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Peyton Manning's rookie year shows why Redskins should be patient with Dwayne Haskins, one former GM says

Peyton Manning's rookie year shows why Redskins should be patient with Dwayne Haskins, one former GM says

As the Redskins set to begin a new era of Washington football, Dwayne Haskins' development in Year 2 as a full-time starter will likely dictate where the team goes in the short term. 

Based on his production last season, it's hard to pinpoint who Washington fans should expect under center. The player who completed 54% of his passes for an average of 165.3 yards per game and got sacked 18 times over his first four starts, or the guy who completed over 67% of his passes for five touchdowns and just one interception over his last three games.

If you ask longtime executive and Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian, inconsistency isn't new for young quarterbacks. With Haskins entering his second season in the NFL having to learn a new offense under Scott Turner after just one year of starting experience in college, Polian acknowledged the young signal-caller needs to be afforded some time. 

"Dwayne Haskins is essentially a work in progress," Polian said on The Sports Junkies Monday. "You've got to give him a chance to get his feet wet and feel comfortable in the offense -- he's going to be learning a new offense -- but he has the tools and the thing that's nice about him is that he can do it with his feet and he can do it with his arm. And he seems to me to have the kind of poise and approach to things that you need in a quarterback."

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Polian has one of the colder takes of recent memory after suggesting Lamar Jackson should move to wide receiver, but make no mistake, he's an all-time great general manager. He helped build the Bills teams that made it to four straight Super Bowls and began an incredible run with the Colts by drafting Peyton Manning, who didn't exactly start his career off on the right foot. 

"It's going to come slowly, it does for every quarterback," he said. "Peyton [Manning] had an awful rookie year, but the arrow was up when [his career] was over. He learned a lot from the experience. I think Dwayne has already learned a lot and he'll be a lot better this year, but it'll take him time to learn a new system."

As a rookie, Manning threw a league-high 28 interceptions and only managed to lead the Colts to a 3-13 record. Indianapolis stuck with their guy, and he turned into one of the all-time greats. 

This doesn't mean Haskins is going to become the next Peyton Manning or that's where the expectation should be. But players like Manning, Drew Brees and Troy Aikman serve as an example for quarterbacks that bounced back from underwhelming rookie seasons.

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Mike Florio: Ron Rivera was pressured to ‘champion’ Washington name change

Mike Florio: Ron Rivera was pressured to ‘champion’ Washington name change

When Dan Snyder introduced Ron Rivera as Washington’s new head coach in January, he promised that there would be a new structure of hierarchy within the organization. No longer would a general manager, team president or even Snyder himself wield the most power. Instead, the team would conform to a coach-centric approach with Rivera at the helm.

Six months in, the team still has yet to play a football game. But Rivera’s presence has still been felt, with no indication stronger than Monday’s announcement that not only is the team retiring the name Redskins but the effort to come up with a new one will be led by none other than Snyder and Rivera.

For an organization that’s been around since 1932, the sudden transfer of power for a decision that will have a lasting impact for decades—if not more—to a head coach who hasn’t even held a training camp with the team is at the very least unusual.

RELATED: HOW RON RIVERA QUICKLY MOVED ON AFTER PANTHERS’ FIRING TO COACH WASHINGTON

ProFootballTalk analyst Mike Florio sat down with NBC Sports Washington’s Redskins Talk podcast crew after the team’s announcement Monday and indicated that this was a move Rivera has been pushed to get involved in since he started in D.C.

“Before the critical mass was reached, I know that there were people from outside the organization who were directly trying to convince Coach Rivera that this name change needed to happen and he needed to be the one to champion it,” Florio said. “I think he was hesitant. Now, he became less hesitant once the walls started to close in from a sponsorship standpoint.

“But when I saw in the statement that Daniel Snyder and Ron Rivera were the ones coming up with the new name, my reaction was—I didn’t realize Ron Rivera was an expert in branding sports teams. I thought he was an expert in coaching sports teams. It really puts him in an awkward spot.”

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Prior to joining Washington, Rivera spent nine years as the head coach of the Carolina Panthers. He made four playoff appearances including a run to Super Bowl 50 but was fired midway through last season after the Panthers went 12-16 over the previous two years.

Though Florio was questioning Rivera’s position rather than the coach himself, he said in the interview that will be included in an upcoming episode of the Redskins Talk podcast he hopes Snyder and Rivera still consult experts when weighing options for the team’s name.

“I just don’t think that the owner of the team and the coach of the team should be at the center of it and I hope that they do have a broader base of expertise that they’re relying upon to come up with a name that will be sustainable,” Florio said.

Regardless of who has the final say, Florio emphasized that the organization has significant weight on its shoulders to pick a name that gets fans excited about the team after years of mediocrity.

“Look, this is a moment to inspire the fanbase,” Florio said. “This is a moment to re-energize the franchise. If you pick the right name here, that’s the thing that can…maybe lay the foundation for the kind of excitement that makes fans feel good about the team again.

“They need something like this to get the fans excited, to get the team to a point where it feels like it’s relevant again in the NFL because that’s one of the truths of the last 20 years. This team has not been relevant very often on Dan Snyder’s watch.”

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D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser doesn't seem too moved by Washington's latest name change announcement

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser doesn't seem too moved by Washington's latest name change announcement

In a press conference on Monday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser reiterated her interest in having Washington's football team move into the nation's capital but didn't seem especially inspired by their earlier announcement that the "Redskins" name and logo will soon be fully retired.

In taking a question about how an impending name change could affect the franchise's chances of securing the RFK site, Bowser stuck to her long-held talking points.

"We want to change the name and change the location," she said. "You've heard me say that a number of times, that the Washington football team should be playing in Washington."

RELATED: ESPN'S MAX KELLERMAN CALLS WASHINGTON'S NAME CHANGE STATEMENT 'GARBAGE'

Bowser has been courting the Burgundy and Gold to that RFK site for quite some time, but recently, she, as JP Finlay wrote last week, has "stopped playing as nice." 

"I would hardly say the name is the only issue," the mayor explained last Monday.

Moving back to where RFK sits and constructing a new venue on that spot would be an incredible coup for the organization and Dan Snyder, and it's one that could feel more important to them now more than ever.

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Many fans will take the choice to move away from the previous name and view it as disrespectful toward Washington's football history. Well, landing back on East Capitol Street would be one way to reinvolve that history. 

Bowser didn't seem too concerned with touching on that on Monday, though. Instead, she opted to simply focus on what the city itself would look for in a revitalization of RFK.

"Priorities for the District, of course, would continue to be how we could have a mix of uses that highlighted our beautiful river, that invested in our need for housing and park space, and entertainment options, which is the current designated use of the land," Bowser said.

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