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Five Takeaways: Bruce Allen At The 2019 NFL Combine


Here are five takeaways from team President Bruce Allen during his media session on Friday at the 2019 NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

1. The Redskins are seeking outside consultants about keeping players healthy.

In 2018, the Washington Redskins were hit harder by injuries than any other team in the NFL. Dozens of players were placed on the Injured Reserve list, and many starters had to be replaced over the course of the season.

Each year, the NFL does work with the players association to try and asses injuries. They use data to see if injury patterns within teams are linked together. According to Allen, there were no relations between all of the Redskins injuries this year.

When asked how to avoid future injuries, Allen did say that often times the apparel of a player can cause injury issues. "The shoes sound like they are very important to todays' college players," Allen said. "There is one player with an incredible story about how a shoe hurt him a couple times and once he switched shoes, he never had a problem."

Even with the injury problems with the Redskins, Allen is confident in the award-winning training staff and is making sure they get all of the accommodations they need. "Well, we give it [the NFL's injury data] to our medical staff and they give us advice," Allen said. "We listen to whatever they need, whatever resources they want, they get."

2. The quarterback position remains a large priority this offseason.

Last offseason, the Redskins made a big splash by trading for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Smith would lead the Redskins to a 6-3 start before suffering a season-ending injury in the Redskins' 10th game of the year against the Houston Texans.

Due to the big question marks at the quarterback position, many rumors have surrounded the Redskins this offseason. Many believe that the Redskins might sign a quarterback through free agency, while others believe that the Redskins will try and draft their quarterback of the future in this year's NFL Draft.

Allen was very complimentary of the quarterbacks in this year's draft but had also mentioned signing quarterbacks in free agency. Allen said that the draft had potential and that he plans to meet with several quarterbacks. "We're gonna meet them all," Allen said. "We're gonna meet all [quarterbacks] including the ones you haven't heard about."

No matter who the quarterback is for the Redskins next year, Allen will feel confident given the amount of quarterback experience in the coaching staff.

"The person in charge of our personnel is a quarterback, he was a first-round quarterback, a super bowl MVP quarterback," Allen said. "Our head coach was a quarterback, a Hall of Famer in the arena league, our offensive coordinator was a third-round quarterback who played in the NFL. Our new quarterbacks' coach was a seventh-round quarterback in the NFL, and Matt Cavanaugh was a second-round quarterback, so we are surrounded by quarterback opinions no matter if we need a quarterback or not. Our evaluations our strong, Bill Callahan was a college quarterback, and the guy who appreciates it more than anyone is Kyle Smith because he was a receiver in college."

3. Examining the team's own impending free agents will take place shortly

The new NFL season does not start until March 13, however, teams are able to negotiate with their pending free agents before that time. The Redskins have several players set to hit free agency, including a few starting players.

Allen said that re-signing the looming free agents on the Redskins are a top priority heading into the new league season.

"We're going to address our free agents first, we do want many of them back," Allen said. "They have performed well, and some might have an ability to make a lot more money elsewhere, and if they do, we wish them well but that's what we're trying to get focused on right now and Eric [Schaffer] is following up right now with all of those agents."

Although he is not a free agent this season, as his contract does not end until next year, extending offensive lineman Brandon Scherff is a priority for Allen. "Yeah, he is a definite priority and we want him [Scherff] back," Allen said. "Eric [Schaffer] has been having conversations with his guy, the sooner the better. It allows us to play with other positions."

4. Allen is impressed with Kyler Murray's confidence.

When asked about this year's quarterback draft class, Allen made it clear that the 2019 crop wasn't filled with a ton of depth.

"It's different than other drafts," Allen said. "You need to use your imagination on some of them, but there's potential there. There's always potential."

Reading between the lines, those comments suggest that Allen and the Redskins brass don't believe there are many pro-ready quarterbacks ready to drop into a pro offense system.

"Well, they all don't come from the same type of system," he clarified. "So you have to project them into your offense or how you're going to change your offense."

The most discussed quarterback prospect, Kyler Murray, did meet with the Redskins this week, according to Allen, who expressed his lighthearted dismay that he didn't bring his Heisman trophy into the hotel room.

"[Size] matters. But speed matters, and strength matters. Everything matters," Allen said. "He's very confident in what he can do. Ironically, the quarterback before him they thought he was too short at 6-foot, but he's confident in what he can do."

5. He'd like the Redskins to have at least nine of 10 picks in the draft.

The Redskins received four compensatory picks last week, pushing their total to nine total draft picks in this year's draft. In years past, the Redskins have always been open for trades, especially in the middle rounds, to acquire more picks or to move up to acquire someone they've targeted.

That will likely be the case this year, though it's hard to see Washington giving up many assets to move further up into the first round at this point.

"We'd like to end up with at least 9-10 picks," Allen said. "But that doesn't mean you won't go up then down, and around and sideways and all the other stuff. We had a couple undrafted free agents who made it, so those players, I think our college staff did a really good job of undrafted free agents we have to score on."

Like all draft decisions, it's hard to estimate anything when the clock starts. Teams begin calling and become frantic, and the Redskins have found good opportunities to scale back, acquire more picks and wait their turn, often for exceptional players – such as Jonathan Allen and Derrius Guice – that fall to them.

"We haven't set the board," Allen said. "We'll identify who we think is special. It's when a player falls to you like Johnathan Allen did, and we had offers to trade back and we almost did because we thought he was gone. Then he was there so we're not trading back."