Washington Football

Quick Links

How not owning a car helped WR Steven Sims develop his chemistry with Dwayne Haskins

How not owning a car helped WR Steven Sims develop his chemistry with Dwayne Haskins

It was a surprise to some last fall when Redskins wide receiver Steven Sims made the team's initial 53-man roster. The undersized, speedy wideout had a solid preseason for Washington, but as an undrafted player, his chances of making the team's Week 1 squad at the beginning of training camp appeared quite slim.

Once the initial excitement of making the Burgundy and Gold's roster wore off, Sims quickly realized an important thing he needed to figure out: he had nowhere to live.

"I didn’t have a home in Virginia as soon as we got back from [training camp in Richmond]," Sims said to Sam Fortier of the Washington Post.

Luckily for the wideout, one of his fellow rookies let him crash at his house until Sims got situated. That rookie? Quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

"When we came back to Ashburn, we had a few weeks before camp was over, so I stayed with Dwayne for around a month," Sims said.

During that span, the two of them would become very close. Sims had to adapt to Haskins' schedule, simply due to the fact that he also didn't have a car to get to work. 

But for the pass-catcher, he didn't mind. 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE REDSKINS TALK PODCAST

"It was fun. Dwayne, he loves football, just like me," Sims said. "All he wants to do is watch football, talk football and work. I was on his schedule [because I didn’t have a car], so we were up early. I was [at Redskins Park] on a quarterback’s schedule, so I was there before other receivers were. I feel like that was a blessing in disguise."

The first half of the 2019 season was difficult for both of them. Haskins found himself the backup to veteran Case Keenum and appeared just twice within the first eight weeks, struggling significantly in both outings. Sims was able to make an impact when he was on the field (see him TD run vs. New England in Week 5) but had minimal snaps on offense for much of that span.

Then, in Week 9, Haskins was named Washington's starter for the remainder of the season. Sims took over as the team's main slot pass-catcher in Week 12 and finished with 23 catches for 259 yards and four touchdowns over the Redskins' final six games, with Haskins the starter for five of them.

RELATED: STEVEN SIMS IS AN UNDER-THE-RADAR NAME IN THE NFL. HERE'S WHY THAT WILL CHANGE IN 2020 

So, how was Sims, an undrafted rookie from Kansas, able to be so successful at the end of last year? Well, he credited his late-season success to the chemistry he built with Haskins earlier in the year, particularly when they lived under the same roof.

"[Last year’s success] was just a lot with the connection me and Dwayne have," Sims said. "We built it early in the season, from the day I got there to living in his house. It worked out perfectly."

The duo has parlayed their strong finishes to 2019 into this offseason. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the two have been captured working out together on their own, along with fellow teammates Terry McLaurin and Steven Sims.

During a Zoom media session earlier this month, McLaurin had plenty of praise for both Haskins and Sims.

"With Steven Sims, I feel like he’s probably made one of the biggest jumps to me personally because of how clean his feet are," McLaurin said. "I'm really excited to see him flourish in an offense that can showcase his versatility inside or out."

And for Haskins?

"He's having fun again," McLaurin said. "I feel like his focus is great right now. Physically, mentally, his personal life, he's cleaned some things up. He's ready to prove himself right, really, and just be the leader and the quarterback that this franchise needs and deserves."

Stay connected to the Redskins with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

Quick Links

Current Jets and former Washington WR Josh Doctson opts out of 2020 NFL season

Current Jets and former Washington WR Josh Doctson opts out of 2020 NFL season

Current New York Jets and former Washington Football Team wide receiver Josh Doctson has opted out of the 2020 NFL season amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the team announced on Thursday.

Doctson was one of 67 players around the league including Washington's Caleb Brantley and Josh Harvey-Clemons, as many have decided to sit out the season in order to lower their risk of contracting the virus. 

Doctson was placed in the " unspecified'" grouping for the opt out, while "voluntary'" and "higher risk" were the other two options. Players had until Thursday at 4 p.m. to make the decision.

The pass catcher was Washington's first round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, but he never quite lived up to expectations. Injuries, drops and an inability to ever get comfortable in the offense led to Doctson only compelling 1,110 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons in Washington.

Just before the start of the 2019 regular season, Doctson was released by Washington and later signed with the Minnesota Vikings. He appeared in just one game and had no receptions. He signed with the Jets in February.

Now, the wide receiver will wait until 2021 to see if he can change the fortune of his NFL career. 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM NEWS

 

Quick Links

Adrian Peterson willing to play 'three to four more' seasons to break Emmitt Smith's rushing record

Adrian Peterson willing to play 'three to four more' seasons to break Emmitt Smith's rushing record

As Washington running back Adrian Peterson enters his 14th NFL season, he sits just 4,139 yards away from Emmitt Smith's all-time rushing yards mark of 18,355.

For Peterson, who has put together one of the best careers at the position ever and currently ranks fifth on the list, surpassing Smith has been something he's chased since he first stepped foot in the league in 2007.

‘Obviously that’s one of my goals that I set for myself when I entered into the NFL was to be able to pass the GOAT," Peterson said on NFL Network's Good Morning Football.

Now just over 4,000 yards away, the goal is in Peterson's sights. But the 35-year old veteran is not only trying to catch Smith, but outlast "Father Time" as well. Though the 2012 MVP has shown no signs of slowing down over the past two seasons in Washington, the yardage total he needs equals about four more grueling seasons of football that would push him near the age of 40.

As challenging as that may be, Peterson expects to get there. He's already explained that he wants to play four more seasons, and though his body will call the shots, he's feeling healthy and fresh entering the 2020 campaign. 

“My body is feeling good. I look forward to playing a couple more years, three to four more years, who knows," Peterson said. "Depends on how my body is feeling, because it talks to me.”

He also didn't realize that he was only 4,139 yards from the record. To him, that makes the task even more plausible.

“I didn’t know it was that close. 4,000, that sounds a lot better than 6,000 or 5,000," Peterson said. "We’ll see what happens, I’ll put my best foot forward to reach it I promise you that.”

RELATED: TIME OFF COULD HELP AP

While passing Smith is surely something Peterson will take note of as he continues to suit up each Sunday, his desire to continue playing the sport doesn't come from personal achievements.

Throughout his illustrious career, he's consistently collected personal accolades that demonstrate just how successful he's been. But, one thing that has eluded Peterson is team achievements. In 13 seasons, he's still yet to reach a Super Bowl. As he continues to show age is just a number, it's the ring that he really wants. Smith's rushing record would just be the icing on the cake.

“That’s not really my ultimate goal, it’s one of my top goals," Peterson said. "Win a championship is the one that I’m chasing the most.”

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM NEWS