WASHINGTON - Heres a not-so-subtle message delivered by general manager Bruce Allen on the day Mike Shanahan was fired: If Shanahan had listened to his underlings more, the Washington Redskins wouldnt be in such a mess. Roger Craig Jersey . This week, at the NFL draft, therell be another chance to find out if thats so. In addition to being the head coach, Shanahan had final say on all personnel matters, notably free agency and the draft. When Shanahan was dismissed after a 3-13 season, Allen decided to retain two front office employees who had toiled mostly in anonymity, giving advice on which players to pursue. "The personnel department of Scott Campbell and Morocco Brown actually do a very good job at what they do. ... To blame them, I think, would be unfair," Allen said. "We believe that we have the right people in place." Both Campbell and Brown were given greater authority by Allen, with Campbell focusing on the draft and Brown handling free agency. When Campbell speaks to reporters this week, it will be his first formal news conference in his 13 years in various roles with the team. "I think Scott Campbell running a college draft will be as capable as any personnel director in the NFL," Allen said. OK, Scott, the boards all yours. Here are five things Campbell is sure to be contemplating as the Redskins make their final preparations for the 2014 draft: FINAL PAYMENT: The Redskins are finally paying off the final installment of the Robert Griffin III invoice, the last of three first-round picks given to the St. Louis Rams in 2012 for the chance to move up and select the former Heisman Trophy winner. Its still too early to judge which team got the better of the trade, but the Rams are reaping a major benefit this year: Because Washington had such a lousy season, St. Louis has the No. 2 overall pick. WAITING FOR ROUND 2: Without a first-rounder, a last-place team that could really use another impact player will have to hope it can snag one with the second pick of the second round (No. 34 overall). The Redskins could package some lower-round selections and trade up, of course, but that would make sense only if one impact player was all they needed. If anything, they need more picks, not fewer. RIGHT TACKLE? Its not easy to project whos going to be around at No. 34, so Campbell and Co. cant target one position and stick with it. Still, one of the priorities has to be the offensive line, particularly right tackle. Tyler Polumbus has held the job for two-plus years and played better in 2013, but an upgrade would help keep Griffin upright and balance a line includes two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams. Possibilities include Cyrus Kouandjio of Alabama, Morgan Moses of Virginia and JaWaun James of Tennessee. Even if the Redskins opt for another position in the second round, expect them to select at least one or two guard/tackle prospects in later rounds. INSIDE LINEBACKER? Defensive captain/linebacker London Fletcher has retired. Filling his leadership role is one thing, but someone also needs to take his spot in the heart of the 3-4 defence. Starter Perry Riley was re-signed, and a trio of veterans with special teams experience — Darryl Sharpton, Adam Hayward and Akeem Jordan — were added during free agency. One of them could step up and hold down the job, but the Redskins might also be tempted by someone like Christian Jones of Florida State at No. 34. SOMETHING ELSE? A pass-rushing defensive lineman would certainly help the cause. The Redskins got only 5 1/2 sacks from their line last season, not counting the times when Brian Orakpo or other linebackers lined up as at defensive end, so that could be an option in the second round. Safety was also an issue in 2013, but the Redskins went heavy at that position a year ago, selecting Phillip Thomas in the fourth round and Bacarri Rambo in the sixth. Thomas missed the season with a foot injury, and Rambo struggled after winning the starting job in training camp, so its too early to tell whether either one is a long-term solution. Terry Kirby Jersey . This week, topics cover the Blue Jays rotation, the futures John Gibbons and Alex Anthopoulos, protecting pitchers and a bonus question on his predictions for the MLB playoffs. Babe Parilli Jersey .com) - The San Francisco Giants delivered plenty of big hits to tie the World Series.After a dramatic final day of the league phase, the IPL is reaching its climax with just four teams remaining as the tournament heads into the home straight. Gujarat Lions take on Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday with the victors advancing straight to Sundays final.Defeat will not spell the end for the losing side, though, as they will be given another shot to reach the final when they play the winners of the clash between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders. IPL knock-out stage on Sky Sports Tues: Gujarat v RCB (3pm, SS1) Wed: Sunrisers v Kolkata (3pm, SS1) Fri: IPL qualifier (3pm, SS1) Sun: The final (3pm, SS5) A pulsating play-off campaign awaits but how have the lucky quartet got this far and who have been their stars? We take a look…GUJARAT LIONS Aaron Finch started the competition in blistering form for the Lions League position: FirstTop run maker: Suresh Raina (397)Top wicket taker: Dwayne Bravo (15)Unheralded star: Dhawal KulkarniLeague-stage story: The newly-formed team got off to a flyer by winning six of their first seven games, including a couple of last-ball classics against Rising Pune Supergiants and Delhi Daredevils, to put themselves in a strong position to qualify with Aaron Finch looking unstoppable. An injury to Finch and a run of three straight defeats allowed the chasing pack to catch up, but they finished strongly to finish top of the pile. Gujarat Lions Aaron Finch discusses his sides journey to the IPL play-offs and moving up and down the batting order While Finch struggled to rediscover his best form, Suresh Raina stepped up and with Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith also in their ranks, they do not lack hitting power. With the ball, Dwayne Bravo remains the standout but was ably assisted by Dhawal Kulkarni, who took 14 wickets, and Praveen Kumar.ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE Virat Kohli has been imperious throughout for RCB League position: SecondTop run maker: Virat Kohli (919)Top wicket taker: Yuzvendra Chalal (19)Unheralded star: Lokesh RahulLeague-stage story: With a batting line-up that boasts Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Shane Watson it is perhaps little surprise that RCB have made it through to the play-offs. However, just two wins in their first seven games showed there is more to T20 than just batting with the deficiencies in their bowling attack clear to see. Chris Jordan was drafted in help out and while the Englishman did well, it is hard to look past the RCB batsmen, in particular Kohli and De Villiers when explaining their sharp upturn in fortunes. Michael Carberry, Dominic Cork and Mark Butcher look back at an incredible partnership between Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers Kohli is on course to become the first player to reach 1,000 runs in an IPL campaign, having hit four tons and six half-centuries, the Indian making De Villiers one century and five half-centuries look like a meagre haul! Even after five wins in six, RCB still needed to beat Delhi in the final game of the league phase to reach this stage but, again, Kohli stepped up to see them home by six wickets. Ken Willard Jersey. They are very much the team in form.SUNRISERS HYDERABAD Sunrisers Hyderabads David Warner has led form the front League position: ThirdTop run maker: David Warner (658)Top wicket taker: Bhuvneshwar Kumar (18)Unheralded star: Barinder SranLeague-stage story: Captain David Warner has been in sparkling form for the Sunrisers, who, after two early defeats, won seven of their next eight matches to all-but seal their place in the top four. They slipped to defeat in three of their final four fixtures, though, and the worry for them may be that they have lost form at just the wrong moment.They can take comfort in the fact that Warner, at least, shows no signs of slowing up with two half-centuries in that run, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Barinder Sran have performed consistently throughout. Mustafizur Rahman, meanwhile, has arguably been the bowler of the tournament but has shown signs of fatigue in the past couple of games.KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS Fresh from World T20 success, Andre Russell has excelled at KKR League position: FourthTop run maker: Gautam Gambhir (473)Top wicket taker: Andre Russell (15)Unheralded star: Sunil NarineLeague-stage story: The two-time IPL champions sneaked into the top four with victory over the Sunrisers on the final day of the league phase. However, after four wins from their first five games, the Knight Riders would have hoped to have secured qualification far sooner, only to win just two of their next five. They remained in a strong position, though, going into their final four games, but defeats to RCB and Gujarat Lions kept them waiting until the last.Captain Gautam Gambhir has been the main man with the bat, with his opening partner Robin Uthappa also making a number of useful contributions and the experienced Yusuf Pathan finding form at just the right time. Andre Russell has starred with the ball taking 15 wickets, while Sunil Narine has been as economic as ever since his return, claiming 11 wickets. See whether Gujarat or Bangalore clinch an immediate place in the IPL final, from 3pm, Tuesday, Sky Sports 1, before finding out who gets dumped out when Sunrisers Hyderabad tackle Kolkata Knight Riders, from 3pm, Wednesday on the same channel. Also See: IPL table IPL videos Get Sky Sports Enter the IPL Zone ' ' '
top of page
bottom of page