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Brian Mitchell passionately explains why name change shouldn't matter: 'What are you really losing?'

Brian Mitchell passionately explains why name change shouldn't matter: 'What are you really losing?'

An 87-year era of Washington football came to an end on Monday when the franchise announced it was retiring the name 'Redskins' and the team's current logo. 

Former Washington running back and NBC Sports Washington analyst Brian Mitchell believes it was time for the change to be made.

"A lot of people seem to be getting upset, but I don't see a problem with it," Mitchell said. "I think it was about time. You look at the climate and what's going on right now, and I think the name had to go."

Mitchell also emphasized that just because the team is no longer called the 'Redskins,' the memories fans have with the team while that was the name will never go away.

"When you look at it, what are you really losing? Are you losing anything? No. You're still going to have the memories," Mitchell said. "You're going to have the players that played, the Darrell Green's, the Sammy Baugh's, the Sonny Jurgensen's, the Bobby Mitchell's. Those guys are still going to be there. You have those memories."

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The franchise accomplished plenty during its 87 years with the moniker: Three Super Bowl titles, two NFL championships and more than 30 former players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Those accomplishments aren't going anywhere.

Even prior to the name change, the team was entering a new era of Washington football. Longtime team president Bruce Allen was let go this offseason, while Ron Rivera was brought in as head coach. The team has a young quarterback in Dwayne Haskins, a star in the making in pass-catcher Terry McLaurin, and a generational prospect in recent draftee Chase Young.

Mitchell says this new era can bring fans new memories, ones they'll cherish just like the old ones.

"Now you have guys like Chase Young, Dwayne Haskins, Terry McLaurin," he said. "They can make new memories for you."

RELATED: B-MITCH DOESN'T BELIEVE NAME CHANGE WILL IMPACT WASHINGTON'S BOND WITH COMMUNITY

With the change, there is a certain group of Washington fans that are upset by the move. But for those fans upset by the removal of the name, Mitchell has a simple question: Why?

"That's the thing about it. People act as if they were cheering for the name. But no, you were cheering for the players," Mitchell said. "You were cheering because of the relationships that you got with the players. The players were playing for the fans, and that can still be there."

For Mitchell, it's always been about supporting the players and the city, never the team name. The franchise's leader in all-purpose yards said regardless of what the team's new name will be, he'll be fully supportive of it.

"If you're going to support your team, you're going to support it no matter what," Mitchell said. "They're in this area, they bring pride to this area, and winning is going to change everything. Whatever the name is going to be, Brian Mitchell will be supportive, 100 percent."

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Chase Young sees "a different type" of Dwayne Haskins at practice

Chase Young sees "a different type" of Dwayne Haskins at practice

It's no secret Dwayne Haskins has put in the work necessary this offseason to play like a franchise quarterback in 2020. The only real question left is whether it actually translates to the field. 

With about a month before their Week 1 clash with the Eagles to kick off the year, Haskins' teammates have gotten to see firsthand what kind of quarterback Haskins has become during his time off, especially one who already played with him in college. 

No. 2 overall pick Chase Young played with Haskins at Ohio State in 2018 and now reunites with him two years later in the NFL. He's certainly noticed a change since he last shared a locker room with the Washington quarterback.

"[Fans] are getting a guy who works hard, is a crazy competitor, as you've seen this offseason, Dwayne has been preparing like a pro," Young said on Good Morning Football. "Coming out on the field at practice, you can just tell it's a different type of Dwayne."

RELATED: MCLAURIN EXPECTS TURNER TO GO UP-TEMPO IN 2020

Haskins' development as a passer and field general from his last season at Ohio State to now would undoubtedly be easy to spot. That's just the reality of how difficult it is to be a professional quarterback compared to running Ohio State's offense. 

As Young went on to explain, the biggest difference he's noticed in Haskins can be filed under "intangibles."

"Dwayne's been showing a lot of leadership talking to the guys and bringing the energy every day," he said. "I'm definitely excited about what Dwayne will do this season."

So are Washington fans, Chase. So are they. 

Haskins is seemingly the team' pivot point from being a playoff team or one that will be picking in the top 10 next year once again. As a quarterback, it comes with the territory. 

The good news is that Haskins is young, he's talented and has seemingly done everything you could ask for as a developing quarterback. It appears to be translating to the practice field, so the only thing left would be balling out in real games. 

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Terry McLaurin expects Scott Turner to increase Washington's offensive tempo in 2020

Terry McLaurin expects Scott Turner to increase Washington's offensive tempo in 2020

On defense, Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio are emphasizing an approach that's heavy on attacking. They want their personnel moving upfield and playing with aggression, something Montez Sweat became just the latest to reference on Thursday.

They aren't the only side of the ball in Washington that's trying to be more assertive, though.

Also on Thursday, Terry McLaurin explained that he thinks the offense will be speeding things up in 2020 as they, too, aim to gain more control of every game.

"I feel like when you’re on offense, you should be dictating the tempo," the star receiver told reporters on Zoom. "You should decide when you guys get up to the line, when you’re snapping the play, when you’re calling audibles and running motions and things like that."

A major instigator of that change, according to McLaurin, will be new offensive coordinator Scott Turner.

"It’s just some things that Turner does a great thing on, that versatility and unpredictability," he said. "I’m really excited to see his style of play calling and how it works."

That type of plan could really aid a unit that's coming off a season where it was the NFL's worst at putting up points and entering a season where expectations aren't much higher. For a bunch that's slated to feature a second-year signal caller and set to surround him with a mostly very young supporting cast, picking up the pace will be useful.

And it's something Turner is already discussing. A lot.

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"I have heard Coach Turner speak numerous occasions on having some tempo in the way we get in the huddle, the way we get the play so the quarterback has enough time to assess what’s going on defensively," McLaurin said.

In evaluating Turner's entire scheme beyond the desire for operating with more speed, McLaurin identified it as a "very concise offense" that doesn't force the players to think too much. If they're not thinking, of course, they can devote more energy to producing. That is what every coach wants to accomplish in their job.

Overall, it wasn't surprising to hear McLaurin bring optimism to his presser with the media, because he's an optimistic person to begin with and August is not the time to touch on the shortcomings of one's team. 

Even so, as McLaurin was describing the mentality that Turner is instilling on his group, it was fun to, just for a moment, consider an outcome where things do click and they do take opponents by surprise.

At the very minimum, he laid out a compelling picture of how it could all come together.

"Just that attack mindset, it starts obviously up front with how we run the ball with Adrian Peterson and the group of guys we have on the offensive line, and then our skill players we have on the outside making plays, and I feel like that really opens up our offense because I feel like you can’t really key in on one thing or the other," he said. 

Having that vision and introducing that vision beginning on September 13 are two very different tasks, but the vision on its own is a promising one. In 2019, Washington was both lifeless and toothless with the ball. In 2020, they should at least improve in one of those areas.

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