I'm getting ready to head to Indianapolis to provide you with the best Redskins-oriented coverage of the NFL Combine you'll find anywhere. Between here and CSNwashington.com I'll be passing along nuggets of information and analysis as we talk to the upcoming players and decision makers. CSN is bringing resources to do some videos with some analysts you probably have heard of and maybe some others of note and I'll be shooting some You Tube videos of my own as well (if I can figure out how to use Final Cut Express 4 by the time I go).
The heart of the coverage will be a running live blog that I'll have set up at CSNwashington.com and that I will link here. That will be a constant flow of information, news, quotes, and the latest rumors. I'll also be putting up content on Facebook and Twitter.
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“Early this morning, Brandon Banks was injured outside of a nightclub in Washington D.C. while coming to the aid of a life-long friend, who was attacked by an assailant who was wielding a knife. His friend was critically wounded and was taken to a local hospital where surgery was performed. Brandon was injured by the assailant with a surface knife wound on his side which will require stitches. He is recovering in a local hospital and is expected to be released within 24 hours. “Brandon was not involved in any wrongdoing and was not implicated in any way. “Brandon’s immediate concern is for his life-long friend who is like a brother to him. He would like to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes for him and his life-long friend.”Update: Mike Jones has some more details on the incident in the Washington Post
Conclusion: If there's one thing the two quarterbacks in Super Bowl XLV showed is, it's that the ability to beat pressure in a productive fashion is more important that it has ever been. In a lot of ways, Mallett is the anti-version of Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger, two star quarterbacks who have built estimable careers on their abilities to frustrate defenses no end by evading hits and hurries and consistently throwing for killer downfield gains. He's more the older-style quarterback (think Drew Bledsoe) with a great arm and a lack of modern-day skills around it.So much for Mallett being one of the top quarterbacks in the draft, right? Maybe, or maybe not. Sporting News Radio late-night host Todd Wright had draft scout Russ Lande as a guest earlier this week. In a series of tweets, Wright related what Lande told him about Mallett:
Think of him as a statue with a cannon attached, and then ask yourself how well such a player would do against the 2010 defenses of Dick Lebeau and Rex Ryan. To be an elite NFL quarterback, Mallett will need a top-5 pass-blocking line, and there isn't much room for error there.
Our Sporting News NFL Draft scout Russ Lande told me this about Ryan Mallett, "People wonder about the maturity level, inconsistent play as well as his accuracy and decision making. Mallett makes bad decisions when you watch him on film. However, when he works out and showcases that big arm and physical ability, somebody's going to fall in love with him as their future NFL starting QB."This does not necessarily mean, of course, that the Redskins would be interested. However, Mike Shanahan is known for drafting players based on their highlight reels, figuring that he and his coaches can fix any flaws in his game. At this point, I'd be very surprised if the Redskins take Mallett at No. 10. But things can change in a hurry. It's something that bears watching.
Receivers Who’s here now: Anthony Armstrong, Terrence Austin, Brandon Banks, Malcolm Kelly, Santana Moss, Roydell Williams Tandler: Williams and Moss will be gone. Williams is an easy one; even for a third or fourth receiver, eight receptions in 16 games is unacceptable production. Moss is a tougher call. We will see how committed the organization is to a youth movement by how big a contract they are willing to give a speed receiver who will be 32 when the season starts. Kelly appears to have the right mindset now and if he can stay healthy he will get his shot in 2011. O’Halloran: I’ll go with Williams and Kelly. Moss is a free agent and is coming off a career-best 93 catches. He wouldn’t be a No. 1 receiver on a majority of NFL teams but the Redskins should make him a priority because who else in-house could take over that role? I didn’t have Kelly making the team last year and he ended up on injured reserve before a preseason game was played. He goes to camp again, but he’s in total show-it mode and the guess is he’ll come up short.
I played for five teams, including the Redskins twice and the thing I always tell people is it's the really easy thing to do to rag on Mr. Snyder. And I know that some of the signings have not panned out, there's no question about that. But at least when you're a player for the Redskins, you know that your owner is completely consumed by winning, and you know that all he wants to do is win, and he'll do whatever it takes. Now sometimes that might be misguided, but he'll do whatever he thinks it takes to win.As Tucker points out, Snyder doesn't necessarily have the skill, knowing how to go about building a winning team, to go with the will to do so. You hear current player saying similar things all the time but this is coming from someone whose check Snyder does not sign. Tucker has no reason to pump up Snyder. This is not presented here to be a Snyder apologist although I know that some out there think that any writer who has anything but the more vile, negative things about the man is a sellout. But Tucker said it, here it is, think what you will of it.