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5 Takeaways: May 2 Scot McCloughan Presser


Here's five takeaways from Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan's media session with reporters on May 2, 2016, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

1. The Redskins added seven "football players" to their roster.

It's a phrase Redskins fans have become familiar with from McCloughan since joining the team last winter as general manager: "he's a football player."

In McCloughan's eyes, a football player is more than someone that just straps on a helmet for a living.

A "football player" is someone who has "the personality, the competitiveness, the passion for the game, understands it's about team, understands that we're going to take care of each other no matter what, it's huge to me."

"The one thing that I really, really respect about the guys we took? Tough guys," McCloughan said. "Tough guys that are going to battle. Each day they're going to come out here on the practice field and battle. And that's what I want. But also like I said, I want high character. I want them to understand, 'Listen, it's not about me, it's about us.' And that's what we're trying to build here culture-wise. And the coaches have done a great job this last year getting that implemented, and the scouts have done a great job looking for those type of guys. I can't give the college scouts or the pro scouts enough credit for what they do for me."

During the 2016 NFL Draft, the Redskins landed seven quality "football players."

"We took character and football players, and that's what we're going to build with," McCloughan said. "We're going to have our superstars step up and more Pro Bowlers and all of that. But you build your team with good football players that are good people that are high character that can get after it, and that's huge."

2. The selection of Josh Docston doesn't alter the futures of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon.

No, the Redskins weren't in a position of need at wide receiver, but McCloughan isn't concerned about where the team's strengths and weaknesses lie when it comes to the building depth in the draft.

That was the case Thursday evening when the Redskins selected Doctson – the No. 1 player on Washington's board at the time – with the No. 22 overall pick.

"If you have talked to me before the draft, I would have never thought that would happen," Doctson said. "I thought he'd be gone. You know, we're watching the board. It's shaking out and all of a sudden – boom – he's the guy. And again, it's just not the player, it could be a 6-2, 200-pound receiver that's very, very talented but also the person, and it was a slam dunk. Now you guys can understand what I preach about, 'cause I'm sure none of you thought I would take a receiver because we have got depth and we've got a good core. But he was the best football player on the board."

While Doctson joins a wide receivers corps that already features two stud wide receivers in Jackson and Garcon, both of whom are in the last year of their contracts, the duo will remain a central part of the Redskins' offensive attack.

"We won the NFC East last year with them," McCloughan said. "They're not going anywhere. They're football players and I respect it. We just took the best player. The thing that happens is injuries and stuff goes on and this and that. No, I want to build this roster with 53. It's not about two, it's not about five, it's not about 10. It's about 53, and that's how we're going to win and lose on Sundays."

3. The Redskins released Chris Culliver on Monday, but the door remains open for a potential return down the road.

McCloughan made waves during his press conference when he announced Culliver was being released after just one season with the Redskins.

Culliver, who signed a reported four-year deal last offseason, did not live up to expectations when healthy early in the year before suffering a season-ending torn ACL in November.

With the additions of both Josh Norman and Kendall Fuller over the weekend, the Redskins' plans for Culliver changed.

"Chris is a professional," McCloughan said. "This is the tough part for me about this business is having to do stuff like that with any player, but especially with him because of the injury and that stuff. It was a great conversation. It gives him an opportunity to go out there and test free agency and our door is not closed yet either."

When healthy, though, Culliver can be quite the playmaker at the cornerback position. In 14 games with the San Francisco 49ers in 2014, Culliver recorded 14 passes defensed, four interceptions and a forced fumble.

Culliver isn't the only veteran the Redskins are keeping an eye on, as Dashon Goldson and Darrel Young could potentially return, too.

"The door is always open," McCloughan said. "It's never closed. I'm never saying no matter what that he can't come back because I respect him as a football player and as a leader and what he brought. Also, you have to keep evolving. It's about the team, it's about being younger, being healthier and going forward."

4. Steven Daniels may not have the best 40-yard dash time, but the inside linebacker can lay the lumber.

Daniels received little fanfare during the draft process, as the Boston College product wasn't expected to go during the first two days of the NFL Draft.

But McCloughan saw something in Daniels when he watched film on him. He's instinctual, physical and always finds his way around the ball, traits that all of the best players at his position possess.

"He has [special] teams value and brings the kind of culture I want to keep bringing in, especially late in the draft," McCloughan said. "He brings in a competitiveness and a toughness that he isn't going to back down from anybody. You're going to have to beat him out to get him out of here, and that's what I want."

And even though Daniels was selected with the 232nd-overall pick, McCloughan said he respects the value of an inside linebacker.

"They have got substance and when they hit you, you go backwards," McCloughan said. "Running back to quarterback to receiver, whoever he hits goes backwards. That's just a physical strength that you can't develop it. You either have it or you don't have it. He'll knock his own players out if he has to trying to get to the ball."

5. Su'a Cravens is a perfect fit for today's NFL.

If teams want to go pass-happy against the Redskins, Cravens will be used a safety. If they want to attempt to pound the ball, Cravens can move up into the linebacker position.

That's the benefit of having a 6-foot-1, 226 pounder capable of playing multiple positions.

Cravens will be listed as a safety, but McCloughan thinks he can play just about anywhere on the defense.

"Nowadays with these offenses we're facing… and the thing that's really cool about him is the diversity he brings – safety, linebacker, maybe a nickel linebacker, maybe a nickel corner," McCloughan said. "I mean, the guy is a really good football player. And again I go back to it all the time – 'football player' – but he's smart. Day one he walked in the building [at USC], he started there. Played in a lot of big games and made a lot of big plays."

McCloughan is confident that Cravens – who totaled 10.5 sacks and nine interceptions in three seasons at USC – can be a playmaker on the defense from the jump.

"He's a young guy that's very energetic, intelligent, and he's tough," McCloughan said. "I'm OK with those guys."




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