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Tiki Barber has a mechanical fix for Matt Jones' fumbling problems

Tiki Barber has a mechanical fix for Matt Jones' fumbling problems

There are so many issues in sports that affect athletes and can only be overcome by being in a good place mentally. But when it comes to fumbling — something that can doom an NFL running back's career — Tiki Barber says the fix comes more from the physical side than the thinking side.

And, as someone who was once plagued by putting the ball on the ground but eventually improved in that aspect of the job, his insight into the topic is very relevant for someone like Redskins running back Matt Jones.

"It sounds harder than it actually is, because it's all mechanical," Barber told the Sports Junkies on CSN Wednesday morning. "It's not an awareness thing."

Upon remembering Barber's post-fumbleitis running style and hearing him discuss it, Eric Bickel poked fun at the three-time Pro Bowler by calling it extreme. The ex-Giant didn't take offense to that, either — because that style is what took him to the next level.

MORE REDSKINS: HOW THE TEAM'S DEFENSE CAN TAKE STEPS FORWARD

"It was extreme, but it actually helped me become a more effective runner," he said. "Just put it higher, and kept my elbow down. But more importantly, when you go into contact, you cover it up."

"Now, the traditional way to cover up a football is to put the ball perpendicular to the ground," Barber continued, before explaining why that's not the best method to use. "It's across the ground, it's across your body, but there's nothing supporting the ball underneath. The actual way to do it is to put the ball vertical to the ground, wrap your off-ball hand across your on-ball hand, and go to the ground with basically an 'x' across your chest as opposed to two parallel boards across your chest. It was a very simple fix and a mechanical one that just took some drilling in." 

Barber did sound optimistic about Jones' future, and said when he first saw the 2015 third-rounder play, he predicted he was going to be "a stud." However, Barber noted that when he kept fumbling in New York, there was no better backfield option so he was allowed to work through it, while Jones was benched in favor of Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson.

Of course, there's no denying Jones' talent, because it's there and he's shown it plenty. In fact, he may even have more of it than Kelley and Thompson. But a head coach will almost always choose a running back who demonstrates more ball security over one who doesn't, which is why there's so much uncertainty for No. 31 heading into the offseason.

The offseason, though, is the period of time on an NFL schedule where new skills can be added and flaws can be addressed. According to Barber, all Jones needs to do is make one simple switch, then ensure that switch becomes second nature.

If he can, perhaps his stint as a second thought in Washington will be put to an end.

MORE REDSKINS: HOW WILL GARCON-JACKSON SAGA PLAY OUT?

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15 final thoughts on what could be the wildest NFL Draft in quite some time

15 final thoughts on what could be the wildest NFL Draft in quite some time

The Redskins hold the 15th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft, and after a flurry of rumors and speculation about what might happen on Wednesday, we're going to keep this simple. 

Multiple talent evaluators have told NBC Sports Washington that this will be the wildest draft in recent memory. There is no consensus what happens with the first pick, no consensus on the QB rankings after Kyler Murray, and the scene looks set for a lot of trades. 

Since the first round projects to be so volatile, and because the Redskins don't pick until nearly midway through, here are 15 thoughts about Thursday night.

  1. Kyler Murray will go first overall to Arizona.
  2. The Redskins will not trade up into the Top 3.
  3. The Redskins will not trade up into the Top 5.
  4. Drew Lock will be the next QB off the board.
  5. There could be a Laremy Tunsil type of situation.
  6. Either Miami or Cincinnati will take a quarterback.
  7. Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom goes in the top half of the draft.
  8. Montez Sweat could slide in this draft, and it might not just be about medicals.
  9. The injury issue will impact Rashan Gary.
  10. The Redskins will take a defensive player with the 15th pick.
  11. Nobody knows what the Giants will do, and they like that. 
  12. Four QBs will get drafted in the first round.
  13. Five QBs might get taken in the first round. 
  14. The Redskins will not take a wide receiver in the first round. 
  15. Don't close the door on Josh Rosen landing in the NFC East.

