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Chris Simms: The 'safe play' for Jay Gruden is to not start Dwayne Haskins Week 1

Chris Simms: The 'safe play' for Jay Gruden is to not start Dwayne Haskins Week 1

The instant Dwayne Haskins was drafted by the Washington Redskins 15th overall in the 2019 NFL draft questions arose about the immediate future of the organization. 

The prevailing question: When will the former Ohio State quarterback start for the Redskins?

Several analysts are giving their takes on it. NBC Sports Washington's Grant Paulsen says let Case Keenum start Week 1. Brian Mitchell says that if Haskins proves himself, then it should be his job.  Trevor Matich says benching Haskins in Week 1 is "the best thing the Redskins could do."

This time it's a former NFL quarterback, Chris Simms, giving his opinion on the matter. 

"[Haskins] obviously has talent to, you know, belong as a day one starter, do all those things," Simms said on NBC's ProFootball Talk. "It's just is he seasoned enough? Is he going to be good enough for Jay Gruden?"

And the Gruden question might even be the most important when it comes to Haskins' playing in his rookie year. The head coach is who Simms sees as having the biggest impact on the decision. 

"The safe play for a Jay Gruden, the guy who might be on the hot seat here at the end of the year, is maybe to go with the more experienced guy, like in Case Keenum or Colt McCoy."

This year is the last that Gruden is under contract with the Redskins. In five seasons he's compiled a 35-44-1 record, including back-to-back 7-9 seasons. He's also never led the team to more than nine wins in a single season. The pressure is on for Gruden to win now with injuries stacked up against him. 

Through all of this Simms does not see Haskins as the answer, especially in Week 1. 

"Unless Dwayne Haskins just blows everybody away through training camp, and think 'oh my gosh he's all over the offense. He knows everything, every check, every audible.' If that's the case, hey, maybe you do start in Week 1," Simms said. "If there's any doubt, you go with some of the more proven commodities." 

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One thing Kendall Fuller hopes to get now that he's back with the Redskins? More respect

One thing Kendall Fuller hopes to get now that he's back with the Redskins? More respect

Kendall Fuller is a defensive back who can play with a ton of versatility, which he demonstrated for the Chiefs last season when he lined up all over their secondary during their Super Bowl run.

According to Fuller, though, having that ability has caused some to question just how effective of a player he is. One of his best strengths is actually leading outsiders to see a weakness he believes isn't really there, he told JP Finlay and the Redskins Talk podcast.

While Fuller can contribute at outside corner and safety, he's most often employed as a slot defender. He understands Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio will likely ask him to play there a lot in Washington, but the 25-year-old wouldn't mind getting more reps out near the sidelines, too, to further prove himself.

"It's like as soon as you move inside to the nickel, some people put limitations on you," Fuller said. "They doubt you. They tell you you can't do something when you really just haven't had the opportunity to do it yet. That's one thing I haven't really had the opportunity to do since I've been in the league."

Fuller was clear: He's not shying away from being an all-around DB, but he also wouldn't shy away from taking on receivers out on the numbers more in addition to in on the hash marks.

"You hear the people saying, 'Oh, he can't really play outside,' and it makes you want to get out there," he said. "While at the same time, I show my versatility."

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Fortunately for Fuller, he's coming back to a version of the Burgundy and Gold that features a coaching staff he really respects. In addition to Rivera and Del Rio, Fuller is optimistic about working with new secondary coach Chris Harris, who overlapped with one of Fuller's brothers for a year in Chicago.

Together, those three guys will have to devise a plan for the team's most expensive free agent addition and ensure they get the most out of his expansive skill set, and Fuller trusts that they will. He surely would enjoy a chance to "shut people up" by starring out near the boundary, but his end goal is much simpler.

"Honestly, I just want to be in a position to go out there, have fun and make plays," he said.

To see more of Fuller's interview, check out NBC Sports Washington's new show, Mock Draft Mondays, which debuts on April 6 at 6 p.m.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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Oddsmakers release lines for all 16 Washington football games, and the results are even uglier than expected

Oddsmakers release lines for all 16 Washington football games, and the results are even uglier than expected

National expectations for the 2020 season are quite low for Washington and that is very evident when looking at the oddsmakers. 

While the NFL hasn’t released official schedules yet, it’s public knowledge what teams Washington will play this fall, home and away. Granted it’s only April and much will change, but according to the books, it looks like a very bad year at FedEx. 

Washington is only favored in two games all year, and both of those are home games where Ron Rivera’s new team is only a one-point favorite. Typically home-field advantage is worth three points alone. 

If that’s not bad enough, Washington is listed as a double-digit underdog five times in 2020, including at home against Baltimore. 

The biggest spread for the Burgundy and Gold will be their road trip to San Francisco. As of now, Washington will be a two-touchdown underdog against the defending NFC champs. 

Below is the full 16-game slate of lines. It’s ugly.

Washington at Dallas -11
Washington at New York -5
Washington at Philly -10.5
Washington at St. Louis -6.5
Washington at Cleveland -9
Washington at Detroit -6
Washington at Pittsburgh -10
Washington at San Francisco -14
Los Angeles at Washington +5
Seattle at Washington +6
Baltimore at Washington +10.5
Cincinnati at Washington -1
Carolina at Washington -1
Dallas at Washington +6
New York at Washington PK
Philly at Washington +6

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Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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