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One thing that will really help Ron Rivera right the Redskins? Time

One thing that will really help Ron Rivera right the Redskins? Time

The 2019 campaign was a disastrous one for the Redskins, but there's more optimism surrounding the organization now than there has been in years.

Almost all of that optimism has to do with the changes the franchise has made this offseason, with the hiring of head coach Ron Rivera being the biggest addition.

Since the well-respected head coach has arrived in Ashburn, it's been nearly impossible to hear a bad thing about him. During Zoom conference calls this week, both coordinators Scott Turner and Nate Kaczor have raved about the head coach. Rivera has preached accountability since taking over, a trait that has been absent from Washington for a long time.

In a recent interview with the Redskins Talk podcast, NFL Network analyst Dan Hellie was asked his opinion on the addition of Rivera. Hellie explained he may not have initially been as high on the hire as others, but he believes it was a smart move for the franchise.

"I like the hiring of Ron Rivera," Hellie said. "At the time, I didn't feel like it was that splash, home run hire that [Redskins owner Dan] Snyder has tried to go for in the past. It was kind of like a solid double; you're in scoring position now."


Hellie has been impressed with the changes Rivera has made during his first few months on the job. But as he explained to Redskins Talk, he believes the organization must be patient with Rivera as the head coach attempts to turn around the culture in Redskins Park.

"[Rivera is] preaching all the right things. He's preaching character, family, responsibility, building for the long haul," Hellie said. "I hope he's given the opportunity to do that. I think the most important thing for the Redskins right now is having one voice. There's not going to be that infighting that there was when Bruce [Allen] was there. I believe the hiring of Ron Rivera is going to enable them to get better as an organization over the long haul."

During Rivera's introductory press conference, the head coach explained it wouldn't be a quick fix. Building a winning culture takes time, and the new head coach knows that.

Hellie explained that hiring Rivera was a big step in the right direction, but his arrival doesn't mean they'll necessarily be a good football team right away.

"I love the direction they are headed right now, I just wouldn't expect them to be better in a hurry," he said.

His reasoning makes sense, too. The Redskins are coming off a 3-13 season, and making a complete turnaround from that requires a lot more than just a coaching change.

Hellie also doesn't believe the Redskins will turn things around right away under Rivera's leadership because Hellie has a lack of faith in Dwayne Haskins. The analyst expressed that he doesn't feel that he saw enough from Haskins as a rookie that showed the passer can truly be great.

"I'm not completely sold on Haskins," he said. "I think he has the tools, but we've seen a lot of the guys that had the tools in a Redskins uniform that weren't able to produce. I hope I'm wrong. I hope he's great. I just haven't seen greatness from Haskins on the NFL level."

Hellie admitted that Haskins' sample size as a rookie -- seven starts and nine total appearances -- was not big enough for him to truly judge the passer. Additionally, he questioned the Redskins decision of not throwing Haskins into the fray right away, unlike his draft class counterparts in Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones and even Gardner Minshew.

Haskins had his growing pains as a rookie, but the quarterback finished the 2019 season playing his best football. Over his final two starts, Haskins threw for nearly 400 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions while completing 72 percent of his passes. He's made major changes to his body this offseason and been grinding in the classroom, earning praise from his new offensive coordinator in Turner.

Besides his lack of faith around Haskins, Hellie believes the odd circumstances of the 2020 offseason due to the coronavirus pandemic is another thing that will hurt every team come this fall, but will especially impact a young roster like Washington's.

The Redskins have added several new pieces and have a completely new playbook. For the players, learning an entirely new system is already a hard enough task within itself, but attempting to learn it via video chats is even harder.

"You add all these new pieces and you're having virtual OTAs," Hellie said. "It's going to be very difficult for young teams to improve quickly given the trials and tribulations during this offseason that we have never seen before."

So, when you put all these factors together, Hellie explains the 2020 season might be another tough one for Washington. But as he emphasized throughout the entire interview, the franchise is taking the right steps to be much better in the long run.

"I think the Redskins have nowhere to go but up," he said.

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Redskins fan and 76ers forward Mike Scott 'all for' a name and owner change in Washington

Redskins fan and 76ers forward Mike Scott 'all for' a name and owner change in Washington

The last seven months have marked a significant period of transition for the Washington Redskins. 

Since the end of the 2019 season, Washington has moved on from Bruce Allen, hired Ron Rivera, drafted Chase Young second overall and are seemingly headed for a long-awaited name change. 

Some fans are happy about all the change, while others are reluctant to welcome the franchise's new era. Former Wizards forward and noted Redskins fan Mike Scott identifies with the former. 

“They’ve been trying to change the name,” Scott said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey. “So I’m all for that, change it."


Scott's favorite new name suggestion is the "Red Tails," after the Tuskeegee airmen, an all-Black fighter-pilot division who fought for the United States in World War II. However, a name change isn't all he'd like to see. 

“If they want to change the name, I’m with that. Change the owner, too,” he said.


Three of Washington's minority owners are reportedly trying to sell their collective 40-percent stake in the team due to being unhappy with team owner Dan Snyder. Since those reports surfaced, pundits like Michael Wilbon have said they wouldn't be surprised if Snyder sold the team, especially if he's unwilling to change the name. 

Also, Mike Florio said on Monday that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos would be "the first name that pops up" in Washington's seemingly fluid ownership situation. 

Snyder's desire to sell his 60-percent stake is unknown, as his true desire to move away from his team's controversial name. Either way, a theme of change remains in and around Washington's football team and its fans. 

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


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Colin Kaepernick reaches production deal with Disney, will be featured in ESPN documentary series

Colin Kaepernick reaches production deal with Disney, will be featured in ESPN documentary series

Colin Kaepernick will be featured in a documentary series produced by ESPN Films as part of a first-look deal with The Walt Disney Co.

The deal between Kaepernick's production arm, Ra Vision Media, and The Walt Disney Co. was announced Monday. The partnership will focus on telling scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice and the quest for equity. It also will provide a platform to showcase the work of directors and producers of color.

"I am excited to announce this historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers, and producers, and to inspire the youth with compelling and authentic perspectives," Kaepernick said in a statement. "I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing."

Despite being exiled from the NFL since the 2016 season when he took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality, Kaepernick still wants to play.


A person close to the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback told The Associated Press that Kaepernick is in excellent shape and ready to play but hasn't received any calls.

Following the nationwide protests in the aftermath of George Floyd's death, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized to players for not listening to them earlier, encouraged them to protest peacefully and denounced racism.

Kaepernick, who became the face of a Nike campaign in 2018, will work closely with The Undefeated, which is expanding its portfolio across Disney, to develop stories from the perspective of communities of color.

His deal with The Walt Disney Co. will extend across all Disney platforms, including Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar and The Undefeated.

"During this unprecedented time, The Walt Disney Co. remains committed to creating diverse and inclusive content that resonates and matters," said Bob Iger, Disney's executive chairman. "Colin's experience gives him a unique perspective on the intersection of sports, culture and race, which will undoubtedly create compelling stories that will educate, enlighten and entertain, and we look forward to working with him on this important collaboration."

The docuseries chronicling Kaepernick's journey and his last five years is the first project in development.

"Developing exceptional storytelling told through a wide array of voices is at the core of who we are at ESPN," ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said. "Colin has had a singular path as both an athlete and an activist, and, as the nation continues to confront racism and social injustice, it feels particularly relevant to hear Colin's voice on his evolution and motivations."