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Need to Know: Callahan says Redskins' running scheme will be diverse

Need to Know: Callahan says Redskins' running scheme will be diverse

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 23, 37 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp

 

Read and react

Here are some quotes from offensive line coach Bill Callahan’s media session during minicamp and my reaction to them:

On guard Spencer Long:
“Coming out he was a very mobile, strong, athletic-type guard so putting him into that position and trying to elevate his skill level is challenging for all of us. Hopefully he can hang on to it and compete for that starting spot.”
Callahan and the organization took something of a leap of faith in letting go of Chris Chester last month and essentially handing the right guard job to a player who has all of 18 NFL snaps under his belt. Callahan believes that he can be coached up and get the job done.

On changes in the Redskins’ running scheme:
“I think when you have balance in you running game, whether it’s the gap scheme, the zone scheme, using your draws, using wide zones, or tight zones, or whatever that may be I think it just keeps the defense off balance and it plays to your players’ strengths.”
As with the Cowboys last year, the Redskins aren’t going to go with power blocking plays exclusively. They will mix it up. I would still look for more power than zone because of the last several words of that quote.

More on playing to strengths:
“When you walk in the door you look at the players first and what they do best and you fashion a system around their strengths and their skill levels. That’s what we’re trying to do in this OTA and this minicamp session.”
Or you can walk in the door and replace one starter with a top draft pick and give another one the heave-ho and replace him with a second-year player. They already had Trent Williams, who is scheme versatile, and Shawn Lauvao, who was a fish out of water in the Redskins’ zone-oriented scheme last year. By drafting Brandon Scherff and elevating Long they transformed the line into one that is better suited to just push defenders out of the way. I’d say they adjusted the talent to run the scheme they want.

When asked about the enthusiasm he displays on the job:
“I love it, I absolutely love it. I look forward to practice every day. There’s nothing like it. I’m just an old school ball coach, you know what I mean? . . . I have a passion for this game. I love the game and what it stands for and what it’s all about, what it brings to the table and what it gives to a person and what they learn from it.”
I have to think most NFL coaches also love the game—you couldn’t put in all the hours that they do if they didn’t—but Callahan expresses it better than most I’ve heard.

Timeline

—It’s been 177 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 82 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 37; Preseason opener @ Browns 51; final cuts 74

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

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USA Today Sports Images

2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

LOS ANGELES — Some years, the December talk is of playoff tiebreakers.

Other years, it’s about draft position.

This is one of those “other” years.

The Redskins’ current skid of four losses in their last five games has knocked them out of playoff contention but into more favorable position in the 2018 NFL Draft, which is scheduled to take place in late April.

The Redskins' record is 5-8 through Week 14,  and if the season ended today, Washington would be picking either 11th or 12th in the first round.

Here’s the big picture: As of today, there are eight teams that have fewer wins than Washington. All of them would be picking ahead of the Redskins. 

The Bengals and Jets also have eight losses so the one and only draft order tiebreaker would be applied.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

This does not work out well for the Redskins.

The NFL Draft tiebreaker is strength of schedule with the teams with the weaker schedules getting the better picks. I am sure you have heard about how tough a schedule the Redskins have all year long. It was a point of pride for many fans. But now it comes back to bite them.

The Jets (opponents winning percentage .488) and the Bengals (.444) have faced weaker schedules than the Redskins (.574). That pushes Washington back to 11th.

RELATED: FEW UPS, MANY DOWNS VS. CHARGERS

But there is a Week 14 game pending. The Dolphins, who have seven losses, play the Patriots on Monday Night Football. If they lose and join the eight-loss group, they would jump ahead of the Redskins based on the SOS tiebreaker, pushing Washington back to 12th.

Of course, the season doesn’t end today and a lot can happen.

But if the bottom doesn’t completely fall out it seems likely that they will end up somewhere between 10th and 12th in the first round.

We will be looking at what that might mean for the Redskins in the coming days and weeks as the offseason comes early for the Redskins one more time.

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NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

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USA Today Sports

NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

The NFC Playoff picture is no clearer in Week 14 than it was in Week 8.

Throughout the 2017-18 NFL season, the NFC in particular has been a gauntlet. So much of a gauntlet that one of the league’s best in the past five years, the Seattle Seahawks, sit outside of the postseason with an 8-5 record.

As of the conclusion of Week 14’s action, only the Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) have locked up a postseason spot.

The Eagles claimed the NFC East for the first time since 2013 with a win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The will clinch a first round bye with a win and losses by the Saints and the Panthers this weekend.

The Minnesota Vikings (10-3) with their loss remains second in the conference, still within striking range over the overall No. 1 seed.

With losses to the two teams ahead of them, the Rams (9-4) have a tough hill to climb to claim a first-round bye, but first they need to get back in the win column.

For the WildCard berths there was a wrench thrown into many teams plans with the Atlanta Falcons (8-5) defeating the New Orleans Saints (9-4) on Thursday night. Atlanta owns a tiebreaker over pretty much every team chasing them for the final playoff spot.

For the five remaining unclaimed spots in the postseason, 10 teams are still alive.

After Week 15 though, that number could dwindle down significantly.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

NFC Playoff Picture Week 15

NFC PLAYOFF BRACKET PROJECTION:
— #1 Philadelphia Eagles* (11-2) vs. BYE
— #2 Minnesota Vikings (10-3) vs. BYE
— #3 Los Angeles Rams (9-4) vs. #6 Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
— #4 New Orleans Saints (9-4) vs. #5 Carolina Panthers (9-4)

NFC TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT:
— Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
— Detroit Lions (7-6)
— Green Bay Packers (7-6)
— Dallas Cowboys (7-6)
— Arizona Cardinals (6-7)

NFC TEAMS ELIMINATED PLAYOFF PICTURE:
— Washington Redskins (5-8)
— Tampa Bay Buccaneerrs (4-9)
— Chicago Bears (4-9)
— San Francisco 49ers (3-10)
— New York Giants (2-11)

SEEDING NOTES:
— Eagles own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Panthers.
— Vikings own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Saints, and Falcons.
— Saints own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Panthers.
— Rams own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints.
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Vikings.

WILD CARD NOTES:
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions.
— Falcons own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions, Packers, Cowboys, and Seahawks.
— Lions own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.
— Packers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seahawks, Cowboys.
— Cowboys own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.

Week 15 NFC Games With Playoff Implications:

Sat., Dec 16: Bears at Lions (4:30 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Bengals at Vikings (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Jets at Saints (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Eagles at Giants (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cardinals at Redskins (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Panthers at Packers (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Rams at Seahawks (4:05 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cowboys at Raiders (8:30 p.m.)
Mon., Dec 18: Falcons at Buccaneers (8:30 p.m.)