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Redskins' GM McCloughan: Blocking tight ends 'a dying breed'

Redskins' GM McCloughan: Blocking tight ends 'a dying breed'

The Redskins went into free agency with a potential Pro Bowl tight end in Jordan Reed and another productive tight end in Niles Paul, who appears to be on schedule to be ready for training camp following the severe ankle injury he suffered last August.

But Scot McCloughan added more to the mix. Veteran Vernon Davis, who clearly has declined from his Pro Bowl form of a few years ago but still has something to offer, signed a one-year free agent contract. Logan Paulsen, who missed all of 2015 with a toe injury, was re-signed to compete for a chance at a seventh year with the team.

Last August with both Paul and Paulsen on the shelf, McCloughan did something he really doesn’t like to do—he traded away a draft pick. He picked up Derek Carrier from the 49ers, a move forced by the injuries and lack of available players at the position.

As with other positions, McCloughan would rather build depth at tight end through the draft. But you can’t draft players who aren’t on the draft board and there is a scarcity of quality tight ends in the draft pool. And that’s not just a quirk this year, the tight end shortage has become an perennial issue.

McCloughan said that colleges just don’t develop tight ends like they used to.

“It’s simple – because of the spread offense,” the Redskins’ GM said to reporters this week. “You know, we’ve got a Y and a U. The Y is the inline, blocking, receiving blocking tight end, and the U is more like the receiving tight end. The Y’s aren’t there anymore. It’s the spread offense. The U’s are playing flexed out as a receiver, and they’re not going with the tight end inline, you know? So it’s tough.”

Players who may have been Y tight ends are now offensive tackles or perhaps defensive ends. The shortage frequently forced the Redskins to use tackle Tom Compton lined up at the Y tight end spot. That helped as far a blocking goes but it also left the Redskins with essentially just four eligible receivers on the field.

So McCloughan is forced to make moves that he otherwise would avoid, like signing Davis and trading for Carrier. But he has to do what he can with the resources at hand.

“It’s a dying breed. It really is,” he said. “And you can’t invent them, you know? You see what you see, and that’s what you get.”

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This Washington Red Wolves design would be an easy transition from Washington Football Team

This Washington Red Wolves design would be an easy transition from Washington Football Team

There's no shortage of Washington Red Wolves concepts out there, and considering it's the overwhelming fan favorite for the Washington Football Team's next name, are we really surprised?

The common theme of some of these Red Wolves designs is that they aren't exactly practical. Yeah, they're really cool, but are they something an NFL franchise would adopt, or is it something you'd only use in Madden? 

One of the latest Red Wolves concepts doesn't fall under that umbrella, and it might be most realistic option we've seen, especially when you consider the team's rebranding to Washington Football team. 

This design combines the wolf with the "W" in the logo, and while it's not exactly the team's new "W" logo, it could be easily modified. Then the uniforms don't veer too far away from what the team already has. 

"The logo also features two stripes going across the top of the letter, which symbolizes the two stripes on the D.C. flag," designer Matthew Harvey said. "The logo is to embrace the name of the red wolf as a fierce animal, as well as pay tribute in the style to the "Red Wolves" military helicopters. The logo, I feel, captures the feeling of both military and animal in this design.

RELATED: IS DC FOOTBALL CLUB THE SLIGHT, BUT NEEDED CHANGE IN WASHINGTON?

There appears to be a disconnect between Red Wolves fans and the field when it comes to the team's new name. Red Wolves hysteria has grown so big they reject every option that isn't their own, while those not in favor of it fear it's a bit too unorthodox. 

This design may be able to bring those two sides together, and while the fans won't have the final say in the team's permanent name, a united fanbase would be harder to ignore. 

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Eagles head coach Doug Pederson tests positive for coronavirus

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson tests positive for coronavirus

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has tested positive for coronavirus, the team confirmed on Sunday. Pederson is currently asymptomatic and following the established protocol which includes a self-quarantine.

Pederson is the second NFL head coach to contract the virus, as New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton shared that he tested positive back in March. 

Positive tests throughout the league come as no surprise as the pandemic continues on and players and staff begin to report to training camp. The situation around the league is a reminder of the health and safety risks that come with football restarting.

RELATED: REPORT: NFL PLAYERS MUST DECIDE TO OPT OUT OR NOT BY AUG. 5

Players and coaches are aware of that, and many have already announced that they are opting out of the 2020 NFL season. In Washington, Caleb Brantley is the only member of the roster to have removed himself from the campaign so far.

By Wednesday, August 5, all players will reportedly have to decide whether or not they will participate in the season as the league has set an opt-out deadline for that day. With 40 or so players already withdrawing and COVID-19 not going away in the near future, that number is likely to increase.

Though the NFL is working hard to put the proper protocols in place, the results from initial tests show that challenges remain. 

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