These are thoughts. Not necessarily predictions, but much effort has been exerted in obtaining the information that went into these ideas. 

Stay. Tuned. It's going to be wild. 

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2019 NFL Mock Draft: Final version sends Dwayne Haskins to Redskins

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2019 NFL Mock Draft: Final version sends Dwayne Haskins to Redskins

We can stop the mockery.

Here is the final version of the NBC Sports Washington 2019 NFL Mock Draft. No fluff, just the straight list as we project specific marriages of teams and prospects through two rounds plus additional Day 2 selections for the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens.

For those that have been following along for the previous (gulp) 21 versions, you may notice several changes starting with the Raiders at four and including the Redskins at 15 and 46. I’ve been doing mock drafts for many years now and this is easily among the wildest. There’s always the misinformation game. The uncertainty with the quarterbacks and the large of tier talent in the 16-50 range made such projections challenging.

Anyway, thanks for the coming along for the ride over these many months. Check out all of NFL Draft coverage starting with Thursday’s first round.

First round

1             Arizona Cardinals -- Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

2             San Francisco 49ers -- Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

3             New York Jets -- Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

4             Oakland Raiders -- Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

5             Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Devin White, LB, LSU

6             New York Giants -- Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky

7             Jacksonville Jaguars -- Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

8             Detroit Lions -- T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

9             Buffalo Bills -- Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson

10           Denver Broncos -- Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan

11           Cincinnati Bengals -- Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

12           Green Bay Packers -- Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

13           Miami Dolphins  -- Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

14           Atlanta Falcons -- Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College

15           Washington Redskins -- Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

16           Carolina Panthers -- Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

17           NY Giants (via Cleveland) -- Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

18           Minnesota Vikings -- Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

19           Tennessee Titans -- Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

20           Pittsburgh Steelers -- Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

21           Seattle Seahawks -- Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

22           Baltimore Ravens -- Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State

23           Houston Texans -- Cody Ford, G/T, Oklahoma

24           Oakland Raiders (from CHI) -- Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

25           Philadelphia Eagles -- Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

26           Indianapolis Colts -- Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi St.

27           Oakland Raiders (from DAL) – Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

28           Los Angeles Chargers -- Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

29           Seattle Seahawks (via KC) -- Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

30           Green Bay Packers (via NO) -- Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

31           Los Angeles Rams -- Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan

32           New England Patriots -- Darnell Savage, S, Maryland

 Second round                

33           Arizona -- A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi

34           Indianapolis (via NY Jets) -- D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi

35           Oakland -- Irv Smith, TE, Alabama

36           San Francisco -- Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M

37           NY Giants -- Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State

38           Jacksonville -- Jaylon Ferguson, DE, La. Tech

39           Tampa Bay -- Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple

40           Buffalo  -- DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia

41           Denver  -- N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State 

42           Cincinnati -- Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington

43           Detroit  -- Juan Thornhill, CB, Virginia

44           Green Bay -- Nassir Adderley, S, Delaware

45           Atlanta  -- L.J Collier, DE, TCU

46           Washington -- J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford

47           Carolina -- Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State

48           Miami -- Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

49           Cleveland -- Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State

50           Minnesota -- Dre'Mont Jones, DE/DT, Ohio State

51           Tennessee -- Chase Winovich, DE, Michigan

52           Pittsburgh -- Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

53           Philadelphia (via Baltimore) -- Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State

54           Houston (via Seattle) -- Taylor Rapp, SS, Washington

55           Houston -- Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State

56           New England (via Chicago) -- Ryan Finley, QB, NC State

57           Philadelphia -- David Long, CB, Michigan

58           Dallas -- Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida

59           Indianapolis -- Gerald Willis, DT, Miami

60           LA Chargers -- Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn

61           Kansas City -- Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

62           New Orleans -- Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State

63           Kansas City (via LA Rams) -- Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

64           New England -- Kahale Warring, TE, San Diego State

77           Washington -- Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

86           Baltimore – Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia

97           Washington -- Dru Samia, G, Oklahoma

103        Baltimore -- Terrill Hanks, ILB, New Mexico State

Now, here's a bunch of stuff I'm hearing about the draft and insight into why I made some of these picks. Let's start with the Redskins selecting Haskins.

