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Doug Williams says Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden and ownership will be involved in starting QB decision

Doug Williams says Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden and ownership will be involved in starting QB decision

When Doug Williams talks quarterbacks, it's best to listen. After all, the Redskins senior personnel executive played the position at a Super Bowl winning level and has been entrusted with helping in the development of rookie first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins. 

With about a month until the team reports for training camp in Richmond, and a few weeks removed from a less-than-stellar minicamp, the biggest question is what does the timeline look like for Haskins to take over the top quarterback spot in Washington. Head coach Jay Gruden made clear that Haskins will get to compete for the top job with Case Keenum and Colt McCoy.

Competition is good, but eventually, Haskins will be the starter. So when will that happen?

Williams got asked that question speaking at the first NFL Quarterback Coaching Summit, an event designed to help African American coaches advance on the offensive side of the ball.

"You’re talking about a guy that comes from a situation where nobody went up under center to see a guy walk out the huddle, the poise that he has, the patience that he’s exhibited," Williams said of Haskins.

"There’s room to have a lot of hope."

Williams' comments kind of cut two ways.

Haskins played just one season of college football at Ohio State, and the system was not close to the pro-style West Coast offense Gruden deploys. During minicamp Haskins looked bewildered at times by the Redskins scheme. So, in one way, it's going to be a steep learning curve, and that showed. To Williams' point, however, there were times where Haskins athletic gifts showed why he was the 15th pick and threw 50 touchdowns in one year in Columbus. That's the reason for hope. 

But that's not really anything new. Haskins has made some wow plays, but has not shown the same command of the huddle or the line of scrimmage as Keenum. So who gets the starting job?

"I know there’s words out there that [Haskins] might end up starting, and that could happen, but at the end of the day that’s going to be on Jay, myself and probably Bruce [Allen] and the owner and what he does during preseason and to see where we are as a team to make that decision," Williams said. 

Now things are getting interesting. 

Will Gruden get to decide his own starting quarterback? Doesn't sound like it.

Williams said that will be a group decision, and the group includes ownership Dan Snyder. No position in football draws more interest from ownership than a rookie quarterback, and that's across the NFL. Fans would be naive to think otherwise. But there were also numerous reports that Allen and Snyder wanted the Redskins to draft Haskins, and Williams said that both men will be involved in deciding when the rookie QB starts.

Given the full context of Williams' statement, it's also obvious that Haskins' performance in Richmond and during preseason action will go a long way towards his immediate future. As will the performance of McCoy and Keenum. If neither veteran shows much, maybe Haskins gets the job by default, but then again if it's obvious the rookie isn't ready, the tape will show that too. 

For 'Skins fans hoping that their quarterback situation will finally be solved by Haskins, Williams gave reason for optimism.

"I don’t want to say he’s going to start Game 1 today, but it’s been a pleasure and enjoyable scene to see what Dwayne Haskins has done over the last few weeks."

As soon as the Redskins took Haskins with the 15th pick, the whole world knew he would start for Washington at QB. One month until training camp, everybody wants to know when.


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10 Days to training camp: How to sort out the defensive line rotation?

10 Days to training camp: How to sort out the defensive line rotation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

On a team with few definitive strengths, the defensive line ranks as easily the best position group on the 2019 Redskins.

The team boasts two first-rounders in Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen. The team also just paid fourth-year pro Matt Ioannidis, giving him a contract extension to lock him up before free agency next year. After that, this year there are expectations that Tim Settle and Caleb Brantley should play expanded roles.

And in many ways, that has to happen.

Allen and Payne played too much last season, especially early. In a Week 4 win against the Packers, Payne and Allen played more than 90 percent of the Redskins' defensive snaps. In a Week 5 loss to the Saints, both players were on the field for more than 75 percent of the team's snaps.

Keep in mind, too, Payne was a rookie and Allen was in his second NFL season after only playing a handful of games as a rookie. In hindsight, the Redskins needed to deploy more of a rotation along the defensive line in 2018, and in 2019, would be crazy not to.

Payne and Allen both have Pro Bowl potential. Ioannidis has proven elite pass rush potential when he's on the field and needs to be on the field more. Then there are Settle and Brantley, two players that Redskins coaches have praised extensively this offseason.

The best defensive lines have talent and depth. The Redskins definitely have talent. Payne, Allen, and Ioannidis prove that.

The Redskins need to have depth. A fresh defensive line, or even a less beat up defensive line, can make a huge difference in the second half of the season. Jim Tomsula says the Redskins have the talent to go deep in their linemen rotation.
In 2019, the team needs to show it.


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Is it time to re-examine Redskins RB situation after latest Derrius Guice setback? Or is the team safe either way?

Is it time to re-examine Redskins RB situation after latest Derrius Guice setback? Or is the team safe either way?

The Redskins offense struggled to score points in 2018, and heading into 2019, that unit poses the biggest question marks for the organization. 

Of course, the biggest mystery remains who will be the starting quarterback. One position that looked like a strength, however, was running back. 

Now with less than two weeks before training camp opens, news emerged that second-year RB Derrius Guice is dealing with a hamstring injury. On Twitter Guice said not to worry about the hamstring, but players tend to be quite bullish about their own injury prognosis. 

What is known about Guice is that he's dealt with injuries the last three seasons, including 2017 in college at LSU and an ACL tear last year in the preseason. He hasn't taken an NFL snap yet.

There are a few other things to consider too when looking at the Guice file. 

The Redskins re-signed Adrian Peterson to a two-year deal this offseason, securing the veteran as part of their offense. Peterson did not come back thinking he would be a backup, especially as he's chasing down some significant historic NFL records. 

Additionally, the Redskins selected Bryce Love in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Love is coming back from his own knee injury and seems highly unlikely to open training camp on the active roster. 

Still, Love was a star at Stanford. If he can get his knee back to 100 percent, and one source said his ACL tear "was clean," he will be a contributor to the Redskins offense. That might not happen until 2020, but it could happen during the back half of the 2019 season too.

Elsewhere on the roster, Chris Thompson has a very clear role. That isn't changing. 

Then there is Samaje Perine. Repeatedly this offseason, Washington head coach Jay Gruden has gone out of his way to compliment the third-year back out of Oklahoma. 

This is a long way of saying that the Redskins have built themselves plenty of options should Guice continue to deal with injuries. 

It's important to point out that Guice's hamstring might be incredibly minor. It might not impact his availability to start training camp in Richmond. This could all be much ado about nothing. 

But it might not.

Less than a year removed from an ACL tear, and after dealing with multiple surgical setbacks due to infection, now Guice has a hamstring issue. The team brought back Peterson and drafted Love in the time in between. 

Fans love and can't wait to see Guice on the field for the Burgundy and Gold. There is much to be excited about. The Redskins' brass has talked excitedly about Guice too.

But in the NFL, talk is cheap. Actions matter. 

Bruce Allen made moves to ensure his team has options at running back whether Guice opens training camp or not.