- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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A little this and that for a Wednesday morning:
Saw this Tuesday (and it was first reported by Rivals.com last week), but just getting around to it now: Former Redskins coach Richie Petitbon’s grandson (by the same name) committed to the University of Alabama.
Turns out Petitbon’s offspring raised a Hog as his grandson is an offensive lineman. The Gonzaga High School product from Washington is rated as a four-star prospect. He chose Alabama over Maryland, Penn State and LSU.
The Eagles brought in linebacker Jordie Tripp for a pre-draft visit recently. From what I’ve heard, the Redskins had expressed interest in him as well at various points this offseason. He’s almost 6-foot-3 and weighs 234 pounds so his size would fit as an inside linebacker in the 3-4, which both the Redskins and Eagles run. Tripp has good speed (4.67 seconds in the 40-yard dash), but played collegiately at Montana.
Here’s the thing: He’s projected as a late-round pick, a guy worth developing who, if nothing else, would be a special-teams standout. The Redskins have guys like that already, but they're on one-year deals so adding another linebacker is a possibility. But I bring his name up as much because of this quote as anything: “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I believe that I’m the most versatile linebacker in this draft,” Tripp told FoxSports.com. “I believe I can run and cover better than any linebacker in this draft.”
And this: “I just want to come in and contribute right away, and I believe that I can,” Tripp said. “I know I can be an impact player right away.”
Imagine if Dan Snyder owned the stadium that was hosting the Final Four and invited only a couple players into his suite? And one of them was Robert Griffin III? This is what happened in Dallas with Jerry Jones, who hosted two former Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush) and three current players (Tony Romo, Jason Witten and DeMarco Murray).
Here’s one take on it from one of our Cowboys reporters Todd Archer. Romo also went to a Duke game with head coach Jason Garrett earlier this offseason. So now there are questions about whether the coach and player are too close. Imagine that debate. Actually, if Griffin and Jay Gruden showed up at a game together Redskins fans might celebrate after the negative Mike Shanahan relationship storyline that was a big part of the last year.
There’s always a fear that such relationships can have a negative effect in the locker room. Really, it depends on who you talk to because not every player feels the same way. I know in the past here it rubbed players the wrong way when they perceived players as having a cozy relationship with the owner. Certainly it bothered some -- but not all -- coaches. In most cases, they only care if the player is handling their business and still earning their keep. As long as they’re not exerting any influence because of that relationship then it typically doesn’t matter. But that was definitely the fear by some players after the season should the Redskins have hired Baylor coach Art Briles. Of course, that was never a legitimate option so it didn't matter.
Linebacker Rob Jackson told 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier that he wasn’t offered a chance to start at either Oakland or Houston so why sign at either place? So he returned to Washington. I’m not surprised another team would not have handed him a starting job, but I’m a little surprised they wouldn’t have let him compete for one. But this tells you the perception of him around the league. He’s a good backup -- nothing wrong with that. But he was never a real solution to replacing Brian Orakpo this offseason. If the Redskins and Orakpo do part ways after 2014, then they’ll target another player as his replacement.
In case you missed it on Twitter Tuesday: former Redskins corner Josh Wilson signed with Atlanta. I always enjoyed talking football with Wilson; he provided excellent insight into his approach and I felt I learned something about technique and a corner’s strategy. Like his play or not, he’s survived in the NFL for seven years and counting at only a listed height of 5-foot-9 (not sure he's that tall) because he understands the game and how he must play. But, clearly, his coverage here had slipped and the Redskins needed to replace him.