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RI: Redskins shift to draft mode but are mum on philosophy

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As the Redskins' coaches and scouts began to trickle out of Mobile, Ala., on Wednesday afternoon, the team officially shifted to draft mode. Which brings us to one big question about its draft philosophy: Under Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan, will the Redskins draft based on need or will they opt for the best player available, regardless of position?

Allen wouldn't divulge any state secrets this week.

We're going to draft for the Redskins," Allen said. "We're changing some of our approaches, starting Monday." Hopefully, Allen and Shanahan will further clarify the philosophy at a future date, but there was an interesting passage from Les Carpenter's profile of Shanahan that might provide a bit of insight into the new coach's thought process: Shanahan often evaluated players by watching tapes of their highlights, a system employed by some in the league who believe that if you see a player at his...



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Om

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Some interesting stuff here ...

Redskins shift to draft mode but are mum on philosophy

As the Redskins' coaches and scouts began to trickle out of Mobile, Ala., on Wednesday afternoon, the team officially shifted to draft mode. Which brings us to one big question about its draft philosophy: Under Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan, will the Redskins draft based on need or will they opt for the best player available, regardless of position?

Allen wouldn't divulge any state secrets this week.

"We're going to draft for the Redskins," Allen said. "We're changing some of our approaches, starting Monday."

Hopefully, Allen and Shanahan will further clarify the philosophy at a future date, but there was an interesting passage from Les Carpenter's profile of Shanahan that might provide a bit of insight into the new coach's thought process:

Shanahan often evaluated players by watching tapes of their highlights, a system employed by some in the league who believe that if you see a player at his best then he can be coached up to that ability.

"It has worked for him. I think he has confidence in it," said Mike Lombardi, the NFL Network analyst.

But many league executives say the approach can become intoxicating to a coach who is confident in his ability to coach the player to that level and has the ultimate authority to choose that player.

"He didn't listen to his scouts," said one NFL general manager, who asked not to be identified because he didn't want to publicly criticize another team executive.

With the NFL combine a month away, the team hasn't changed its scouting department. It's possible changes could come later, but many teams that hire new coaches opt to retain existing scouts through the draft because so much groundwork has already been laid.

In Mobile, the Redskins had their college scouts on hand, in addition to their entire coaching staff. While the scouts have been watching these college seniors for months, the Senior Bowl was the first opportunity many coaches had a chance to see players who will be some of this spring's draft picks.

"It's a good time to see the player as an individual and also to see him competing in a pro style coaching setting," Allen said.

But it's also just an introduction. No final decisions were made about prospects. Coaches, scouts and front-office personnel will see them again at the combine, then at pro days held on various college campuses and, in some cases, personal workouts.

Mobile was good for one other thing, Allen said. With a new staff and so many new faces, the Senior Bowl put everyone at the same table for a few days.

"To have our new coaches meet our scouts, share ideas, talk about body types and football information - it's invaluable," Allen said.
Couple of thoughts on the bolded part ...

1) When I read the part about Shanny scouting players based on highlight video, I had a mental picture of about a million armchair GM's out there blurting out, "see I TOLD you it wasn't that ****ing hard!"

2) My reaction was a little different: "Really, Mike?" Particularly so after reading the part about his being criticized for not listening to his scouts. If I have one concern about Shanahan, it's that he's gotten too full a head about his ability to control everything related to his team. And the one thing you hear over and over is that he thinks he's a better personnel evaluator than his record has proven out.

Here's hoping that when he stood up in front of us at his introductory presser and assured us he's learned some valuable lessons and plans to do things differently/better this time around, personnel evaluation is one area in which he's prepared to legitimately allow those around him---Allen and the scouting staff--to not just do their jobs but have truly meaningful say in who ends up wearing the colors come this summer.
 
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Lanky Livingston

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Honestly, I don't think it IS that hard. If you or I were paid to do nothing except analyze and draft college football players, I bet both of us would do pretty well.

I also bet if you look at Shanahan's drafting strategy, and then compare the number of hits vs. busts he's had in his career, and I bet its very comparable to everyone else. Probably better.
 

Om

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Honestly, I don't think it IS that hard. If you or I were paid to do nothing except analyze and draft college football players, I bet both of us would do pretty well.

I also bet if you look at Shanahan's drafting strategy, and then compare the number of hits vs. busts he's had in his career, and I bet its very comparable to everyone else. Probably better.
Yeah, but that's the thing. We're not--and we haven't been for our entire adult lives. That doesn't stop the armchair GM's I was talking about though. :cool4:

As to Shanahan's draft record, I have no argument with that. My hope is simply that he meant what he said about having learned from his mistakes, and that he believes one of them was trying to be a full-time personnel evaluator along with full time head coach, team spokesman, head counselor, etc., as he became over time in Denver. At least that's how I interpreted him.

Best thing Gibbs ever said? Paraphrasing, but ... "You hire good people and let them do their jobs."
 
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Hog Fever

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I'm just happy we're not leaking out information on who we covet.
That's a big one for me too. Keep em' guessing. Unless there is some kind of plan to deceive another team the only people who should know who we are interested in drafting are the people in the draft room.

The Shanahan method of talent evaluation seems a bit unorthodox but is probably not all that different form what some other coaches do. How much tape can a head coach watch of a guy they are considering in the 4th round? For a QB....maybe. He's got a lot of other things on his plate right now.
 

Skinsfan76

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I think when it comes to a drafting strategy then you have to wonder if Shanahan is going to go biggest need, best QB or best player avalable.

I think the most important question for the Skins in the draft this year is, will Bradford or Clausen be a franchise QB? If so you can't pass on them. I wouldn't let him play until that O-line was solid but you have to get him if you think one of them is special.

Do you draft biggest need? That is a LT... so that would make Okung the logical choice unless you trade down to get more picks. However, LT should still be the 1st pick.

Does Shanahan take the best player avalable? If Eric Berry falls, then do you take him?
 

Jimbo

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I'm just happy we're not leaking out information on who we covet.
With Vinny around, things were ALWAYS leaking out. I now wonder if that was designed or if it was simply a fact that nobody could keep a freakin secret.
 

riggins44

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With Vinny around, things were ALWAYS leaking out. I now wonder if that was designed or if it was simply a fact that nobody could keep a freakin secret.
That is a great question. Now I will go home and ponder this. The wife will ask me a question and I won't hear her cause this will be on my mind. She will get pissed and I end in the dog house.

Thank, Vinny! :biggrin2:
 

romberjo

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Gotta say, the one thing I'm most worried about w/ Shanahan is that many sources report that he does player personnel his own way (reviewing only highlights, not listening to scouts, and taking players higher than projected if he thinks they're good rather than, e.g., trading down to get the player for better value). I'm really hoping Allen is a counter-balance so Shanhan can use his football smarts and Allen can use his book learnin'.
 

BRADFORDorBUST

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Here's hoping the philosophy is drafting Sam Bradford with the 4th overall pick on April 22nd. :cheers:

First post on this site. It looks great. HTTR.
 

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