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Five people with the Redskins who have a lot riding on the rest of the 2019 season

Five people with the Redskins who have a lot riding on the rest of the 2019 season

The Redskins currently sit (maybe lie quietly is a better choice of words, actually?) at 0-5 to start the 2019 season. Barring multiple miracles that are especially miraculous, their next 11 games won't include a playoff chase.

That doesn't mean those contests and the time they span are totally meaningless. While the team as a whole isn't going to be climbing the standings, they'd like to start playing some respectable football. As for the individuals on and around the team, some of them have a lot riding on the next few months.

These five guys, in particular, could see their long-term futures change dramatically based on what happens between now and the season finale.

Dwayne Haskins

The thought was, once the Redskins moved on from Jay Gruden, they would also move on to Haskins. Yet for some reason, Bill Callahan isn't inserting the rookie yet, but his time should be coming and hopefully very soon.

When he assumes the role of starter, Haskins will likely have issues, considering he was the guy for just 13 games at Ohio State. However, it's more about how Haskins progresses and where he ends up as opposed to how he begins.

If the 22-year-old can turn those momentary flashes he displayed in the preseason into more consistent and steady stretches of stardom as well as manage the mental side better, then the Redskins will feel comfortable building around him beginning in 2020. If not, Washington might have to considering using their early first-rounder on another signal-caller.

Kevin O'Connell

Like Haskins, O'Connell has the opportunity to show the front office that he's someone they should invest heavily in beyond these next 11 matchups. 

Under Gruden, O'Connell helped with the offense. Under Callahan, O'Connell is running the offense. And if he handles that promotion, he could be running the Redskins next year.

There are a lot of exciting candidates in the NFL and in college that the Burgundy and Gold should be interested in pursuing as their next full-time head coach. O'Connell is in that mix, too, because the Redskins won't want to let go of another bright, up-and-coming coach. Let's see how he does as the primary play caller and if he can develop a rapport with Haskins.

Bruce Allen

It's widely believed that Allen will remain in a powerful position with the Redskins until their stadium deal is done, and perhaps that's true. But say the Redskins finish 2-14 or 1-15 and have more experiences at FedEx Field that resemble the Patriots loss, where droves of opposing fans fill the place. Would Dan Snyder still stick with Allen?

It's hard to guess what Snyder is thinking because he just doesn't hold public speaking appearances. There could be a point, though, where Snyder gets fed up with Allen's poor record and either dismisses him entirely or keeps him on to secure the new stadium but do nothing else.

Maybe Allen really is invincible and will stay around as long as he wants. But if things get uglier as the schedule plays out, it'll be intriguing to see if Snyder reaches a breaking point.

Trent Williams

Will Williams return to Ashburn at some point, or is he truly going to stay away? Will Allen, who said on Monday he's not looking to trade Trent, maintain that stance or make a move? Those questions have a good shot at being answered shortly.

For the other four people on this list, what happens on the field through the rest of October, November and December is what matters to them. For Williams, meanwhile, it's all about what happens away from it — if anything happens at all.

This holdout has reached a point not many expected it to. Either the end is in sight, or neither side will budge and they'll possibly do it all again in 2020. 

Terry McLaurin

Arguably the No. 1 reason to watch the Redskins these days is No. 17. The rookie receiver has dazzled in the four games he's played in and has a chance to finish with some gaudy stats.

With Jordan Reed's NFL future in doubt, Derrius Guice's health concerns, Adrian Peterson's disappointing numbers and Paul Richardson's inability to become a deep threat in D.C., McLaurin seems to be the only legit playmaker this offense can count on down the line. 

As long as he keeps up his sharp route-running and dependable hands and avoids further injuries, then Washington can go into 2020 knowing they have at least one pass-catching stud. McLaurin continuing on the path that he's on the rest of this season will allow the organization to spend top money and premium draft capital elsewhere.


