Thanks, as usual, to those who emailed questions.
John: Orakpo was held many times during the season (often blatantly) without a holding call. It seemed like this occurred almost every game. Did the Redskins ever complain about this to the league office? I remember that Joe Gibbs would do that for poor officiating, and send corresponding film as backup.
North Tustin, CA
Charles: It wasn’t as big a topic as it was under Gibbs, who seemed to think everyone was out to get the Redskins. I say that half-jokingly. But I know they did send some film to the league about Orakpo. Mike Shanahan just didn’t complain about that stuff too much. Can’t say that sending tape helped; Orakpo did draw some calls but I agree there were more than a few times I wondered what the officials didn’t see (like in the Minnesota game).
Hey John: I have two questions this time
1. Considering that a new CBA is in place by the time free agency begins, there are 3 WR's that i feel the Redskins need to target. Sidney Rice, Vincent Jackson, and Braylon Edwards. Considering that all 3 of those WR's are available, which one do you think would be our best option?
2. Between Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, and Ryan Mallet, who do you think would be the best fit for this offense?
Pascal: My pleasure. Vincent Jackson is probably a good fit in any offense. He’s big and he’s productive; I like Rice, too, but would want to know more about him coming off the injury. Edwards? Well, you’re talking to a native Clevelander and Ohio State alum. That said, it depends what you want from Edwards. A No. 1? No. A guy who can help? Yes. But he has more diva qualities than I’d prefer for a guy who isn’t a Pro Bowler.
As for your second question, in talking to people who know a lot more than I do, they think Locker is a better fit. Mallet has issues in the pocket because of his mobility. Gabbert is interesting; I'd take a long look at him. ESPN's Mel Kiper wrote that he likes Gabbert's mobility, has a strong arm and called his skills "prototype." And Newton? I wish he had more starting experience. History says it matters. I’m anxious to watch him Monday to see his footwork, etc., to see what sort of fit he could be. But Shanahan loves athleticism. Back to Locker: I wish he were more productive. I don't want to draft on faith alone.
Hi John: Is it too early to tell if Mike Shannahan made a mistake or was correct in picking Trent Williams before Russell Okung?
JC: Yeah, a little early. But I don’t have a problem with them taking Williams, not when you have a chance to see his athleticism up close. Hard to pass on that, unless the guy is a major character issue. Okung was hurt a lot this year so it’s not like he was more effective. If Williams improves his study habits, like Shanahan wants, then he could be a perennial Pro Bowler. This year, he looked like a guy with talent who had his ups and downs.
John: I was wondering if the Redskins plan on shaking up their scouting department in the offseason. I feel that Shanahan & Allen should want their own people in there that they trust.
Mike: Shanahan said he plans to keep the personnel department intact. But Joe Gibbs planned to return for a fifth year, so take someone’s intentions for what they’re worth. I wouldn’t be surprised if ultimately there were changes; it’s only natural.
John: I was wondering if the Redskins planned on signing any other street free agent players to futures contracts besides the 6 they signed on Tuesday? I was hoping James Hardy formerly of the BILLS would get a look.
Mike: Two questions; nice. ...I’m sure they will. Last year they signed 11, according to their transaction records, including Anthon Armstrong, Darrel Young, Kory Lichtensteiger and Nick Sundberg. As for Hardy – who does have size -- I know some in the building did not like him when he was coming out of college; worried about some off-the-field things.
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