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Redskins VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith reveals inner workings of Redskins' new power structure

Redskins VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith reveals inner workings of Redskins' new power structure

In terms of the area's interest in its power structure, the Redskins organization is likely second only behind the White House. That's become especially true ever since Ron Rivera took over at the start of January.

Luckily, among many other topics he addressed during his time at the Combine podium on Tuesday, Redskins VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith explained how Washington is running things these days.

Smith and Rivera are at the top, with Rivera having the most say in Dan Snyder's new "coach-centric" approach. But Smith figures to be involved in all off-field decisions, too, seeing as he's now in charge of both the college and pro aspects of the front office.

Doug Williams, meanwhile, has been shifted into the role of Senior VP of Player Development. There, he will be responsible for providing the locker room with guidance and resources in an effort to make sure they succeed in every facet of being an athlete in the NFL. 

Because of Williams' transition away from his previous job as Senior VP of Player Personnel, Alex Santos — who's been largely credited with keeping the team afloat the past few years despite major injury problems by making timely free agent decisions — will be directing the pro personnel side, according to Smith.

"That side kind of runs itself," Smith said Tuesday, which reflects well on Santos' performance and indicates the trust he has from both Smith and Rivera.

Then there's Tim Gribble, who will now be heading up the college department. He'll be a "tremendous leader" there, Smith told reporters in Indy, as Washington looks to continue its recent run of useful draft classes.

And, of course, when it comes to Sundays, there'll be new coaches like Jack Del Rio and Scott Turner as well as a different training staff, which the respected Ryan Vermillion will oversee.

Together, this group's arrivals and ascensions have changed the way many Redskins fans feel about the franchise's future. Now, it's up to them to validate that attitude adjustment.

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Will the Dolphins trade with the Redskins on draft night? A Miami beat writer gives his prediction

Will the Dolphins trade with the Redskins on draft night? A Miami beat writer gives his prediction

If you're a Redskins fan, you're asking yourself three things these days:

1) What is Washington going to do with Trent Williams?

2) What is Washington going to do with the second pick in the draft?

3) When am I going to be allowed out of my house again?

While the first and third questions are certainly important, Dolphins beat writer Safid Deen joined the Redskins Talk podcast to try and help answer that middle one.

To begin the interview, JP Finlay asked Deen if he believes Miami will ultimately decide to do a deal with the Burgundy and Gold and move in behind Cincinnati. Deen doesn't believe so as of now, but he also understands how things change when the much-anticipated event finally arrives.

"If you ask me now, today, 20-something days before the draft, I would say no, they're not going to get desperate," Deen said on Wednesday. "But we all know, as soon as that clock hits, as soon as that clock starts, as soon as the pressure starts rising, we'll see how these Dolphins really respond to any kind of pressure from other teams to move up or move down."

"Conventional wisdom says this team moves up in the draft," he added. "You move up with Detroit or you move up with Washington and you go and get Tua if you really want him."

The Dolphins have long been linked to Tua Tagovailoa, and the Alabama product's recent "overwhelmingly positive" medical tests may be enough to convince them to swoop in and select him. That said, he's not the only passer they're considering.

"[Tua is who] they're all in on, but they've been doing their research," he told Redskins Talk. "Justin Herbert and Jordan Love, those are two guys who have been really examined."

According to Deen, Love, in particular, is someone who's enticing the Dolphins. The Utah State signal-caller offers upside and also possesses the kind of personality that could unite a locker room. 

Now, could their interest really just be "interest" as they attempt to throw other organizations off before ultimately pouncing on Tagovailoa? Of course; this is the NFL, where if you aren't lying, you aren't trying. Deen, however, sees taking a QB other than Tua as a serious possibility.

To close his time on the pod, Deen was pushed to give his prediction for how the first round will unfold for Miami. In his mind, all of the pre-draft chatter won't result in any major movement, as long as teams behind the Dolphins like the Chargers and the Raiders don't get too aggressive, too.

"The Dolphins have to call everybody's bluff here," he said. "I don't think the Dolphins really need to go out of their way to move up."

