Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 22, 34 days before the NFL draft.
Is seven the lucky number?
When Rob Jackson of the Redskins sits out the first four games of the 2013 season he will be the seventh Redskins player to serve a drug-related suspension since August of 2011. The others are Phillip Buchanon (Aug-2011), Fred Davis, Trent Williams (both Dec-2011), Tanard Jackson (Aug-2012), Cedric Griffin, and Jordan Black (both Dec-2012). All but Tanard Jackson were suspended for four games; Jackson’s suspension is indefinite with his first opportunity to apply for reinstatement coming on August 31.
My friend Jimmy at Blogging the Beast tracked down all of the NFL’s drug-related suspensions since August of 2011 and he found that, not surprisingly, the Redskins have the most such issues in the league. The Seahawks are second with five, the Giants and Broncos have four each while the Rams have three. Eight teams have two suspensions and nine teams have one.
So the question is why they have all of the drug-related issues. It is not as though the Redskins have had major character issues in other areas. The only arrest of a Redskin since that first drug-related suspension in August of 2011 came when Brandon Meriweather, was arrest for DUI on April 26, 2012.
So, in those 20 months, 67 NFL players have been arrested and one of them was a Redskin. In that same time period 48 players were suspended for drugs and seven of them were Redskins. Washington players account for 14.6 percent of all drug suspensions but just 1.5 percent of the arrests.
The Cowboys have had no players suspended for PED’s. But since last December they have two DUI arrests and one of the players arrested is also being charged with his teammate’s death in the incident. Now, which organization has the worse substance abuse problem?
It’s also not as though the Redskins have been importing trouble on the drug front. The players who have been suspended have little in common. Davis and Rob Jackson were already on the team when Mike Shanahan came in as coach. Williams was Shanahan’s first draft pick. Buchanon had been on the team for a season when he was suspended while Tanard Jackson, Griffin, and Black had been Redskins for less than a year. There certainly were reasons to be wary when T. Jackson came in; he had already served two suspensions when he was with the Bucs. But none of the others had any major red flags, drug-related or otherwise.
The Redskins need to decide how they will handle the issue. But it doesn't appear that they need to overhaul the way they examine players' character as that is not the problem.
RG3 is still “all in” for opener
Another month, another RG3 adidas ad about being ready for Week 1. This doesn’t seem to be quite as dramatic as the “blow up” ad that caused a stir last month. Both Griffin and Mike Shanahan have said that the pace of Griffin’s rehab is tied to his long-term career and not to being ready for the first game in early September. But ads like this don’t do much to change the perception of some that the rehab is being rushed.
In case you missed it
- Shanahan says RG3 will make “drastic” changes in order to protect himself.
- Biggers addition just a part of revamping cornerback position
- Will Carriker be ready to start the season?
- Overreaction to the “helmet rule”?
Days until: NFL schedule release 24; NFL draft 34; Minicamp 80
Tandler on Twitter
@tomcblock Sorry, but it's all on Rob. He knows the rules and consequences. Don't take anything unless you're sure it's approved.— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) March 21, 2013