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Bruce Arians considering quarantining one quarterback, could other teams do the same?

Bruce Arians considering quarantining one quarterback, could other teams do the same?

As the NFL prepares for a return to action in the coming months amid the coronavirus pandemic, numerous measures will be put in place to try and ensure the safety of the players. Testing and forcing separation in locker rooms will be essential to stopping or limiting the potential spread of the virus.

However, even with the protocols, there is still a chance that a player could test positive, which then brings up many concerns. One being: What happens if a positive test spreads and a position runs thin? Specifically, what happens if it spreads in the quarterback room and a team has no options under center?

That exact scenario is something Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is considering, and he hasn't ruled out the idea of keeping one quarterback away from the others. On former NFL player Chris Long's "Green Light" podcast, Arians explained his rationale.

"Yeah, that's one of the things I've been pondering the last two or three weeks, as we set the protocols. From what I'm understanding is if you test positive, you get quarantined for two weeks. Now, if you have no symptoms, I don't know what that means -- is it a false (positive)? Is it... there is so much to learn and still explore with this thing," Arians said. "But I've thought about keeping the third quarterback on the roster out of the room. We have two guys [Ryan Griffin and Blaine Gabbert] that have been in our system, really sharp. So, I might have to quarantine a quarterback just in case of a quarantine."

Looking at the local NFL teams who are faced with the same dilemma, is this something that could work for the Ravens or Redskins?

Examining Baltimore's situation, the team does have a deep quarterback depth chart that makes it possible, but considering rookie Tyler Huntley has no NFL experience, he's not a big part of the equation. Leaving him out is risky because if it were to come down to him playing, he'd be very much in the dark. Quarantining another backup option seems more likely.

When it comes to whether Robert Griffin III or Trace McSorley goes, it's not a clear-cut decision. Based on the depth chart, McSorley being third makes it seem like he's the better option to hold out so that Griffin can continue to work with Lamar Jackson and gain reps.

However -- if both were to test positive -- is McSorley the player the Ravens would want under center? A second-year passer with no real experience that is still grasping the system and has now been away from the team during training camp and film room sessions is not exactly what you want. If Griffin is quarantined from the other quarterbacks, he at least has experience as a starter and a stronger comprehension of the Ravens offense. 


Therefore, if Baltimore wanted to enact this strategy, it makes more sense for Griffin to be on his own in case he needs to assume the starting role.

As for the Redskins, the decision is even harder based on lack of experience. Though there is hope Alex Smith can once again return, Washington only has Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen and Steven Montez for now. Haskins is the starter entering camp, so do you send Allen away?

That seems unrealistic even though the quarterback does have experience in Scott Turner's system from his time with the Carolina Panthers. He's young and is joining a new team; leaving him on the outside would put him in a tough position should he have to play. Arians believes it could work because two of his quarterbacks have a lot of experience in the system, the Redskins don't have that luxury. 


But if Allen stays and the QB room becomes an infection zone, what happens then? Does Montez, an undrafted free agent, become your starting quarterback if he is kept separate? Does 2-for-2 lifetime passer/punter Tress Way give it a go? Your head begins to spin just thinking about all the scenarios.

Arians' idea is something that all teams will have to address given the circumstances. Some may opt to try it out, others may feel its better to have all their quarterbacks with them. The Ravens are better off than the Redskins, but that doesn't make the decision any easier. 

The 2020 NFL season will most likely be like nothing anyone has dealt with before in the league, meaning coaches will have to continue to navigate headache-inducing decisions like these. 


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Making a case for Warriors as Washington Football Team's new name

Making a case for Warriors as Washington Football Team's new name

It's been several weeks since the Washington Football Team announced it was retiring its former name and logo after more than 80 years. Ever since FedEx became the first known sponsor to formally ask Washington to change its name, fans have taken to social media to voice some of their favorites among potential replacements. I spoke with several marketing experts about a few of the fan-generated names, and will use their responses to make a case for some of the most popular suggestions. This is the case for Red Hogs.

Case for: Washington Warriors

When it comes to the Washington Football Team, developing a new brand has as much to do with separating itself from the previous identity as it does creating a new one.

While the team’s previous moniker provided a sense of pride and joy to some people, it was considered derogatory by others. Those offended by the name had expressed resentment for decades before the team finally decided to take action this summer. But the team only did so after its bottomline was at risk of taking a hit by corporate sponsors threatening to end their relationships with the team.

If Washington wants people to take its rebrand seriously and view it as more than a money-saving play, the team will need to completely distance itself from Native American imagery. That being considered, is Warriors a good choice as the replacement name? It depends, says Tim Derdenger, associate professor of marketing and strategy at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business.

