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Josh Doctson feels like he did at TCU, which could bode extremely well for the Redskins

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Josh Doctson feels like he did at TCU, which could bode extremely well for the Redskins

At Wednesday's open OTA session in Ashburn, Josh Doctson did one thing he's becoming known for and another thing he has hardly done since turning pro in 2016. And when you put those two acts together, you start to see why his third season as a Redskin could be the one where he breaks out.

The former was what's becoming his signature play as a wideout: a graceful, leaping snare. This particular highlight came against Orlando Scandrick off a nice throw from Alex Smith, one that No. 18 was able to come down with despite Scandrick's challenge. While Doctson's first full year as a pro in 2017 wasn't consistent, he showed a knack for these kinds of acrobatic grabs (such as his first career score vs. Oakland, this one in Dallas and this beauty in New Orleans).

So, that was encouraging to see the 25-year-old up to his usual tricks. What was even more encouraging, though, was what followed the two-hour on-field practice Washington's players took part in. 

Aside from his scheduled speaking engagements — times like his post-draft pressers, training camp sitdowns and post-game media scrums in games where he stood out — Doctson hasn't talked much. But there he was after signing autographs for service members who attended this installment of the 'Skins' offseason program, in the middle of reporters and answering a host of questions.

It was not only refreshing to see him taking part in this ritual that plenty of his more talkative teammates go through each time they put on a uniform; it was also refreshing to hear what he had to say about his growth.

"The biggest thing is confidence level," Doctson said, noting that he feels his increasing as he continues to get settled in. "It's kind of surreal when you first get here, then last year was my first year playing. [Last year] kind of calmed it down and now I'm just back like I was at TCU."

This is the part of the story where you should be reminded that at TCU, the 6-foot-3 target totaled 25 touchdowns as a junior and senior. If he's finally feeling like he did in school, then he'll be getting a lot of looks from his new QB, and that relationship is one that Jay Gruden spoke about in his time at the podium.

"This year is just a matter of reps and getting to know Alex and just being precise in what he does," Gruden said. "He's an ultra-talented kid, without a doubt." 

The former first-rounder has progressed slowly, slower than the Redskins would've liked. As a rookie, he hardly suited up. As a sophomore, meanwhile, he suited up every week and showed hints of stardom but also hints of inexperience.

That means 2018 is his time to capitalize. He's paired with an experienced passer who seems awfully willing to give him chances, and his impromptu meeting with reporters — something that's commonplace for tons of athletes but hasn't been for him — indicates that his comfort level is rising.

As Doctson put it, he's crawled, he's walked and now he's ready to run. You should expect plenty of jumping and landing in the end zone from him as well, especially if he's ready to return to his TCU form.

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Redskins vs. Lions Week 12: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Redskins vs. Lions Week 12: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Eleven weeks into the season, things are looking bleak in Washington. The Redskins are coming off arguably their worst loss of the year, falling to the previously two-win Jets by three scores.

But Sunday gives Washington one of their best remaining chances to win another game this season, as Lions quarterback Matt Stafford will likely be unable to suit up versus the Burgundy and Gold.

On the other hand, backup QB Jeff Driskel has been productive in his two starts this season. The Lions were just a few plays away from knocking off the Cowboys a week ago in Dallas, the same Cowboys team that had their way with the Redskins in Week 2.

After a rough afternoon against a poor New York defense, quarterback Dwayne Haskins will look to build off his fourth-quarter performance against the Jets. Haskins threw the first two touchdown passes of his career late in the game, after failing to get the offense in any sort of rhythm for much of the afternoon,

The Redskins lead the all-time series, 30-14, but Detroit has won four straight against the Burgundy and Gold.

Here's everything you need to know.

REDSKINS vs. LIONS WEEK 12

Who: Washington Redskins (1-9) vs. Detroit Lions (3-6-1)

What: Week 12 of the 2019 NFL regular season

When: Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, 1 p.m. ET

Where: FedExField, Landover, Maryland

TV Channel: FOX

Live Stream: Stream on FuboTV, Pregame and postgame coverage streaming on NBCSportsWashington.com

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Spread: Lions, -3.5

Over/Under: 41.5

Weather:  51 degrees, mostly sunny

REDSKINS vs. LIONS TV SCHEDULE:

8:30 a.m.: Pro Football Weekly

9:00 a.m.: Redskins Talk: Week 12

10:00 a.m.: Inside the Redskins

11:00 a.m.: Redskins Coaches Show

11:30 a.m.: Redskins Nation

12:00 p.m.: Redskins Kickoff Live

4:00 p.m.: Redskins Postgame Live 

REDSKINS 2019 SEASON SCHEDULE:

