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DeSean Jackson to auction cleats honoring late rapper Nipsey Hussle

DeSean Jackson to auction cleats honoring late rapper Nipsey Hussle

On the field, DeSean Jackson's first Sunday of the NFL season was a successful one. Rejoining his former team in the Eagles and going against another former team in the Redskins, the veteran caught eight passes for 154 and two scores while exposing Washington in multiple ways.

Off the field, Jackson is continuing to make his impact felt.

Prior to Sunday's game, Jackson sported customized cleats pregame honoring the late Nipsey Hussle. Hussle, a prominent rapper who grew up in the same Los Angeles neighborhood as the receiver, was killed in March.

But, Jackson's determination to honor someone near to his heart isn't stopping there. Jackson will be wearing the custom cleats each game, and plans to auction off each pair and have the proceeds go toward the Nipsey Hussle family foundation. He will also donate money of his own, pledging to match the amount raised by the cleats.

Jackson may once again be a rival of the Redskins, but this act of kindness and love is something everyone can get behind.

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Kyle Shanahan admits he knew Kirk Cousins was leaving Washington after the 2017 season

Kyle Shanahan admits he knew Kirk Cousins was leaving Washington after the 2017 season

Kyle Shanahan has never hidden the admiration he has for Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. 

The two worked together for two seasons with the Redskins in 2012 and 2013, when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator and Cousins was the backup to Robert Griffin III.

In his third year as the San Francisco 49ers head coach, Shanahan's squad is facing the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, led by third-year quarterback and reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes. Shanahan had the opportunity to draft Mahomes in 2017, his first draft as the helm in San Francisco.

So, why did Shanahan pass on Mahomes? Enter Cousins.

"It's pretty well documented the relationship I had with Kirk," Shanahan said. "Just being in Washington and everything, I felt confident he wasn't going to stay there."

It was expected that Shanahan's 49ers would be making a run at signing Cousins the following offseason before they traded for Jimmy Garoppolo at the 2017 trade deadline. Garoppolo won all five of his starts in 2017, and the 49ers signed him to a five-year extension the following offseason.

Cousins, who spent his final two years in Washington playing under the franchise tag, departed from the nation's capital to Minnesota, where he signed a three-year, $84 million fully-guaranteed deal with the Vikings.

"Any time you go into a season and know a franchise quarterback is going to be available the next year, it made me a lot more picky with what we were looking at," Shanahan said.

The 49ers decided to trade back with the Chicago Bears (who traded up to No. 2 to select UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky), and San Francisco ended up selecting defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. San Francisco took Iowa signal-caller C.J. Beathard in the third round, and he competed with veteran Brian Hoyer for the 49ers starting job in 2017. 

Shanahan expanded on his decision to pass on Mahomes, emphasizing the difficulty in scouting college quarterbacks in certain systems. Mahomes' system under Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech was named the "Air Raid' due to the high-volume of passes. 

"There were a bunch of talented guys in that draft," Shanahan said. "But it's very tough when you watch college systems and stuff, you don't really know until you get somebody in the building.

"You can see ability. You can see talent," he continued. "But how's the mind? How's the play in the pocket? How do they process? That's not just an IQ score. That's stuff that I don't think you can totally test."

The 2017 draft wasn't just Shanahan's first with the 49ers, it was his first draft as a head coach, ever. Thomas was a highly-rated prospect and was a relatively safe pick.

Looking back, it makes sense that the rookie head coach did not want to take a risk on a rookie quarterback, especially if he felt the team had a good chance at landing Cousins, someone he was familiar with.

But San Francisco ended up sticking with Garoppolo, and now the 49ers are 60 minutes away from their sixth Super Bowl title.

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Peter King believes Ron Rivera is 'the right guy' to turn the Redskins around

Peter King believes Ron Rivera is 'the right guy' to turn the Redskins around

After a disastrous 2019 campaign where the Redskins finished with just three victories, owner Dan Snyder seemed insistent on turning the organization around.

Snyder fired longtime team president Bruce Allen the morning after the season finale. Larry Hess, who had been the team's head athletic trainer for 17 seasons, was also let go.

Ron Rivera was hired as the team's next head coach shortly after the new year, and during his introductory press conference, Snyder stated the Redskins were moving with a 'coach-centric' approach, hoping to remove any organizational and structural divide that had been there prior.

NBC Sports analyst Peter King was asked if Rivera was capable of turning around an organization that has struggled for nearly three decades, and he spoke glowingly about the 58-year-old head coach.

"They got the right guy to do it," King told the Redskins Talk podcast.

King was adamant that Rivera will not let the previous disfunction in Washington fly during his time at the helm.

"Ron Rivera, if he senses that's happening, he will not stand for it," King said. "He will not stand for a divided organization. That will not last."

The Redskins fired six-year head coach Jay Gruden following the team's Week 5 loss to New England, but the beginning of the end of Gruden's tenure can be traced back to the 2019 Draft. Washington selected Dwayne Haskins 15th overall, with many believing the decision to select the Ohio State passer came from the top.

Gruden's job was on the line in 2019; he needed to win. Selecting Haskins, a signal-caller that was very raw and had just 14 career collegiate starts, did not match up with the head coach's timeline.

King believes a situation like that will not happen with Rivera in charge.

"The outside world all thinks that [Dwayne Haskins] was a Daniel Snyder pick," King said. "I don't think there will be anymore Daniel Snyder picks if Ron Rivera is there. Rivera said 'if we're all not together, we can't take this guy.' No matter what the owner says."

The success of Rivera in D.C. will likely largely have to due with the development of Haskins. The signal-caller showed promise towards the end of his rookie season, but still has plenty of work to do. 

Rivera expressed excitement with Haskins during his introductory press conference, stating he believes Haskins has all the tools to become a franchise quarterback. But Rivera didn't promise the QB anything, and even mentioned the team would bring in veterans to compete. 

King believes that Rivera will bring the organization to a level of accountability and credibility that hasn't been seen in Ashburn before.

"Ron Rivera's history is building consensus in your organization," King said. "His players [in Carolina] really loved him. I'm really interested to see how that works out. But I'm telling you, at one point, Ron Rivera let it be known to the people that were interviewing him, including Daniel Snyder, that we are going to have a team in all aspects of this. We can't do it without that."

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