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Shanahan holds pre-draft Press Conference

Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan held a pre-draft press conference today at Redskins park, where the addressed a variety of subjects including the team’s protocol during the temporarily lifted NFL lockout, his thoughts on the depth at the quarterback position in this year’s draft, and potentially moving up or down from the 10th overall pick.

Given that we’re less less than 30 hours away from the start of the 2011 NFL Draft, one would expect Shanahan’s conference to be full cryptically insignificant thoughts and a whole bunch of “smokescreens” – and one would probably be right. Shanahan is notorious for speaking a lot without actually revealing any information, and today’s presser was really no different.

A group of local Redskins beat reporters, including Mike Jones of the Washington Post, John Keim of the Washington Examiner, Rich Campbell The (Fredericksburg, Va.) Free Lance-Star, Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan in DC, Chris Russell of ESPN-980 AM, and Matt Terl of the blog on, transcribed a majority of the details, thoughts, and comments from the conference. I’ve done my best to consolidate them:

Shanahan on the lockout, and it’s effect on draft prep: He did mention that the team was “looking for a little clarity of what the rules are,” to make sure everyone was on the same page. While his players have been locked out of the team facility (until yesterday), Shanahan did say that the initiative taken by the team in recent organized team workouts put a “smile” on his face: “That just shows you what type of guys we’ve got. We’ve got some great leadership out there” Shanahan also said that the lockout hasn’t really yet affected any Organized Team Activities (OTA’s), because those don’t start ’til May.

As far as draft preparation, Shanahan indicated the team has “the same schedule very year,” and they prepared for the draft this year as they would in years past.

Shanahan on the team’s plans with the 10th overall pick: Shanahan did say that the team could go in a variety of different directions with their first round pick, and currently have about three or four players identified whom they could potentially take with the 10th overall pick.

But the ongoing theme amongst reporters seemed to be that the team was more interested in potentially trading down in the first round. With the recent rumors circulating that the Redskins may trade up to grab a certain player (namely quarterback Blaine Gabbert), Shanahan did admit that trading up to do so would be far more difficult, given that the team doesn’t have a

Paulsen pointed out that Shanahan referenced trading down on two different occasions during the conference, but didn’t mention moving up at all.

Shanahan on the Redskins chances of drafting a Quarterback, and about this year’s class in general: He called the 2011 quarterback crop “much deeper” than those of drafts past, during Shanahan’s time in the NFL: “”This is deeper than most of the drafts that I’ve been in, at the quarterback position.” He acknowledged the uncertainty and difficulty in projecting future success at the position, because various talent evaluators and personnel executives look for different traits amongst quarterbacks.

While many different draft analysts and media personalities have linked various quarterbacks with the Redskins due to their percieved “fit” in Shanahan’s system, Shanahan did say that, “a lot of time you have to adjust your system to a quarterback because you might not have that perfect guy there.”

Shanahan on who the Redskins “won’t” draft: really, the only thing definitive that Shanahan said was that the team is unlikely to draft safety or tight end with the 1st or 2nd round picks.

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