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8, Redskins at Eagles (L, 32-27)

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15, Cowboys at Redskins, (L, 31-21)

Week 3: Monday, Sept. 23, Bears at Redskins, (L, 31-15)

Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 29, Redskins at Giants, (L, 24-3)

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 6, Patriots at Redskins, (L, 33-7)

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 13, Redskins at Dolphins, (W, 17-16)

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 20, 49ers at Redskins, 1 p.m. (L, 9-0)

Week 8: Thursday, Oct. 24, Redskins at Vikings, 8:20 p.m. (L, 19-9)

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 3, Redskins at Bills, 1 p.m. (L, 24-9)

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 17, Jets at Redskins, 1 p.m. (34-17, L)

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 24, Lions at Redskins, 1 p.m.

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 1, Redskins at Panthers, 1 p.m.

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 8, Redskins at Packers, 1 p.m.

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 15, Eagles at Redskins, 1 p.m.

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 22, Giants at Redskins, 1 p.m.

Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29, Redskins at Cowboys, 1 p.m.

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Derrius Guice believes the Redskins can eventually be special as long as everyone buys in

Derrius Guice believes the Redskins can eventually be special as long as everyone buys in

It's hard for Redskins fans to be optimistic right now. The team is 1-9, they fired their head coach earlier this season, and they just ended a 16-quarter touchdown drought.

Redskins running back Derrius Guice understands that. He feels the fans' frustration.

But he also believes the Burgundy and Gold are capable of turning it around, as long as everyone buys into the process.

"We are going to get it going eventually," Guice told JP Finlay in a 1-on-1 interview on the Redskins Talk podcast. "We just have to get everybody bought into it and everybody has to get focused. We have to kill all the mental mistakes. It's going to be a great team. People don't understand that."

Last Sunday, in his first game back since suffering a torn meniscus in Washington's Week 1 loss to the Eagles, Guice found the end zone for the first time in his NFL career. Although he played just 29 percent of the Redskins offensive snaps against the Jets, it didn't take much for the second-year running back to show flashes of what he's capable of.

"I've been doing that," Guice said in response to Finlay mentioning him demonstrating his strength by running over multiple Jets players. "I just got injured, so I couldn't show that. I guess I just couldn't show it in the NFL because of my bad luck. It's going to all surface and I'm going to start turning a lot of heads."

Guice is not the only young Redskins player that has plenty of promise. Rookie pass-catcher Terry McLaurin has already established himself as Washington's No. 1 wide receiver. The third-round pick leads the Redskins in all major receiving categories -- receptions, yards, and touchdowns -- despite playing with three different quarterbacks in 2019.

And of course, there's rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins. In his first two starts, Haskins has not been impressive. He's had his growing pains and was unable to get the Redskins offense into any sort of rhythm on Sunday before the fourth quarter, when Washington was already down 31 points. But he's also shown a few glimpses, of why Washington invested a first-round pick in him, and given fans some hope moving forward. It's still way too early to write Haskins off, and his teammates agree.

"He's done a great job for what position he's being put in. My hats off to him," offensive tackle Donald Penn said Sunday on Haskins. "He's working hard, and you can tell. He's trying to win. Everybody wants to win."

Sunday was the first time that all three members of the Redskins young offensive trio were on the field at the same time. All three are expected to be important members of the team's future, and potential turnaround, of the franchise.

"It could be special. We are putting all the pieces together. We just have to all buy into it," Guice said. "This whole team could be special. We just have to eliminate the mental errors. Like I said before, we just have to eliminate that and we'll all be fine."

Guice repeatedly mentioned the mental errors that have been killing the Redskins. Washington is in the top third of most penalized teams in the league (no team has had fewer penalties called against their opponent than Washington, as well). Communication, meanwhile, is a weekly issue on both sides of the ball.

Last week, Haskins was captured on the sideline asking his offensive lineman how he could help them. The rookie was sacked six times, with a few due to miscommunications involving protection between the QB and his O-Line. On the defensive side of the ball, the secondary has been due for multiple coverage breakdowns every week

So, how does that change happen now? For Guice, it starts at the top.

"Leaders have to step up, man. We got captains, the captains have to step up," Guice said. "Even if that's stopping practice, stopping a period saying, 'Hey, we have to pick it up.' Or the leaders stepping up whenever we have an offsides or false start. It all starts in practice and it's going to [translate] to the game. You can't do something wrong all week in practice and expect it to change when the game comes. It just doesn't work like that."

Guice seems determined to turn the ship around. Multiple Redskins teammates have praised Haskins for his drive to be better. Now, Washington must put the pieces together on the field, eliminate the mental mistakes, and let everything else work itself out.

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