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Redskins Draft Week Media Briefing

Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder, head coach Joe Gibbs and vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato spoke with the media about the team's draft plans:

Opening Statement:

Coach Gibbs: "We are still in the process of listening to other teams and trying to decide what we are going to do. It makes it hard for us to give you a lot of the information that you would like to have. Our reason for doing this is because everyone wants it. It gives us a chance to get together and allows you to get some information out of it."

On the process that they go through leading up to the NFL Draft:

Coach Gibbs:"We worked extremely hard. It is hard to explain to everyone. We sit in a room and go for 14 hour days sometimes. We go through that and look at a lot of film. I want to thank Vinny (Cerrato) and the scouts. The way we do it here at the Redskin, everyone is included. Depending on what the position would be, if it is defense than obviously Gregg Williams (Assistant Head Coach ? Defense) is going to be in there, and the position coach, all the scouts and I am there. We take every player in the country that we would consider. We have a process where we go through what kind of person we think he is. Then we start in on the film. We do what we call a ?Tell A Story' tape that tries to give you the plusses and minuses of a player. Then we get to watching game films. Sometimes we will go three game films if we have a good feel for him and sometimes we will go more than that depending on the player. When we come out of that process we have the scout that was at the school give us all the information that he had from the school. What kind of kid he is, injury background, what the coaches think and all of that. Then we finally discuss the player. Vinny (Cerrato) goes around the room. He goes around the room to everyone involved and they give their feeling. When we are finished Vinny goes through 20 different areas that we would give a Redskins grade. It goes from character to athletic ability. When we finish that we put a final Redskin grade on that player and that is where they go on the board."

On if they had to go back through their process once Commissioner Roger Goodell put forth a new approach on how to deal with players and off the field incidents:

Daniel M. Snyder:"I will speak on behalf of watching the way Joe has orchestrated our draft boards the last three years, it is four now. We were ahead of that curve. I think the Redskins standard is pretty high."

Vinny Cerrato:"As soon as we sit down at our first meeting before we get in with the coaches we eliminate a bunch of guys. Like Dan just said, we have been doing that since coach has been here. We have numerous guys off the board."

On how having a first round pick and then not having a pick until the fifth round might affect what they do on draft day:

Coach Gibbs:"I am sure we will be tempted to do different things. In the back of our minds, we would love to come out of this year with a full draft next year. That would be fun for us. We wish we had a full draft this year. We have been very aggressive in the past. We do believe in free agency. If there is a good player out there we are not afraid to make a trade and go for it. There have been several times that we felt like to benefit the team and do what is best for the team at that point, we made a trade and gave something away. I have seen a lot of people make comical statements about us not liking the draft. We love the draft. We love any way of getting a player. I have always felt that way. This is all of us together. We like free agency. We are not afraid to make a trade. I appreciate Vinny, our pro scouting department and all of those guys that have worked their guts out. We brought in some good young players at the end of last year. We will find out that in our offensive line that we did some very good things late in the year with some players that we took off of the street and fit real well with us. Any place we can get a player is our deal."

On if because of having only one pick in the first four rounds makes this more of a need-based draft as opposed to a best player on the board-type draft:

Vinny Cerrato:"I would say absolutely not because when you are picking sixth the biggest thing you do not want to do is draft based on need and take someone that is not worthy of that pick. What you want to take at the sixth pick is someone that has Pro Bowl potential. We took Sean Taylor (S, #21) at five and he has been to the Pro Bowl and so has Chris Samuels (OT, #60). You want an impact guy. It doesn't matter what position. To take something of need that maybe should go 15 or 18 is not smart. If we are picking at six we will be looking for the best player available."

On if they were looking to trade out of a top ten pick if they go by the point value system and if so if it is tough to get equal value:

Vinny Cerrato:"A lot of it is how bad someone wants somebody there. (For example) if we are sitting at six and there is somebody that someone really wants and another team really wants them. You start with the basis of going by the chart because that is what everyone else does. If we wanted to trade somewhere they would say 'according to the chart'. We are going to try and get the value that is due for the pick. If you have two or three teams (involved) then you can get more."

On if it is something historical with this franchise in terms of trading away first round picks:

Daniel M. Snyder:"We have had the majority of our first round picks and used them. When you trade the way we did for Jason Campbell (QB, #17) effectively we added another first round pick. Yes we did not have one last year but we had it the year before. When you are moving around you are essentially just accelerating when you get that pick. We had two one year and none last year. We made a conscious decision to trade up last year using our second round pick this year to get Rocky McIntosh (LB, #52). I think what you are going to see this year is that he was well worth that. I think that is going to be a very successful move for the Redskins."

On if the past history with the Redskins using veteran players influenced his decisions now:

Daniel M. Snyder:"I haven't thought about it. I don't think so. We are just trying to win and do the best thing for the Redskins and this organization. A lot of times because we are aggressive in free agency it will require a draft pick, (for example) a fourth round pick to get Brandon Lloyd (WR, #85), who by the way we had a meeting with out in Arizona. He dropped by and is working out there. He is in amazing shape and we are really proud of him. When it comes down to what we are trying to do, we are trying to get better every step of the way. We have the sixth pick in the draft today. We are obviously looking at all of our strategies including going forward and backwards."

On how many draft eligible players they go and see work out:

Daniel M. Snyder:"We have seen Calvin Johnson. We have been to Louisville. We have probably had dinner with 25 of the first round picks. You try and cover as much ground as you can. There is a limited amount of time in terms of structure. Workout days overlap with each other so you can't see as many as you would like to. You try to make the rounds as best you can. You try to get to know them. You try to have a meal with them and understand their backgrounds and know what they are all about as a person."

On since they do not have many draft picks if there was more emphasis place on undrafted free agents:

Coach Gibbs:"We have been focused on the sixth pick and what could happen. We are going to sit down and do a good job, because we have finished all of our grades, on the fifth round and down. For us it has been real important. We know we are going to be making some key picks down below. Every year there are going to be some stars picked down there. It happened last year. It is going to happen. We try to be real careful. We told our scouts in advance to do a real good job at all of the schools and to keep an eye out for someone that they thought would fall into that category. We put a special emphasis there."

Vinny Cerrato:"We start recruiting them the first day. We can sign 13 undrafted guys as we speak today. The thing that we do is with the Rookie Mini Camp, which is the following week, we have a lot that we invite for tryouts. We tell the agents that if those guys are better than the free agents that we sign then we will replace them. I think last year we had 75 or 80 guys here. Last year we found four guys that stayed on the practice squad. That is a way to find players. If we have 80 guys here the odds are that we are going to find someone. Also, what it does is create a pool for you if someone gets hurt during training camp or OTAs. They have three days in the system and can fit in right away. That is why we do it and it gives us an advantage with strength in numbers."

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