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A Mock Draft That Addresses A Different Offensive Need

Posted by Matt Terl on April 14, 2011 – 3:42 pm

When people speculate that the Redskins are going to choose an offensive player in the first round of this year’s draft, they tend to lean toward quarterbacks and wide receivers, and that’s all well and good. But up until last year’s selection of Trent Williams, the more common refrain was that the Redskins needed to draft offensive lineman — lots of them. It sometimes seemed like fans would prefer that the team draft nothing BUT linemen.

Kevin Ewoldt of Hogs Haven hasn’t forgotten those days, so when he was presented with the opportunity to select for the Redskins in the Xtra Point Football Media Mock Draft, he chose USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith. Since I’ve started making a habit of writing about these less-well-covered mock drafts, I figured I’d email Ewoldt and get his reasoning.

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Lorenzo Alexander Is Learning From Ex-Redskins Linebackers

Posted by Matt Terl on April 14, 2011 – 12:14 pm

Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and defensive lineman Kedric Golston were on 106.7 The Fan’s LaVar Arrington Show With Chad Dukes yesterday to talk about, among other things, Ride To Provide, their upcoming charity bike event.

Ride To Provide is a terrific event. It takes place this year on April 23 in Reston, and everyone reading this should go and ride bikes with Alexander and Golston and whomever else is going to be there — and, of course, help people in the process.

But, for me, the most interesting part of the appearance came right at the beginning.

Before I get there, though, some background. Gary Fitzgerald makes a point in this week’s Writers’ Roundtable that I think has become accepted wisdom among Redskins fans:

On March 1, a few days after Coach Shanahan called pass-rushing linebacker the Redskins’ top need at the NFL Scouting Combine, Lorenzo Alexander sent me a tweet that read: “Question – Who is the other great pass rusher for Green Bay?” I get his point. The Packers, who like the Redskins run a 3-4 defense, won the Super Bowl with just linebacker Clay Matthews as a dominant pass rusher.

With all due respect to Lorenzo, pass-rushing linebacker IS a need for the Redskins.

And thus far in Alexander’s career, it’s true that pass rusher hasn’t been one of his specialties. Then again, linebacker wasn’t one of his specialties. Neither was defensive end, for that matter. Or tackle. Or even defense.

I’m not going to rehash Alexander’s entire “One Man Gang” career — that’s ground that’s been well-trodden — except to make this one simple point: every time Alexander has needed to make a move or change a position to solidify his spot in the NFL, he has done it. But I think the stories of his versatility do him something of a disservice, because they make those moves sound like things that come naturally to Alexander. Like they’re easy.

But every time Alexander has had to change position, he’s had to work and study and learn and improve at whatever the new position required; there’s no reason to assume that pass rusher is any different.

And that brings us back around to Wednesday’s radio appearance.

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Bobby Turner Discusses Drafting Running Backs

Posted by Matt Terl on April 14, 2011 – 9:30 am

Redskins running back coach Bobby Turner sat down with Larry Michael for a fairly lengthy interview for Redskins Nation on Comcast SportsNet. It started airing yesterday and continues through the weekend; you can watch parts one and two on, and read intern Brian Tinsman’s take on one interesting facet of the interview right here.

by Brian Tinsman

After the release of Clinton Portis, the Redskins are without a tested starter at running back, making that position a possible target in the draft. Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Bobby Turner recently had a chance to sit down with Larry Michael on Redskins Nation to discuss the upcoming draft in terms of running backs.

Turner has a reputation as a running backs guru from his time with the Denver Broncos, where, in a 15-year span, he coached six largely unheralded running backs (Tatum Bell, Terrell Davis, Reuben Droughns, Clinton Portis, Mike Anderson and Olandis Gary) to over 32,000 rushing yards and 11 collective 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

The key to Turner’s success has come in the NFL Draft, where the Broncos selected five out of those six backs. Of those five, none were first round picks, but two were sixth round picks, including the great Terrell Davis. Clearly, Coach Turner knows what to look for.

“We’re looking for talent,” he told Michael. “I’m looking for the next Terrell Davis. We’re talking about a guy in the late rounds that can produce and help you win World Championships year in and year out.”

If that sounds easier said than done, that’s because it is. Read more »

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