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Rushing to judgment on Dwayne Haskins? Maybe these numbers will change your mind

Rushing to judgment on Dwayne Haskins? Maybe these numbers will change your mind

Dwayne Haskins has thrown 57 passes in his first two NFL starts, and while everyone — from Dwayne to his coaches to his teammates to Redskins fans — would've liked those attempts to have generated more production and success, it's necessary to keep that number in mind.

Again: He's thrown just 57 passes as a starter in the NFL.

Despite that miniscule amount, some are rushing to judgment about the rookie's long-term future in the league. It's more than fine to look at what he's done through two starts and closely analyze it and even criticize some of it, but it's far too early to say definitively what he will become as a pro.

(Note: His appearances against the Giants and Vikings aren't being taken into consideration in this story, due to him coming into both contests while trailing and without a full week of reps with the first-stringers. He struggled in New York and Minnesota, but he was put in spots where struggles were almost certain.)

To put it simply: His past two efforts, while discouraging, don't mean he's a completely doomed passer who should start considering other careers. And to emphasize that fact, here's an exercise.

Let's put the stat lines from a few quarterbacks' first two starts next to each other, but withhold their names. For example, check out what this pair of signal callers did in their first and second times out as the No. 1 option: 

  • QB A - 34-of-52 (65.3-percent completion rate), 466 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs
  • QB B - 34-of-67 (50.7-percent completion rate), 357 yards, 1 TD, 5 INTs

QB A is a baller while QB B is a scrub, right? Not exactly. QB A is Marcus Mariota. QB B is Matthew Stafford. Mariota is currently sitting behind Ryan Tannehill and almost surely won't be a Titan in 2020, while Stafford has been entrenched in Detroit since 2009.

Here's another comparsion: 

  • QB A - 45-of-66 (68.1-percent completion rate), 446 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
  • QB B - 22-of-46 (47.8-percent completion rate), 319 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs

Look at that 20-plus percent difference in completion percentage between QB A and QB B, plus the large edge the former has over the latter in yardage. Well, QB A is EJ Manuel and QB B is Matt Ryan. Yep.

The point of this story is setting in by now, but here's one more side-by-side: 

  • QB A - 34-of-57 (59.6-percent completion rate), 358 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT 
  • QB B - 43-of-76 (56.6-percent completion rate), 533 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs 

QB A doesn't come close to matching QB B's yardage output, but he does have a slightly better (though still not ideal) completion percentage and two fewer picks. Turns out, QB A is actually Dwayne Haskins while QB B is Andrew Luck. If there were any folks in Indy ready to call Luck a bust through two starts, they surely now realize how foolish they were being then.

Of course, there have been young players — like Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes — who looked like stars the minute they took over. Unfortunately, Haskins doesn't find himself on that immediate path.

Also, while it'd be unfair for the Redskins to make a decision on whether Haskins is the answer after he's started twice, the reality is he may only get six more chances. Washington is going to have a premium draft pick next April and could choose another highly touted arm. It doesn't need to settle on how it feels about Haskins yet, but that date could be coming somewhat soon, meaning he must improve quickly.

Regardless, those who want to grade Haskins and evaluate him right now absolutely can, but those who want to call it one way or the other need to stop. As the above numbers show, if two starts was the be-all and end-all for pro passers, Marcus Mariota would be a legend while Matt Ryan would be selling insurance.


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Redskins cut edge rusher Noah Spence, promote Carroll Phillips from practice squad

Redskins cut edge rusher Noah Spence, promote Carroll Phillips from practice squad

The Redskins cut former Buccaneers second-round pick Noah Spence Tuesday and promoted Carroll Phillips from the practice squad, according to Ian Rapoport

Washington signed Spence in mid-September after the Bucs cut him at the end of training camp.

Hopes were high for Spence in Tampa after he recorded 5.5 sacks in his rookie season, but has only recorded two sacks in the three seasons following 2016. 

Phillips joined the Redskins practice squad in Week 9 after playing in limited snaps with the Jaguars and Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2017. 

The Illinois product figures to be the fourth man in the Redskins pass rush rotation behind Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat and Ryan Anderson.