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Redskins Briefing Aftermath: The Papers

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Just the Post and the Times, though, as I think we're pretty well covered with the Bloggers recap.

First, zee Post:

Snyder and Coach Joe Gibbs, who are preparing for this weekend's draft, reaffirmed their philosophy of being aggressive when it comes to player acquisitions and said they would apply that thinking to the draft, investigating ways to trade up or back, while also evaluating whom to take should they keep the sixth pick.
Being aggressive, in this instance, simply refers to a willingness to do anything. Not surprising, given our 5-11. The one thing Snyder wasn't or isn't willing to do, unfortunately, is the one thing many of us wish he would:
Snyder said that he had not considered altering the front-office structure or hiring a general manager despite last year's 5-11 finish.
Not even considered? Perhaps discussed but ultimately shot down in deference to another?

The good news is that Joe Gibbs at least professes to want all of 2008 draft picks, though I'll believe it when I see it:

Gibbs said he hopes to refrain from dealing any 2008 picks after entering this draft without any selections in the second, third or fourth rounds.
I remember from yesterday's briefing when Gibbs referred to this, pointing out that he also wishes he had a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounder in this year's draft. Coach: If you want to keep your 2nd and 3rd and 4th rounder next year, just do it. You are the President/Coach/Supreme Commander of the team. You are not bound by circumstance or responsibility to trade away picks. If you hate being skinny in the draft, stop being skinny in the draft.

Bam, emphasis mine:

Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson is considered by many teams to be the best player available in the draft, and the Redskins are smitten with him as well, sources said, mulling over options to trade up to get him (the team has shopped cornerback Shawn Springs to Detroit, which has the second overall pick, again in recent weeks).
While Detroit isn't going to bite this is a very frustrating indictment of the team. They have no perspective on the current personnel needs. Despite using every first pick of every draft on defense every year since Joe Gibbs has arrived, the defense has only gotten worse. Now we want to burn our first pick on a Wide Receiver (while in the process ditching our #1 CB), in what is already a barren draft, a year after we finish 31st in the league defensively? Someone needs to explain this to me.

On decision making, and who is included:

The Redskins' coaches and scouts spend weeks assessing players, and after much debate they assign a grade to each player and ranks him. But the decision belongs to Snyder, Gibbs and Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato, who explore trades, run the "war room" on draft day and ultimately make any selections or trades.

"The three of us normally at the end of it try and come up with a final game plan for the draft," Gibbs said.

This casts doubt on suggestions that Dan Snyder is uninvolved in personnel evaluation, a fact I was already skeptical over. For those of us that don't think Dan Snyder should be participating in football decisions (that includes me), this is discouraging news.

Two bold pronouncements:

Gibbs said that he does not see any players in this draft who would be automatic starters on the Redskins, regardless of position, and that the club could still address some needs, such as along the defensive line, on the second day of the draft, citing linemen Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery, who were late-round selections last year.
Regarding the first, that there aren't any players that could start for the Redskins, that's simply dishonest. Calvin Johnson would have no trouble supplanting our Wide Receivers and if he couldn't then we're insane to try and draft him. Regarding the second, I'd view Golston and Montgomery as the exception to the rule, and though both performed admirably given where they drafted, they both also contributed to the most ineffective Defensive Line of Coach Gibbs' 2nd tenure with the team.

Finally, check out this list of Franchise Tag players the Redskins could pursue:

There are a handful of players around the league who received the franchise tag who could be trade material, although sources said the Redskins have not contacted representatives for franchised linemen Cory Redding (Detroit), Charles Grant (New Orleans) or Justin Smith (Cincinnati) to this point. Other pass-rushing defensive ends could become available as well, with Oakland's Derrick Burgess and Buffalo's Aaron Schobel -- who has strong ties to assistant head coach Gregg Williams -- both underpaid by current standards and likely seeking new contracts this offseason.
If a team is willing to Franchise Tag a player, that means they really don't want to part ways with them. Before your eyes light up at the thought of one of these guys joining the roster, consider the potential costs. I'm pretty sure the compensation for taking away a Franchise Tagged player are two number 1 draft picks, though I could be wrong. Reader(s)?

The Times has the floor for the Redskins #6 impact pick philosophy, which they spoke about at length:

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder yesterday made it absolutely clear what he wants should the team stay put and pick sixth overall in Saturday's NFL Draft.
"We're looking for a perennial Pro Bowl player, a dominating player," he said during the Redskins' predraft press conference, which included coach Joe Gibbs and vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato...

The Redskins' two primary needs are a pass-rushing defensive end and a defensive tackle, and there will be several players available who could pay immediate dividends.
    But when asked whether the team will draft for need or the best player available at No. 6, Cerrato curiously said the latter. It is hard to fathom the Redskins taking Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson or Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn should they fall. The common sense selection would be Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye. LSU safety LaRon Landry is also gaining momentum.
    "When you're picking sixth, the biggest thing you don't want to do is draft for need," Cerrato said. "What you want to get at that pick is an impact guy, no matter the position. To take somebody of need that may go 15th or 18th instead of sixth is not smart."

Gibbs also emphasized that the guy needs not start immediately, something echoed from above.

This muddies the water significantly, as we really have no idea who the Redskins are talking about. Is this a commitment to LaRon Landry? Does it mean we won't be drafting a Defensive End (as that's the implied stretch, in my opinion)? And would this necessarily include Amobi Okoye, who definitely could fall below the #6 pick but not by much? Clearly this explains why they would covet Calvin Johnson, who is the quintessential Best Player Available but not at all one we need.

As I've said elsewhere, not much about the briefing encouraged me, though maybe I have just become far too accustomed to disappointment. Reader(s), what's the good news here?