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Need to Know: Is Tevin Mitchel a lock for the Redskins’ 53?

Jun 19, 2015, 5:33 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 19, 41 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

State of the Redskins

Here are a few more thoughts on the state of the Redskins as they head into their summer break (here’s what I had yesterday):

—It may be premature to call Tevin Mitchel a lock to make the roster but I’m betting he is in. The sixth-round pick made a few nice plays in practices open to the media including an interception of a Colt McCoy pass on Wednesday. They have been working him in the slot but he could probably play outside if necessary, or at least develop into that job. Jay Gruden has been highly complimentary of his play. I don’t see Mitchel making a big impact this year but if he shows that he can help on special teams it’s hard to see him not being on the 53.

—When we think of Redskins coming into their contract years it’s usually about Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, or Alfred Morris. But Keenan Robinson is an important part of the defense and he also will be a free agent in 2016. He has looked just fine in the short and helmets portion of preparation. During minicamp he got angry with Tom Compton over what he perceived to be holding and he and Darrel Young had some sharp words for an unknown reason. He’s ready.

—I’ll have posts on both Bill Callahan and Matt Cavanaugh in the coming days. They were both entertaining during their media sessions on Wednesday. Cavanaugh talked about the difference between dealing with a QB room with all experienced starters like he has now and one with a quarterback who has never taken a snap and is anxious to get his turn. Callahan appreciates history as one of the first things he did after taking the job here was to put a picture of the Hogs up in his office at Redskins Park. These are two impressive additions to the coaching staff.

—Pierre Garçon is a very solid professional. He doesn’t get written about much this time of year because he just goes about his business preparing for the coming season. When he makes a tough catch, reporters don’t always make a not of it because it’s what we’ve come to expect. He is the perfect role model for younger receivers, or young players at any position, for that matter.

—I think some fans should tamp down expectations for Preston Smith in terms of having an immediate impact. Many were disappointed when Trent Murphy was just OK last year and I see higher expectations for Smith than I saw for him. He’ll be fine, he’ll make some plays and he’ll make some mistakes. Don’t look for him to dominate right off the bat.


—It’s been 173 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 86 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 41; Preseason opener @ Browns 55; final cuts 79

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. abanig - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:46 AM

    @avbanig: @redskinsbuzztap well, Mitchell is certainly not a “lock” but I do think he makes it as the back up nickel corner and the 5th corner on the roster.

    I agree about Preston Smith, he’ll be ok, but have growing pains. I predict a Murphy – from last year – type year for him where he has anywhere from 3 to 5 sacks.

  2. Stephfan - Jun 19, 2015 at 6:07 AM

    Alright it’s been a while but I’m back lol. I’m not expecting much from smith, 5 sacks will be fine with me on that front. I’ve been hearing the reports on cousins/McCoy and they have not been all that great. Even thought with less talent they shouldn’t get picked off that much.. I don’t expect a lot from the rookie cornerback or safety but I see something. I also read on bleacher report that jones expects to push Morris for the starting position during the season or way more playing time. Rich what is your take on that? My only take is that it’s laughable to say that jones will push Morris for more time or to start. But I do see him getting skittle bit more than helu did if shown he can block pass rushers. Jones I think is good but I think If Morris shows that he can run in this system then it’s a wrap.

    • abanig - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:23 AM

      I think Jones will push Morris. Let’s be honest, as far as size and skill set, Jones is the most talented running back the team has had since Clinton Portis.

      I love Morris and especially his heart, he’s the definition of a blue collar hard working man just like Kerrigan and Murphy, but in the end talent trumps effort as long as the talented player gives comparable effort.

      So, I think Jones is going to take carries/snaps from Morris and Jones could end up with over 100 carries this year. If that happens, Morris’ carry total will stay in the high 200s instead of reaching 300’s like he had in 2012.

      • Stephfan - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:13 AM

        I’m fine with jones taking off the wear and tear but to say he is gonna start is what I was getting at. He has talent yes but so does Morris. Both of them compliment each other but I believe Morris is the better running back. Two things we don’t really know about Morris is if he can really block or catch. But we won’t know until we put Morris in that roll and stop taking him out. Morris has the talent to be an every down back. But I can live with jones getting 100 carries

  3. gurnblanstonreturns - Jun 19, 2015 at 8:35 AM

    Developing into a nice corner – slot or outside – would be great, but right now I want to see Tevin Mitchel (and Kyshoen Jarrett and Evan Spencer) cover some kicks!

  4. mr.moneylover - Jun 19, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    Question…if tevin mitchel dont make the 53 roster then who you see as the 4th or 5th CB ?????… Preston smith will get more comfortable the more he play…to me I think hes ti big to be droping back in coverage to cover RBs or TEs I think he should be used like jj.watt move him around on the D-line he got long arm and great hands

  5. mr.moneylover - Jun 19, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    Keenan Robinson is better then most LBs in the game today he should be on the top of the list to get paid right after ryan kerrigan and Trent Williams

    • bangkokben - Jun 19, 2015 at 11:19 AM

      I agree provided that Keenan stays healthy and has a similar year in this system. But both of those things need to play out.

      • bangkokben - Jun 19, 2015 at 11:22 AM

        Getting Alfred Morris for Donovan McNabb and Keenan Robinson for Jason Campbell were the two best things that Shanahan did.

        • abanig - Jun 19, 2015 at 11:30 AM

          While true, trading 4 draft picks for McNabb and Jammal Brown don’t make up for that.

          The Redskins could have had 4 more draft picks in the 2010 – 12 draft picks to draft Morris & Keenan Shanahan hadn’t traded for those veterans.