“It depends on which direction you go with it,” Derdenger said. “I’ve read things that they want to keep the feather and go in that direction as opposed to a military warrior, more of the Indian warrior. And if they do it the latter, they’re completely missing the mark on why they’re changing their name.”


This conundrum highlights the different things that have to be considered when undergoing a name change. It isn’t just the name; it’s also the logo, the branding on team gear and uniforms, the stadium atmosphere, the fan experience, and so much more. If the team was able to rebrand itself as the Warriors without singling out a specific race or group of people, the name could work. The Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association have a great brand and don’t use human imagery at all, going with the Bay Bridge as their primary logo.

Matt White, president of WHITE64, pointed to Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder's background in advertising and branding as a reason he thinks the team could pull it off.

“I think what you have to do is, do it in a thoughtful, logical manner, where you’re hiring a firm, which he has relationships with that can really do a great job,” White said.

The option for thoughtful branding exists in a way for "Warriors" that it doesn’t for a name like "Braves." Some fans had tossed around the latter as an option because of its history as the Washington franchise’s original name for one season in 1932, when the team was still located in Boston. But that’s a piece of history most fans likely forgot, if they ever knew it. And a Brave, by definition, is specifically a Native American warrior. The name doesn’t allow for a change in branding the same way Warriors does.

“The Cleveland Indians are already being asked to change their name. The Atlanta Braves apparently are even being looked at with that,” White said. “And again, there’s gotta be a solution that doesn’t offend somebody but that can still capture the spirit.”


That's where Warriors could be used, like Braves, to appease the base of fans who never wanted to part with the old moniker. However, Brad Nierenberg, the CEO of RedPeg Marketing, thinks choosing that name is also a choice to please those particular fans over the people who want to see a clean break. 

“If you’re gonna stay close with the Redskins, I think you’re gonna be staying with a fan base that ... you’re gonna placate the challenge to changing the name, then the Warriors and Braves are gonna be that next step,” Nierenberg said.

“I think there’s gonna be people saying they didn’t go far enough. That’s my gut.”


This is where everything else that accompanies the name change becomes so vital. Because while it’s likely true everyone won’t be happy with Warriors, it’s possible to win over a few more people with the proper branding and imagery.

"The logo is then going to be the key part,” Derdenger said. “And what that logo will look like and how it connects back to the military warrior.

“I can’t right now see in my head what a Warriors logo looks like. ... But they have to go away from the connection to the Native Americans.”

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Burning questions: Who will break out for the Washington Football Team in 2020?

Burning questions: Who will break out for the Washington Football Team in 2020?

As training camp continues to pick up, JP Finlay and Pete Hailey will come up with, and then respond to, some burning questions facing the 2020 Washington Football Team.

To start, they each answer the following: Who will be a breakout player in Burgundy and Gold?

JP's choice: Daron Payne

I’m not sure a former first-round pick counts as a breakout player but I think Daron Payne is poised to have a monster season. He has wild strength in his hands at the point of attack, to the point I remember one AFC scout telling me he was the strongest player in the 2018 draft.

Payne has played well, but not great, through two years in the NFL. In those two seasons, he has seven sacks and nine tackles for loss. Honestly. I think he should get to those totals in this year alone.

Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio pride themselves on preaching an aggressive philosophy, particularly up front. The plan is to defend the run on their way to the quarterback. 

There is nobody on this roster that shapes up better for that approach than Daron Payne. Add in the presence of Chase Young, Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat (and the attention those guys will attract) and you'll realize why you should prepare yourself for a big, big year from D-Payne. 


Pete's choice: Antonio Gibson

I wanted to put Steven Sims here. I also wanted to put Antonio Gandy-Golden here. But in the end, I put Antonio Gibson here. And I feel really good about that, too.

Sure, I'm a bit concerned about Gibson having to split time between running back and receiver. RBs coach Randy Jordan recently told the media that in his meetings, he's having to remind Gibson to focus on his duties in the backfield instead of on the outside. Jordan said it while laughing, but I do think there is something to the third-rounder perhaps being stretched too thin as a rookie.

Then I remember that Gibson scored 12 touchdowns on 71 offensive touches last year for Memphis.

That leads me to remember that Washington, who had the only offense IN THE LEAGUE last year to average FEWER THAN 17 POINTS A GAME, is going to need someone like Gibson to spark drives.

Then I also remember that Ron Rivera and Scott Turner are now in charge of this side of the ball, and they loved using Christian McCaffrey in Carolina, and they're going to need someone dynamic to replace Christian McCaffrey in Washington.

Then I also also remember how unproven the majority of the receivers are on this roster, which means Gibson could see a lot of targets regardless of where he lines up.

Right now, Gibson is someone who's a bit of a mystery, even to Washington fans. Come December, though, that mystery will disappear and give way to a whole bunch of production.

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