Rich Campbells article on Jammal Brown last week contained an interesting revelation. His chronic hip problems have been caused in part by the way his feet point when he walks. Browns toes point outward and this creates some strain on his hips when he moves.Earlier in his career, the condition did not bother him as he made two Pro Bowls with the Saints. But it appears to have caught up with him now and it has made it difficult for him to get healthy.He has been trying to regain flexibility in his hips this offseason with a two-pronged approach. The teams right tackle is taking yoga classes and he is trying to walk with his feet pointing straight ahead.There seems to be some promise in the yoga. However, it has been a challenge for Brown to try to change to change the way he walks.It feels real awkward, Brown said. I just catch myself during the day at the house. Any time I try to walk, I try to line my toes up.My friend @BurgundyBlog brought up a good point: We're supposed to believe he's rejuvenated, but he's re-learning how to walk? I expect zero improvement out of him.A harsh assessment there but its hard to argue. Brown, 31, might be able to catch himself walking with his feet misaligned while strolling through his kitchen. But remembering to keep the toes pointed straight is much harder to do out on the practice field, much less when executing a play in front of a hostile crowd in the Superdome.The best hope seems to be that changing the way he walks is not critical to Brown being able to make it through the year in reasonably good health. Perhaps the yoga, which he is not doing as the team does OTAs but plans to resume when the offseason program ends later this month, will be enough.The Redskins hope that it is as the depth chart behind him is shaky. Willie Smith did an admirable job filling in for Brown and Trent Williams at various times last year but he may not be ready to be a full-time starter. Tyler Polumbus is better suited to a reserveutility role and James Lee doesnt seem to be starter material. Rookie Tom Compton probably needs a year or two of seasoning before being considered for meaningful action.This will be a position to watch the rest off the offseason, through training camp, and into the season.
When the Redskins traded for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in October, the safety position looked to be a great strength for Washington.
The team already had D.J. Swearinger, who was playing at a Pro Bowl level, and adding Clinton-Dix was supposed to make the Redskins defense one of the elite units in the NFL.
That plan didn’t work.
Clinton-Dix never performed at a high level in Washington, and frankly probably underperformed on the relative cheap fourth-round pick price the Redskins paid to acquire him.
In nine games with Washington, Clinton-Dix registered 66 tackles and recovered one fumble. And while it wasn't entirely on him, Clinton-Dix's arrival coincided with the Redskins defensive demise.
Now, it's free agency time for Clinton-Dix.
Pro Football Focus rated Clinton-Dix as the 32nd best safety in the NFL, and he will be one of the bigger names on the open market. What will the money look like?
It's hard to answer because 2018 wasn't an impressive season. Clinton-Dix struggled enough in tackling that Green Bay decided to trade him, and those struggles continued in Washington.
The Redskins have a lot of needs this offseason, and safety is one of them.
Swearinger is gone, and the depth chart features Montae Nicholson, Troy Apke and Deshazor Everett. Nicholson finished his season suspended after being arrested for assault and Apke finished his season on IR. Everett has made plays when he gets chances on the field, but for whatever reason, he rarely gets chances.
Washington doesn't have a lot to spend in free agency, as the Alex Smith contract will eat up a lot of their cap space.
There definitely isn't room for a high-value contract for Clinton-Dix.
There might not be room for a low dollar contract for Clinton-Dix based on his 2018 level of play, but the position is a need.
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Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Redskins offseason thus far comes from the lack of change. Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky are all coming back.
One name that is less certain, and is widely loved, is defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.
For Tomsula, there is no pressure on him to perform better. His work in developing Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle probably ranks as the most impressive on the team.
"Jim [Tomsula] is definitely my favorite coach I've ever had," Redskins defensive tackle Jonathan Allen said this week. "I don’t really count [University of Alabama] Coach [Nick] Saban because he wasn’t my position coach, but as a position coach, love Jim Tom."
The Alabama product's comments came during a charity even at National Children's Hospital, and they came during an interesting time for the Redskins defense. The organization spoke with a number of highly sought after defensive coordinator candidates in the last few weeks, but stuck with Manusky at the position. The team claimed, through an unnamed source in a Washington Post article, that the meetings were just to gain different perspectives. Interesting.
Now that Manuksy is back, however, the future for Tomsula becomes one of the biggest questions for the club.
It sounds like Allen is prepared for any outcome.
"I don’t know if he will be back. I would love to have him back but he has a family, definitely he’s a big family guy and his family is in Florida," Allen said. "I can completely understand his reasons for not coming back."
Any conversation with Tomsula always centers around family. He's one of the few coaches that remembers reporters' kids' ages and often asks about them. It's a genuine thing for Tomsula, and it's impressive.
He is also close friends with Manuksy, and the coordinator's return could help in keeping the fiery D-line coach. If Tomsula does leave Ashburn, he's already made a significant impact for players like Allen.
"Regardless what happens I wish him nothing but the best and I’m just glad I got to spend two years with him."
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