        • bangkokben - Jun 19, 2015 at 11:40 AM

          The total for those two were just three picks 2010 2nd, 2011 3rd and 2011 4th. Trading for Brown wasn’t the problem, giving him a 5-year $20M contract a year later was a problem. Getting anything back for McNabb and Campbell was significant. Sure you could say that getting Morris and Robinison cost us the two number ones for Campbell and the TWO picks for McNabb (2nd and 4th mentioned above) but that also discounts the service of those QBs which everyone would agree was below expectations.

        • abanig - Jun 19, 2015 at 1:38 PM

          Actually, in 2010 we traded away our 2nd round pick to the Eagles in the McNabb trade.

          In 2011 we traded away our 3rd round pick to the Saints and we got a 5th round pick back in return because we had to give up the 3rd & not 4th rounder to the Saints.

          In 2011, we traded away our 4th rounder to the Eagles because he didn’t make the pro bowl nor take us to the playoffs.

          There was also a conditional 2012 sixth-round pick involved. Brown played 90 percent of the plays in 2011. So, Washington sent its 2012 sixth-round pick to New Orleans.

          Possibly the actual Brown trade didn’t hurt us but I’d have to believe that losing a 3rd & 6th round pick hurt us.

        • bangkokben - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:10 PM

          We never had to give up that 6th for Brown. According to Pro-Football Reference: “June 21, 2010: Traded by Saints with 2011 5th round pick (155th overall, Niles Paul) to Redskins for 2011 3rd round pick (72nd overall, Martez Wilson).” Knowing Shanahan, Brown probably played 89% of the plays. So we got Paul from it. I’ll defend the trade. We needed a right tackle – shocking, right? – and Shanahan sent a pick for a former All-Pro left tackle. Of course he never fully recovered from his injuries but we still have Niles Paul. So, I’d say that that was a judicious use of the resources. It ultimately failed but the decision to do so had merit.

          I’m a card carrying Shanahater but I give credit where credit is due. He built this team in his image and unfortunately that doesn’t work. The offense works – in that it get’s a ton of yards. Heck, Cutler made the pro-bowl because of the 4000 yards he threw. But a 4000 yard season in a Shanahan offense is smoke and mirrors. Both McNabb and Griffin would have likely surpassed 4000 had they finished the seasons they were benched. Shanny always had a defense that couldn’t hold it’s own and didn’t give a flip about special teams. But he was always able to find guys that fit his system.

        • abanig - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:21 PM

          Rather than trading for an injured Brown, a good to great GM would have kept the draft picks and drafted a RT in round 3 or 4 and signed a cheaper veteran.

        • bangkokben - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:32 PM

          Dude, you’re being obstinately revisionistic. We made a trade of a future draft pick (2011 3rd) for an immediate need (2010 right tackle). You’ll remember that this organization has neglected that position since Jansen until Scherff. You can’t draft a 3rd round right tackle in 2011 for the 2010 season!

        • bangkokben - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:36 PM

          Besides, Vinny drafted Chad Rinehart in the 3rd in 2008 – still in the league btw. 3rd round tackles take more time to develop usually. Also, we had Stephon Heyer.

    • ET - Jun 19, 2015 at 12:10 PM

      If he can stay healthy, Keenan is an above-average inside ‘backer. Hopefully he has another good year and can land a bring contract. I’d love to see that happen.

  6. mr.moneylover - Jun 19, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    Its alot of questions heading into training camp…I hope the guys stay in they playbook and stay out of trouble….i think the league is sleeping on what this team is capable of if they fix the little things like false starts and missed assignments

  7. kenlinkins - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:14 PM

    So, the Redskins have made it thru rookie camp, OTA’s and Mini Camp without any injury’s or major drama. RG3 has only talked to the press a few times and all reports point to a bigger / better team hitting the field on opening day! It would also seem that all ten draft picks have a good shot of making the 63 man roster with as many as 9 of them landing on the 53 man roster with jobs on Special Teams (i.e. making an impact in year one). We may even see a team roster with only 1 or 2 guys over 30 (i.e. youth in the pipeline for years to come, this means home grown talent). While this may or may not add up to wins in 2015, IMO this could be the year of “building the base” for successful years to follow. Something seems to be happening at Redskins Park and most of it sounds good but what are we Redskins fans going to do on Sundays mornings when we do not get all those wonderful drama reports about our QB’s, coach’s, owner and what have you to carry us until game time? I guess we will have to sit thru all those great Cowboy’s weekly reports on Tony’s hemorrhoids and Jerry’s Jones legal problems with his ex-girlfriends! Lord, please allow this to continue! (i.e. no drama or injury problems).

    • abanig - Jun 19, 2015 at 5:23 PM

      I caution this line of thinking. In 2011 & 2012 we thought the same thing and we had a super bowl head coach and we all know how that ended…

      He got fired, his QB he drafted 2nd overall hasn’t progressed and in some ways looks like he regressed last year and almost all of the players drafted from 2010-2013 are off the team as well as most of the free agents Shanahan signed.

      • bangkokben - Jun 19, 2015 at 7:26 PM

        Ken is right in that there are reasons for optimism. Some still can’t find the reasons and virtually none of us had any late last year. Of course, history has shown us that that optimism can get snuffed out like the candles on a birthday cake. We also need to have more to base that optimism on than just the media observations of five of eleven practices of our football team running around in shorts.

        As for 2010-2013, there are guys from that draft that may transcend system. Right now there are 14 draft picks still on the team from that era – 6 starters and some key backups. It will be interesting to see how many are still on the team after training camp and even next year but they at least give this team something to work with. Imagine if it was less. Then this team would really be up the creek.

    • wvredskins - Jun 19, 2015 at 6:39 PM

      Great post and I feel the same way. IMO The foundation is being set right in front of our eyes and Its exciting to see. We are a cpl players short still yet but another draft and finding out if the future QB is on this team or not will be the building blocks for success… Archives

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