Rich Tandlers five thoughts possibly related to the Washington Redskins and other matters (special rookie minicamp edition).5. It wasnt stunning news when Shanahan said yesterday that Robert Griffin III will be working with the first-team offense when the offseason program resumes on May 14. Still, it was important to have the coach say, Hes the starter, period. It was also interesting to hear Shanahan talk about tailoring the offense to what Griffin is comfortable with. Of course, Donovan McNabb and other critics dont think that Shanahan is capable of adjusting because ego will get in the way. Words are one thing and how the development of Griffin actually plays out is another. Not much is at stake here, just the teams success or failure over the next decade or so.4. Will Josh LeRibeus challenge Will Montgomery at center? The Redskins third-round pick spent most of the weekend snapping the ball to Griffin and Mike Shanahan said that he is capable of playing either guard or center. Montgomery got a 2.5 million roster bonus to re-sign before free agency started so he is not going anywhere this year. However, a bonus like that is not a guarantee of a starting job. It seems likely that either the rookie or Montgomery will be the starting center and the other will be a reserve at both center and guard. Its likely that Monty is the starter when the season begins but he will have to battle to hold off LeRibeus.3. Ill have a post on rookie linebacker Keenan Robinson coming up in the next day or two, I talked with him while he was coming off of the field on Sunday. He probably wont see much action on defense this year or maybe even next year. But he plans on doing what Perry Riley did, which was to glom on to London Fletcher and absorb as much knowledge as he could. It got Riley into the starting lineup a year and a half after the Redskins drafted him in the fourth round in 2010. It might take Robinson a bit longer to crack the first team as Fletcher is likely to be around for two more years but if the athletic ex-Longhorn is a student of the game and an enthusiastic pupil of Fletchers he should be ready to go when his turn comes.2. Look for a post about running back Alfred Morris, too. He grew up a Redskins fan so he was thrilled to be drafted by Washington. Last Saturday, Shanahan said that Morris is a tailback but he did line up at fullback from time to time during drills on Sunday. Since there is no backup to Darrel Young currently on the roster, Morris could enhance his chances of making the team and contributing this year if he can fill both roles. At 5-9, 219 he has the size to play fullback.1. Circling back to RG3, its easy to go overboard at how a quarterback looks when hes in shorts, not playing against a pass rush, and his receivers are either uncovered or guarded by someone who is unlikely to ever see a regular-season NFL snap. But Griffin did look the part of an NFL quarterback out there. His passes had zip and, for the most part, accuracy. For a quarterback who rarely played under center at Baylor, his footwork during his dropbacks was excellent. It seems apparent that he did a lot of work prior to the draft to get ready. This by no means indicates that he is a sure thing to be an NFL star. But it is a good start.Days until: OTAs start 14; minicamp 35; preseason opener 94; Redskins at Saints 125Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.
Josh Norman traveled to Scotland as part of an NFL promotional trip, and in turn, Josh Norman wore a kilt.
Norman, along with Broncos wideout Emmanuel Sanders, decided to give the traditional Scottish formal attire a try, and the results were spectacular.
Norman even broke out in a tradional Scottish jig, sending the folks in the Glasgow audience into a frenzy.
Norman likes to have fun, and though the 2017 season didn't provide him many opportunities to do so, he's taking advantage while overseas. After Glasgow, Norman and the NFL crew went to Manchester, England, where he caught up with old friend and Manchester United star Paul Pogba for a jersey exchange.
Remember, Pogba hung out with the Redskins when the team played in London in 2016, and joined the Redskins Extra crew after the game.
Plenty more cool pictures and videos from Norman's trip available via @NFLUK.
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Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 17, 56 days before NFL free agency starts.
—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 48
—NFL Draft (4/26) 99
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 235
Five possible Redskins first-round draft picks
As you can see from the “Days until” counter above, the NFL draft is 99 days away. A lot will happen between now and then but let’s look at some prospects who will fit the Redskins and who should be available at pick No. 13.
ILB Roquan Smith, Georgia—If you watched Georgia at all during the national semifinals or finals, you had to be impressed with his instincts, speed, hard hitting, and solid tackling. Even if free agent Zach Brown stays, the Redskins could pair him up with Smith and have a dynamic pair of inside linebackers for the first time since they started running the 3-4 in 2010. The problem for the Redskins is that his high-profile performances in those big game may have pushed Smith into the top 10.
QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma—A quarterback should be the choice early in the draft unless Kirk Cousins is signed to a long-term deal. Mayfield is an unconventional type of QB at about 6-1. There’s a lot to like about him, though—mobility, playmaking ability, and deep ball accuracy. He seems to have learned from his off-field mistakes, including an arrest about a year ago (apparently for yelling). In any case, if he is on the Redskins’ radar they will thoroughly vet him between now and draft day. Other QB possibilities are Josh Allen of Wyoming and Lamar Jackson of Louisville.
WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama—Hey, why not another wide receiver, which would be the second one in the first round in three years, and another member of the Crimson Tide after taking Alabama players 1-2 in 2017. I know that people would cringe at another round 1 WR, but after Terrelle Pryor flamed out last year it certainly is a need. Ridley would represent a solid value at No. 13.
DL Vita Vea, Washington—This pick would solve a couple of problems. At 6-4, 332 Vea has the size and strength needed to play nose tackle, solving another problem that has been around since 2010. What might make him worth a first-round pick is that he doesn’t have to go to the bench in nickel. Vea is versatile enough to rush the passer and play three downs. Start a line with Vea, Jonathan Allen, and Matt Ioannidis, mix in a few quality rotational players, and get Jim Tomsula to coach them up and you will have a top-notch D-line. As of right now, Vea is considered to be more of a late first-round player but a lot can change in the next 99 days.
RB Derrius Guice, LSU—Dreams of getting Saquon Barkley at No. 13 are just that and trading up far enough to get him would cost way too much draft capital. But Guice is a good mix of speed, power, agility, and receiving ability. With the exception of Alfred Morris’ first couple of seasons, the Redskins have been ordinary at best since the prime of Clinton Portis a decade ago. Many were impressed with Sony Michel of Georgia, who could be available in the second round.
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In case you missed it
- Joe Jacoby's quarterbacks make his Hall of Fame case
- Which Redskins players will form the core of the offense in 2021?
- Build defense and forget about QB? It's not that easy
- If Cousins leaves, rebuild or retool?