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Post Free Agency projection of Redskins starting offense - who is next to Terry McLaurin?

Post Free Agency projection of Redskins starting offense - who is next to Terry McLaurin?

NFL free agency isn't technically over, but the fireworks have ended. More players will get signed but the biggest contracts have already been handed out, the fattest checks already written. 

That means it's a decent time to look at projected starters for the Redskins. Of course things can change, particularly by what happens later this month during the NFL Draft, but of 22 players in the Washington starting lineup, many of the spots seem quite settled. 

These are just projections. Players will get hurt, trades could happen, there will be additional guys signed. Still, the Redskins are working to rebuild their house, and a few weeks into the official 2020 NFL season, the framework has been laid down. 

Projected Offensive starters
QB: Dwayne Haskins - 2nd year with Redskins - The 15th overall pick last year gets his first real offseason as starter. Or sort of an offseason as the Coronavirus has ended all official team gatherings for now. Yes, Kyle Allen will challenge Haskins, but Week 1 of the regular season, the former Ohio State star will be under center. 

RB: Adrian Peterson - 3rd year with Redskins - Washington picked up the veteran runner’s contract for 2020 and Ron Rivera has spoken highly of the future Hall of Fame. If Derrius Guice gets back to full health he will take the top spot, but that’s an if for now. J.D. McKissic will shine as the third-down back, and maybe more, for Scott Turner’s offense. 

WR: Terry McLaurin - 2nd year with Redskins - Duh. He’s a stud. Washington’s best draft pick in a long time. 

WR2: WRX - ? - This might belong to Kelvin Harmon, but right now, that’s anything but a lock. The Redskins tried hard to sign Amari Cooper and might still be working in the trade market or at the draft to get another wideout to start opposite McLaurin. 

WR3: Steven Sims - 2nd year with Redskins - Showed a lot of potential as a rookie but needs to work on routes and his hands. Explosive playmaker though. 

TE: Logan Thomas - 1st year with Redskins - Thomas played 16 games last year in Detroit, and while Richard Rodgers has more name value and touchdown production on his resume, he hasn’t started a game since 2017. Thomas will come in healthy and considered the better blocker, which for now might be enough to win this competition. This is BY FAR the Redskins weakest position group, and maybe a Trent Williams trade or the NFL Draft will produce a viable starting candidate. For now? It’s not pretty. 

RT: Morgan Moses - 7th season with Redskins - Owner of the longest consecutive start streak on the Redskins, Moses will make his 81st start at right tackle this fall. Not much to discuss here.

RG: Brandon Scherff - 6th season with Redskins - The only debate is if Scherff will have a long-term deal by September. He’s the Redskins best offensive lineman and has already signed his franchise tag for 2020. 

C: Chase Roullier - 4th season with Redskins - Roullier has started 37 games for the Redskins in three years. Not bad for a 6th-round pick out of Wyoming. He keeps the job.

LG: Wes Martin - 2nd season with Redskins - Some might think newly signed free agent guard Wes Schweitzer gets this job but don’t let the glitzy contract numbers fool you. Sure, Schweitzer technically signed a three-year, $13 million contract, but the reality is Washington only guaranteed $4 million and none of it carries over beyond this year. He’s a backup swing guard. Martin performed reasonably well as a rookie last year filling in for Scherff, and he wins the left guard job outright this summer in Richmond. 

LT: Cornelius Lucas - 1st season with Redskins - A pleasant surprise for the Bears in 2019, he started eight games at a productive level in Chicago last year. He’s also huge. HUGE. Lucas is listed at 6-foot-8 and 327 lbs., but was considered a project coming out of Kansas State back in 2014. Now after six years in the NFL and a healthy full season in Chicago, it seems like Lucas has figured out how to use his body somewhat effectively. Listen, he’s not Trent Williams, nobody is, but Williams isn’t playing for this team ever again. The Redskins could draft a tackle and Rivera won’t be scared to play a rookie, but that won’t happen until the third round at the earliest. Lucas can play, maybe at a similar level to what Donald Penn delivered last year. Geron Christian could and should push for this job, but when he has gotten on the field before, it hasn't been all that impressive. 

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