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Cole Holcomb and Mitchell Trubisky were college roommates. On Monday, they'll be NFL opponents

Cole Holcomb and Mitchell Trubisky were college roommates. On Monday, they'll be NFL opponents

Stopping Mitchell Trubisky on Monday night will be very key for the Redskins in Week 3. Luckily for them, they've got one defender who knows the Bears quarterback quite well.

Rookie linebacker Cole Holcomb, who seized a starting job in the season opener and who's been a major contributor so far, was college roommates with Trubisky at North Carolina for two years. In an interview with the Redskins Talk podcast, Holcomb explained what he learned about the signal caller during that time.

"He's a competitor," Holcomb told JP Finlay. "He hates losing. He's one of those perfectionist people. Maybe if we can rattle him up a little bit, get him nervous back there, we'll be able to make some things happen with him."

Holcomb caught the attention of Redskins coaches early in training camp thanks to his devoted studying habits, so it sounds like he's a perfectionist, too. Even so, the two have made room in their schedules to chirp at one another.

"Yeah, we've been texting all week," Holcomb said. "We've got a group chat with a bunch of the teammates. They're all like, 'Oh, it's Mitch vs. Cole this week. It's Mitch vs. Cole this week. What's going to happen?'"

Hopefully for Washington, what's going to happen is that the Burgundy and Gold will "rattle" Chicago's starter like Holcomb wants to. Through two contests, the Redskins have the second-to-worst pressure rate of any defense in the NFL.

If they can fix that starting Monday, that bodes well for them notching their first win of 2019. If not, on the other hand, then the heat will be turned up even more (if that's even possible) on Holcomb's boss, Greg Manusky, and Manusky's entire unit.

Perhaps Holcomb can have a mid-game reunion with Trubisky in the Bears' backfield and help that cause. Pregame, though, they'll likely catch up, and in that catch-up, Holcomb will probably refer to Trubisky as "Mitch."

But according to Holcomb, shortening his friend's name doesn't work everywhere. It turns out Holcomb picked up something about his ex-roommate's mom as well back at UNC.

"I call him Mitch when it's just me and him," he said. "I don't say it around his mom, though. You say it around his mom, you might get punched."

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Redskins players concerned over COVID but focused on playing football

Redskins players concerned over COVID but focused on playing football

Redskins rookie wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden tested positive for the Coronavirus back in March. He fully recovered and the virus is not expected to impact his 2020 season whatsoever.

That might be the only thing Coronavirus won’t impact though.

NFL fans, and Redskins fans particularly, need to prepare for a weird, if not tumultuous, 2020 season. The NFL is admirably pushing forward with their 2020 season but that doesn’t mean there won’t be more players, coaches and staffers that test positive for COVID-19.

"We fully well expect that we will have positive cases that arise," NFL chief doctor Allen Sills said earlier this month.

"We think that this disease will remain endemic in society," Sills continued, "it shouldn't be a surprise that new positive cases arise."

Inevitability.

That’s the world the NFL will enter, eventually, when players, coaches and full staffs start to reconvene, none of which is unique to the NFL.

Coronavirus is everywhere. That’s the world. The NFL exists in that world.

Fans got to enjoy free agency and the NFL Draft, but those events largely took place in a virtual world. Little human interaction required.

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Actual football, however, requires significant human interaction.

The truth of inevitability is that eventually there will be more positive tests. For some players, that’s not particularly troubling.

“I really don’t have any concerns. I just want to get back to playing,” Redskins safety Landon Collins said last week.

Still, the focus remains on health and safety, for football players and for the country at large.

"First things first, you definitely want to be safe. But as far as moving forward, I mean I have full faith in our medical staff, so I mean, it’s really what they determine and what the NFL determines is safe for us to move forward," Redskins defensive tackle Jonathan Allen said.

"That’s really all I can think about, it’s just so much for one person to even try to comprehend that it’s not even worth it, you know?"

Allen is right. 

This virus and the international chaos it has created really are incomprehensible. It seems like there are few facts out there but plenty of rumors and noise.

In the football world, however, one thing seems clear. Players want to play.

"I’m definitely hoping to play the season which I think we will," Allen said, "I couldn’t imagine us not playing a season."

In the NFL it seems almost a certainty there will be a season. But with the inevitability of more positive COVID-19 tests, how that season will play out remains a mystery. 

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The NFL 'failed' with pass interference replay rule, NFL exec Troy Vincent says

The NFL 'failed' with pass interference replay rule, NFL exec Troy Vincent says

The NFL admits that it failed last year with a botched implementation of its pass interference replay reviews. That will have an impact on any new rules going forward. 

Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, told NBC’s Peter King on Friday that the league has learned its lesson: Rules will not be rushed. The NFL will do its best to figure out the real-world consequences before pushing changes that do more harm than good. 

That was clearly the case with the pass interference rule, which was applied so inconsistently last season that the Competition Committee didn’t even forward it for a vote to extend it at an owners’ meeting last month. Upcoming proposed rule changes on onsides kicks and the use of a sky judge – a member of the officiating crew who would be in the press box at a video monitor – are on the table during an NFL owners’ video conference meeting on May 28. 

“We cannot fail this year,” Vincent told King. “We saw, a year ago, when [the pass-interference rule] played out, starting with myself, what we put in place last year . . . Those outcomes were not good for professional football. Because we didn’t do the proper due diligence, it played out publicly. The last thing people should be talking about is the way the game is officiated. They [officials] should be faceless objects, managing and facilitating game flow.

“We failed. I’m first in line. I shared that [with league officials]. I failed, as the leader of that department. I failed. We cannot allow that to happen again. What did we learn from that? We’ve got to do our due diligence. You can’t rush and just shove something in there without knowing all the consequences. And we found that out last year, live and in action, publicly.”

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