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Group QB decision? Bill Callahan has complete control of Redskins roster, per source

Group QB decision? Bill Callahan has complete control of Redskins roster, per source

Whenever Bill Callahan names the Redskins starting quarterback for the Week 11 game against the Jets, know that Callahan is making his own call. 

Sources tell NBC Sports Washington that before Callahan accepted his role as interim head coach last month, he made clear he would only accept the role if he had complete control of the 53-man roster and what players he started. The Redskins agreed to Callahan's terms, partly out of necessity because the team had made clear former head coach Jay Gruden would be fired. 

Since Callahan took over as Redskins coach, the team has made a number of changes, including signing a fullback and turning over nearly the entire practice squad. The veteran coach knows what he wants, and has not hesitated to move towards his vision of a 53-man roster. 

Nowhere is that more apparent than his decisions at quarterback. 

In Gruden’s final game as head coach, he started Colt McCoy in a Week 5 loss to the Patriots. The next game, a Week 6 win in Miami, Callahan put Case Keenum back in the starting spot and moved McCoy to third string. 

Callahan made it very clear that Keenum was installed as the Redskins QB1, and the veteran started the next two games. In a loss to Minnesota in Week 8, Keenum suffered a concussion that forced him to miss the Week 9 contest against the Bills. 

In his absence, rookie QB Dwayne Haskins started, something that many fans and analysts had been demanding for some time. Haskins played reasonably well for his first start, and conventional wisdom expected the rookie to keep the starting job going forward. 

Only Callahan would not commit to Haskins as his quarterback, merely saying he would take his time during the team’s Week 10 bye to make his decision at quarterback. 

“I just want to gather all the information, I want to look at a lot of things on film, go back into the self-scout and I just want to take my time and decide where we’re going to go, the direction that we’re going to go,” Callahan said Monday. 

Think about it another way: How many interim head coaches would have the gall to eschew overwhelming public demand to play a rookie QB in an otherwise lost season? Only those with the assurance they get to make their own calls without front office interference.

There have been situations in the past where Gruden did not get to make his own decisions. One source explained that Gruden wanted to cut D.J. Swearinger early in the 2018 season, but the coach was told that releasing the popular safety was not an option. By Week 16, after Swearinger made repeated public comments disparaging the defensive coaching staff, Gruden finally got to make the cut. 

Callahan has been in the NFL for a long time and knows what can happen with interim head coaches. In Washington, Callahan made his presence known almost immediately when he got the job, and not just with roster choices. 

Practice changed. There was more contact, referees appeared, and the team installed scoreboards adjacent to both sets of training fields. 

For the first time this decade the Redskins will hold a Wednesday practice during the bye week, something that both previous head coaches Gruden and Mike Shanahan did not do. 

Of the bye week practice, Callahan simply explained that his 1-8 unit "needed the work."

Where many interim head coaches act as soon to be released pawns of the front office, Callahan is doing things his way. And that started as soon as he was offered the job. 

In that vein, don't be shocked if Callahan steps to the podium next week and names Keenum his starter. It might not make sense for the organization's plans in 2020 or beyond, but Callahan has been adamant that his goals are wins this season. 

Keenum or Haskins, whoever gets the call, the decision came from Callahan.


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Report: Trent Williams' dogs killed neighbor's dog

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Report: Trent Williams' dogs killed neighbor's dog

Trent Williams is defending his dogs after neighbors of a home registered to him in Missouri City, Texas say the Redskins' lineman's dogs brutally killed their dog.

The neighbor's dog, Sandy, according to reports, died after being mauled and dragged under an iron fence on their own property. 

According to Williams, the attack began after Sandy instigated conflict with one of Williams' smaller pets. Williams felt his dogs did nothing wrong and said the animals were defending the smaller dog, who is fighting for its life after $5,000 in medical bills. 

Williams told FOX 26 Houston that the situation was "dogs doing what dogs do."

In comments to local television stations, Sandy's owner's described how they found their dog.

"I found my dog halfway ripped apart, head and one leg on the other side of the fence, two of those stakes ripped through the body and one leg just dangling," said Jerry Flowers.

"They drug her head through the fence," Linda Flowers said. "Half of her body was through the wrought iron fence."

Animal control and local police are no longer investigating the incident according to ABC 13. Williams was not cited for the incident.

Williams is on the non-football injury list for the Washington Redskins after ending his holdout halfway through the season. 


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Once the Redskins Ironman, Ryan Kerrigan moved to injured reserve

Once the Redskins Ironman, Ryan Kerrigan moved to injured reserve

The Redskins moved outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan to the injured reserve after he injured his calf last week against Green Bay. He will miss the remainder of the season. 

Kerrigan had started every game for Washington since 2011 until just three weeks ago, one of the most impressive streaks in the NFL at 139 straight starts. 

He missed the Panthers game due to a concussion, was able to come back from the Packers game and then hurt his calf. 

After three straight seasons with double-digit sacks, Kerrigan’s numbers were down this year. He will finish the season with just 5.5 sacks after posting 37 over the last few years. 

Dexter Manley holds the Redskins franchise record with 91 sacks. After bringing down Aaron Rodgers last week in Green Bay before his injury, Kerrigan got to 90 sacks. 

If he comes back healthy in 2020, Kerrigan would look prime to break the franchise record. He will be in the last year of his contract, however, and will account for nearly $12 million against the salary cap.

Should Washington release Kerrigan, which was once unthinkable, it would carry no salary cap hit. 

To replace Kerrigan on the active roster the Redskins signed Caleb Wilson from the Cardinals practice squad.