  •  I produced 15 mocks in 2019. The breakdown of players I selected at 15: Montez Sweat (6), Brian Burns (4), Devin Bush (3), Clelin Ferrell (1), Dwayne Haskins (1). That's 14 defensive players with 11 edge rushers. The lone offensive player came in the final mock. Why the flip? There's a combination of factors.
  • Among them, the idea of the Redskins regaining off-season champ status gained steam Wednesday with various reports. While I don't buy the idea of the Redskins trading up in any significant way, I do believe there's a good chance either Haskins or Drew Lock slips to 15 if the Broncos (10) or Bengals (11) pass on a quarterback. At that point, it's not hard imagining the bigger picture winning a tiebreaker between a passer and a pass rusher like Brian Burns, who was my selection in four of the five previous mocks.
  • One source told NBC Sports Washington that the Redskins have spoken with teams in the top 10 about moving up. Not really buying that, however. The Redskins have numerous needs and need all the draft capital possible. There is a good chance one of the top four quarterbacks is available at 15. There's been reported and sourced mentions of interest in Haskins and Jones. I haven't heard much if anything about Lock to Washington.
  • It's worth noting that the interest in West Virginia quarterback Will Grier existed at least as of Monday, according to sources. If the Redskins wait, he could be a target.
  • Skipping a pass rusher at 15 is risky because of the limited options on Day 2 and beyond. Michigan's  Chase Winovich and Georgia's D'Andre Walker are Day 2 options.
  • While I firmly believe the Redskins must add pass rush help and believe they think the same, I went with a red-zone receiving threat in the second. Arcega-Whiteside offers good size and a go-to target around the goal line. It's possible he slips beyond 46 and into the third based on some league sources, but the Redskins need his element. Paul Richardson (fractured clavicle), I'm told, might not even be ready for the start of training camp and it's not like this group is loaded with proven pieces.
  • The buzz with Josh Rosen remains quiet for now, but surely roars should the Cardinals select, as long-rumored, Kyler Murray.  If a trade occurs look for teams in 22-32 range to make a move on Rosen's cheap contract. One source thinks the Patriots get interested and use the 32nd overall pick.
  • Maryland safety Darnell Savage Jr. lands in round one. At least that's where the momentum is. He is expected to be an option for the Redskins if they trade down from 15. The Colts, Patriots, Chargers and Raiders are other likely landing spots late in the first.
  • Oklahoma offensive lineman Cody Ford's draft ceiling is 11 to the Bengals. Should he drop from there, several other teams remain possible, but the OL-needy Vikings did not get the warm fuzzies from the pre-draft meeting, per source.
  • Staying with the OL, at least one NFL team has Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom inside the top 15 of their 2019 Big Board. The Falcons are interested in Clemson DT Christian Wilkins, but Lindstrom might become Plan B.
  • Mississippi State DT Jeffery Simmons is one of the true wild cards since the top-5 talent comes with a torn knee ligament and off-the-field concerns. Simmons is expected to hear his name called in the first with the Eagles and Colts among the likely landing spots.
  • One potential regret: Sticking with Notre Dame DT Jerry Tillery in the first over Temple CB Rock Ya-Sin. Tillery, an inconsistent but impressive talent, feels a like a slider into Day 2, but he's been my selection for the Chargers throughout the draft process.
  • Speaking of the corners, it feels like LSU's Greedy Williams and Georgia's DeAndre Baker are dropping some while Ya-Sin's projection moves into the first.
  • Michigan CB David Long's ceiling is now the 30s, per source, though his public big board status typically falls into round  3.

 

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