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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. 


"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.


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."

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From impossible to inevitable, Redskins name change seems imminent

From impossible to inevitable, Redskins name change seems imminent

A typhoon of momentum washed over the Washington football organization in the last week and all of a sudden one thing seems quite clear: The Redskins will never play another game.

There will still be football played at FedEx Field and that team seems very likely to still wear burgundy and gold, but after a series of public comments and private conversations with sources in and around the NFL, a Redskins name change is imminent.

Over and over and from different people, one phrase got repeated when asked if the Redskins were actually going to change the team name: "It's done."

The exact timeline remains murky, and there are difficult logistic, marketing and financial questions looming, but too much happened too fast for any other outcome than a name change.

Speaking with numerous sources one misconception emerged however.

While the Redskins publicly announced that the team is conducting a “thorough review” of the team name on July 3, multiple sources explained that internal conversations about changing the name have been going on for some time.

In fact, one source explained that after the murder of George Floyd in May and the massive public protests and demands for social justice that followed, the conversations about changing the Redskins moniker heated up the first week of June.

It’s unclear what the new name will be.


Redtails and Warriors seem to have the most momentum, but that doesn’t mean either will be the new name. The organization wants to consult with a wide variety of people and resources before finalizing a selection.

The team is proud of its history, understandably, and does not want to abandon all of the team’s success and tradition. What exactly that means will be revealed, likely in the next month or so.


Let’s be clear - public pressure from FedEx, Nike and Pepsi hastened the call for change.

When FedEx publicly requested on July 2 that Washington change its team name from Redskins, this process got sent into overdrive. The team announced its plan for an internal review of the name the next morning. But conversations, some extensive, had already begun inside the organization prior to FedEx’s announcement.

What once seemed unthinkable now seems inevitable - the Washington Redskins won’t take the field again. 

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Former Patriot and Eagle Pro Bowler Asante Samuel takes shot at Darrell Green

Former Patriot and Eagle Pro Bowler Asante Samuel takes shot at Darrell Green

Asante Samuel got hit Fourth of July fireworks started early Saturday morning with a negative tweet about NFL Hall-of-Famer Darrell Green.

The former Pro Bowler with the Patriots and the Eagles had a fine 11-year NFL career. He is a Super Bowl champion himself. But his out-of-nowhere tweets about Green, one of the NFL’s all-time great corners, were just…weird. 

Green was a dominant player on two Super Bowl champions, a seven-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in 1991. He was one of the fastest players in the league, a fearsome punt returner when necessary in playoff games and an all-around great player. Even other players from Samuel’s era were confused, including former Redskins safety Will Blackmon.

That's a pretty accurate description of the differences between Samuel's era and the way the game was played when Green was at his peak. Maybe he stuck around too long and maybe he wasn't close to the player he'd once been by the late 90s and early 2000s.


But peak Darrell Green was an unquestioned Hall-of-Fame player. Teams didn't throw at him for a reason. When they did, they paid for it. Samuel got a little aggressive for a guy who might have cost the Pats an extra Super Bowl. 


Tony Dungy, himself a great player and a Super Bowl champion as a player AND a coach, clapped back at Samuel for his ignorance of NFL history. 

That about says it all. 

For his part, Samuel doubled down responding to some tweets but by the afternoon he was starting to see the light. Sort of. 


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