Key takeaways from Bruce Allen's Combine media session

Ben Krimmel
March 01, 2019 - 12:24 pm
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With nine picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins are keen observers this week in Indianapolis.

Friday it was Washington Redskins' team president Bruce Allen's turn to speak with the media. Here are the key takeaways from his conversation at the NFL Combine

Quarterback situation

The biggest issue facing the Redskins offseason is the uncertainty at the quarterback position with Alex Smith and Colt McCoy coming off broken legs. Allen continued a trend of being vague when it comes speaking about the Smith's future and the team's plans at the position.

"You know, last year at this time we felt great about Alex and Colt and that's why we ended up signing both of 'em and we feel the same way about both of them. If Alex can't go, Colt can," Allen said. 

"(With) Alex, we're still feeling good, he's making improvements every day," Allen said. "His strength is coming back and so we'll see."

He also confirmed 106.7 The Fan's Craig Hoffman's reporting that the Redskins did not go after quarterback Joe Flacco, with Allen saying the team was "never involved." 

"We're looking at free agency, I don't think it's any secret that there's players that are being offered in trades from other teams we've listened to that," Allen said. "We feel good where we're at. Can't tell you we know exactly who is going to back up Colt if Alex can't go, but we have some time on that."

Drafting a quarterback

Allen highlighted the numerous former quarterbacks on the Redskins' staff to say the team has plenty of expertise when evaluating the quarterbacks in the draft.

"Every year we have great quarterback debates, whether we're gonna take or not, but just evaluating 'em. And I think we have the perfect environment to get the right evaluation," Allen said.

"They have a lot of experience and it makes for a healthy debate," he told reporters.

But Allen, like Senior VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams, didn't commit to using the team's first round pick on a quarterback, indicating the team would only do so if he was the highest rated player on their draft board.

"If the board tells us that's the highest player on the board, that's who we'll take," he said. "With the injuries, you're one injury away from having a need at any position. And the last two years we have stuck to our board and it's worked well for us. Now, we gotta get healthy, and we gotta keep our guy's healthy, but that will be the philosophy."

When asked by a reporter if they team's QB evaluators conveyed any specific traits or what they were looking for in a player, Allen pointed to the moves the team made during last offseason.

"I think you see a picture of it last year, 'cause we had these debates last year when there were a lot of free agent quarterbacks and the draft, we (knew) was going to have some potential," Allen said. "And that's why we traded for Alex Smith, and re-signed Colt to an extension. So that was a picture of it. We also traded for Kevin Hogan, because he fit what we were looking for." 

Kyler Murray

Allen confirmed the Redskins met with the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at the NFL Combine and joked Kyler Murray didn't bring the trophy to their meeting.

"He plays well," Allen said of Murray. "He's very confident in what he can do."

But, does size matter to Allen? "Well, it matters. But speed matters, and strength matters, everything matters."

New Stadium Site

After Maryland Governor Larry Hogan closed the door on a new stadium near MGM National Harbor in Prince George's County, Allen said the team remains open to every potential option, including the RFK Stadium site and Virginia.

"We're still looking at everything," he said. "We support whatever is good for the DMV on any issue and if Governor Hogan believes he's doing the right thing, so we'll support him."

Allen said there is a timeline for the team to get started on construction of a new stadium with the Redskins' lease at FedEx Field expiring in 2027.

"It's around the corner," he said. "(When) building new stadiums that you need a good three, four year runway in order to do it."

Cap space

When asked if the Redskins' current salary cap constraints were similar to the cap crunch the team faced in 2012, Allen said, "No, we're OK."

To that end, Allen said the Redskins are interested in re-signing several of their veteran free agents and aren't concerned about spending money based on a player's position.

"We don't allocate by position so much," he said. "I mean if you look at us you'll probably say, we'll we're heavy in the offensive line compared to the league average, but it's based on the player. We rate the player and then we put a value on that player's talent."

"We try and pay for the value no matter what the position is," Allen said.

Brandon Scherff contract

"He is a definite priority and we want him back," Allen said about working on a contract for offensive guard Brandon Scherff. "Eric (Schaffer) has been having conversations with his guy (on an extension). The sooner the better, it allows us to plan for the other positions." 

Reuben Foster

Allen's comments on the Redskins linebacker indicate he does not expect the league to take action against Reuben Foster after he was arrested for another domestic disturbance.

"Once again, all the charges were dropped, there's been no complaints," he told reporters. "And so, it's time for him to play football."

Allen considers Foster to be involved with the Redskins defense and, "We're hoping for him and us that he's able to play."

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