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Dwayne Haskins on being drafted by hometown team: 'Definitely HTTR'

Dwayne Haskins on being drafted by hometown team: 'Definitely HTTR'

The count down until NFL Draft Day is on for fans and draft hopefuls alike. Of those hopefuls is the quarterback out of Ohio State, Dwayne Haskins.

ESPN's Adam Schefter sat down with the QB to discuss his plans for Thursday night, the role of his mentors and potentially playing for his hometown team.

If drafted in the first round, as expected, Haskins will become the second Ohio State quarterback ever to go that early. However, he is not putting too much pressure on Draft Night. He plans to be with family and friends bowling so he is not glued to the TV. "I'm sure I will get a phone call before the pick is in so I can stop everything I am doing to watch it", Haskins joked. 

Leading up to the draft, the quarterback met with five teams: Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Washington Redskins. 

How does Haskins feel about the idea of playing for the Redskins? "Definitely HTTR." Haskins has an inside look of the Redskins organization via his mentor Shawn Springs, who was with the team for five seasons. "Football is taken very seriously down there and they are itching to win. If they draft me I hope I can add to the franchise and bring some wins to that organization." 

Draft Night is a dream come true for Haskins who will graduate in May. "Just to be able to hear my name called on Draft Day is something that I dreamed of for years...just to realize that all the work was worth it. That's going to be an unbelievable moment for me," said Haskins.

Haskins received plenty of advice about how to mentally and physically prepare for his NFL career. Watching film and preparing his body is half the battle. Haskins knows, "You do what you need to do to last in the league."  For now, he is enjoying the process, the last piece of advice given to him by his mentors. 

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Ron Rivera sees releasing Josh Norman as an opportunity for Redskins to get younger

Ron Rivera sees releasing Josh Norman as an opportunity for Redskins to get younger

On Friday the Redskins released veteran cornerback Josh Norman, and on Saturday head coach Ron Rivera explained that the decision allowed the team to get younger at a key position. 

"The big thing is it's an opportunity for us to get younger. Josh is a veteran guy and again, just looking at the young guys that we have, we got to get these guys on the football field and more exposed," Rivera said. 

Rivera spoke to reporters at a charity event in Charlotte, and while everything he said is true, it's also not the full story. Yes, Norman just turned 32 in December, but Washington's decision to cut him was not solely about age. 

Norman was set to make $15 million in 2020, and the team will save $12.5 million on the salary cap by letting him go. And his level of play no longer validated the hefty price tag and probably hasn't for the last two seasons. Norman finished the 2019 season on the bench and only played in rare situations when the other active cornerbacks were hurt. 

As for a youth movement at cornerback, it's coming, ready or not. Quinton Dunbar is in the last year of his deal and will be 28 when the season starts. Fabian Moreau will be in the last year of his rookie deal and will be 26 when the season starts. Jimmy Moreland had an up and down rookie year in 2019 and will be 25 when the season starts this fall. 

Some NFL sources also expect the Redskins to be quite active in free agency, particularly at the cornerback spot. Two names to watch are unrestricted free agents James Bradberry and Bashaud Breeland. Bradberry played for Rivera in Carolina while Breeland nearly signed with the Panthers as a free agent in 2018 before a foot injury voided his contract. 

So sure, the Redskins released Norman in part of an effort to get a younger roster. But there was plenty more involved, Rivera just decided to take the high road with his public comments. 

NOTES: Rivera also got asked about taking the Redskins job earlier this offseason: "It's going well. It's a little bit of a transition obviously as well. It's an opportunity to change things and kind of put things in the way we want to have them done. "

The coach also got asked about the difference between coaching in Charlotte and coaching in D.C. "The area is huge. Compared to here there's a lot of people," Rivera said. "It's very loud. All the restaurants are very loud." True words. 

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How much do people love Ron Rivera? Watch this video from Charlotte

How much do people love Ron Rivera? Watch this video from Charlotte

Panthers owner David Tepper fired head coach Ron Rivera after Week 12 of the 2019 season. Usually an in-season firing means that fans have turned on the coach amid a lost season.

In Carolina, that wasn't exactly the case.

When Rivera was fired, he and his wife Stephanie took out a full-page ad in The Charlotte Observer to thank a number of people and show gratitude for his nine years as head coach of the Panthers. That's unusual.

It seems that many Panthers fans were waiting to get their opportunity to thank Rivera, and on Saturday, it came.

Hundreds of Carolina fans showed up in Charlotte to say goodbye to Rivera as well as raise money for the Charlotte Humane Society. Why? Rivera decided to hold a yard sale of sorts, selling much of his Panthers gear, signed shirts and memorabilia going to the Humane Society. The event raised more than $30,000. 

The whole idea is admirable, and it appears from social media that the execution was a hit. 

Rivera's relationship with Redskins fans is just beginning, but if the crowd in Charlotte is any indication, it should be a fun ride. Winning helps too, and for most of his nine seasons in Carolina the Panthers won. That will build goodwill with any fan base, and in Washington, fans are desperate for some playoff football. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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