are incentives included in the deal so we will have to see.

In recent years, the Redskins have signed former Cowboys defensive linemen Stephen Bowen, Jason Hatcher, and Terrell McClain.


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