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Redskins top pick Jonathan Allen progressing slowly, by design

Redskins top pick Jonathan Allen progressing slowly, by design

We haven’t heard much about Jonathan Allen, the Redskins’ top pick in the draft, during the Redskins’ OTAs and minicamp. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Allen is struggling or behind schedule.

The nature of the offseason program is one reason why it has been difficult for Allen to stand out. The practice in conducted in helmets and shorts and there is no contact allowed. As much as any position, the defensive line is about contact.

“All we can work on right now is the work ethic and how they’re picking up the system, where they’re fitting, where they’re getting their hands on people,” said Gruden. “But as far as shedding and rushing, it’s really hard. It’s hard to go out here and coach team drills and say ‘OK, we’re competing but don’t compete because we’re not live and we can’t hit anybody.’ It’s a fine line. It’s hard to coach that.”

RELATED: Hall, Redskins agree to new contract

Like all the rookies, Allen got a late start in the offseason program. By the time he was drafted and participated in rookie camp on May 13, the veterans had been working together learning Greg Manusky’s new defense and the ways of new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula for almost a month. Add in to Allen, of course, being new to pro football and he had a lot to learn.

“It’s been a lot of work, a lot of catching up to do to catch up with the guys,” Allen said early in the OTA schedule. “Really, just doing whatever I can to jump on board and get better, help the team win some ball games, that’s what it’s about.”

Tomsula, who comes in with a reputation as a defensive line guru, said that he is bringing Allen along slowly.

“There’s a big curve here,” he said. “I’m not going to throw him to the wolves, you know. I have a president and a vice president and a head coach and a defensive coordinator who agree with that. Everybody wants to see him walk in, get in that spot, and go. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to let him learn and understand what we’re doing and then go after it.”

It’s a learning curve for all of them because it’s a new defense. But that guy’s coming from college. It’s a different game. It is. Everybody can say what they want but in there at that position it’s a different game. 

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins Practice report: Wrapping up minicamp

The head coach seems to be happy with the No. 17 overall pick.

“High, you know, very high,” he said when asked about his opinion of Allen’s progress. “Coach Tomsula is working him very hard. He’s going to get stronger. He’s going to do a much better job in the weight room getting himself in better shape. He works hard. Very smart football player, can play multiple spots on the line. He’s got physical, strong hands. He can shed blockers with ease. So I have been impressed with him. I think he is going to be a heck of a player for us for a long time.”

The part about the weight room and getting stronger is often overlooked. Certainly, Allen was in a top-notch conditioning program in college at Alabama. But preparing for the combine and pro days and team workouts take away from their strength conditioning. By the time the strength and conditioning staff at Redskins Park got a hold of him and the rest of the rookies, a lot of workout time had passed.

Allen still will be learning and getting stronger when training camp comes around. He could get off to a slow start but there seems to be little doubt that there will be appearing often in opponents’ backfields sooner rather than later.

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 @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Two days after losing Reuben Foster for the year, the Redskins made a move to at least provide reinforcements to a weakened linebacker group.

On Wednesday, Washington announced that they have signed Jon Bostic, a six-year veteran. The 'Skins also officially placed Foster on injured reserve.

Bostic was a 2013 second-round pick of the Bears out of Florida. He's since bounced around to New England, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh, where he started 14 times for the Steelers in 2018 and posted 73 tackles. He's been traded twice in his career and missed all of 2016 with a foot injury. 

So, what does the move accomplish for the Redskins?

Well, Bostic — or any other free agent signing at this point — isn't going to have close to the level of talent and potential that Foster had. However, getting another option at linebacker was necessary for the Burgundy and Gold, and the 28-year-old has played in 30 contests over the past two years, so he's relatively established. 

Yes, he's far from a gamechanger, considering he has just one interception and 5.5 sacks as a pro. But he's regarded as a solid run defender and tackler and should at least push Mason Foster and Shaun Dion Hamilton. His presence also could alleviate some of the pressure that would've been on rookie Cole Holcomb. 

Signing a defender who's been with five franchises in six years isn't exactly inspiring, but Bostic has experience as a starter and could give the Redskins useful snaps on first and second down at a minimum. Now it's on him to take advantage of the opportunity he's been given.


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Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

NBC Sports Washington

Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

You may not know the exact dates of the Redskins' two matchups with the Giants this season, which will take place Sep. 29 and Dec. 22 in 2019. But Landon Collins sure does.

"I'm gonna circle it for the next six years," the 'Skins new safety told ESPN in a recent interview. 

No, Collins isn't circling those dates from now until 2024 because he wants to be very organized and ensure he doesn't have any scheduling conflicts. He's doing it because he's dying to get revenge on his former team, who let him leave as a free agent in part because of their "culture change," according to him.

"All we wanted to do was win, and we spoke up because we had to get them to listen to us," Collins told ESPN, referring to himself and other now ex-Giants like Odell Beckham and Damon Harrison. "I think we were too vocal, and that platform was bigger than the Giants... If it's not good media, they don't want that kind of media."

In addition to the organization wanting to go in a different direction culture-wise, New York didn't want to pay the amount of money the Redskins ended up paying for Collins because he wasn't an ideal fit in their defense. The 25-year-old pushes back against the idea that he's strictly a "box safety," though, as do current and former players.

Interestingly enough, Collins isn't the only member of the Redskins' secondary who's in D.C. thanks to a decision by Dave Gettleman. Gettleman was also the same guy who decided the Panthers needed to move on from Josh Norman in April 2016.

Collins, for one, doesn't sound like he'll miss Gettleman at all. The defender didn't love how the GM consistently failed to make an effort to connect personally with his players. 

"I don't know him, he don't know me, that's kind of how it just kind of was," he explained.

All that, however, doesn't matter anymore. Collins is going to be the foundation of the Redskins' defense for quite some time, and that's a challenge he's ready to accept.

"I'm on a team that loves me and wanted me here," he said.