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Redskins interest in Mike Tomlin is real, per sources, but availability a major question

Redskins interest in Mike Tomlin is real, per sources, but availability a major question

MIAMI -- The Redskins want to hire Mike Tomlin. That much is real, according to numerous sources with knowledge of the situation. Whether or not the organization can get Tomlin away from Pittsburgh is a very different question. 

While Tomlin has been the Steelers head coach since 2007, Washington finds itself in the market for a new head coach after firing Jay Gruden last week. The team named Bill Callahan as interim head coach but he's been very clear that he is not auditioning for the job long-term. Internally there is some thought offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell could vie for the top job next season, but he would need to show a lot in the remaining 11 games this year. 

Besides, in previous situations where the Redskins need to make a big hire, team owner Dan Snyder usually swings for the fences. When the team bottomed out with Steve Spurrier in 2003, Snyder went and brought Joe Gibbs back as head coach in 2004. When the team again bottomed out with Jim Zorn in 2009, Snyder went and brought two-time Super Bowl winner Mike Shanahan in 2010.

The team is again bottoming out, firing Gruden and starting the year 0-5. Now is the time for a big hire. 

So the team wants Tomlin, a Super Bowl winner in Pittsburgh, and CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports that Washington would be willing to trade draft picks to acquire the Steelers head coach. The team could also trade players as compensation for Tomlin, something to consider as standout left tackle Trent Williams has not reported to the Redskins all year and wants off the team. 

Washington doesn't have a second-round pick in 2020, but beyond that, the team has all their picks in the near future. Trading picks for a coach might not be prudent, but Tomlin would give the organization real credibility. 

There are lots of ties in the potential situation. Tomlin coached defensive backs in Tampa from 2001 to 2005. Doug Williams and Bruce Allen were with the Bucs then, and ironically, so was Jay Gruden. Tomlin's son plays football at the University of Maryland, and the coach grew up in Virginia and played college football at William & Mary. 

One other thing that might go unnoticed: Don't sleep on Danny Smith's role in all of this. Smith coached the Redskins special teams from 2004 to 2012 and has strong relationships with many people inside the team's Ashburn offices. Should Tomlin really consider Washington, Smith can give him an honest assessment of the challenges that come with coaching the Redskins. And there are definitely challenges. 

Whatever coach takes over in Washington will inherit a roster at a crossroads.

There is some young talent, especially on the defensive line, as well as wide receiver Terry McLaurin. Elsewhere on the roster, however, there are aging veterans with big contracts. The offensive line likely needs a reboot, especially with the Williams situation. Donald Penn has been fairly good but he's 36. They need new linebackers and probably tight ends too. Jordan Reed might never play again and Vernon Davis is 35. 

Big picture though it's all about Dwayne Haskins. The team drafted the quarterback with the 15th overall pick this year, but in limited action so far, he's looked rough. There are lots of reports that he's not ready for game action, but there are other rookie quarterbacks starting across the NFL. 

Developing Haskins is priority number one for the organization. Tomlin is a defensive guy, but he's a leader above it all. Could those two work together? Maybe. 

One thing seems certain: Tomlin could handle the drama that follows the Redskins.

In Pittsburgh, Tomlin had to handle many years of Antonio Brown's antics as well as the contract holdout of LeVeon Bell. Working with Ben Roethlisberger doesn't seem like a picnic either. 

The biggest hurdle in all of this is the incredible stability of the Steelers organization. Tomlin has been there over a decade and won a Super Bowl. Before that, Bill Cowher coached for more than a decade and won a Super Bowl. Before that, Chuck Noll was there for two decades and won four Super Bowls. In the past 50 years, the Steelers have had just three coaches. They don't fire guys, they don't make rash decisions, and plenty think there is no way they would trade their head coach. 

Tomlin would be leaving the most stable organization in the NFL and coming to one of the most volatile. The hope would be Tomlin brings that stability with him, but not everything travels. 

There will be other candidates for the Redskins coaching vacancy. The team brought in Todd Bowles last offseason and he will be a fan favorite. Bowles played for the organization and won a Super Bowl with the team in 1987. He will also have the support of former coach and team icon Joe Gibbs. 

Mike McCarthy's name has been mentioned. He's another coach with a Super Bowl ring, but he won't bring the same gushing attention that Tomlin would. There will be other names that emerge too. 

Tomlin is at the top of the list though. It makes sense why, as he's won 65 percent of his games a head coach. He's won in the playoffs and he's won at the highest levels. 

Can Tomlin bring sustainable winning to Washington? That's been elusive, or some might even say impossible. Will he even get to Washington? Nobody knows that either, and the Steelers track record suggest he won't. 


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Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins' workouts are taking place at his parents' house

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins' workouts are taking place at his parents' house

With the coronavirus pandemic putting a wrench in the NFL offseason and keeping team activities on hold, players have had to get creative with their workouts. 

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is among that population. Despite being a starter in the NFL and making millions of dollars, the former Redskin is now staying in shape in a very ordinary way: workouts at his parents' house.

In a story by ESPN, Cousins explained that his family relocated to his parents' house in Orlando, Florida with the league still waiting to resume. The move has been beneficial as it allows Cousins' and his wife, Julie, to have an easier time caring for their two young children. However, living in his parents' house has made it challenging to train the way an NFL quarterback needs to.

Cousins told ESPN that he's traded in a standard gym with machines and large amounts of equipment for his parents' driveway and backyard. He still has everything he needs to get sessions done, including WiFi to video chat with his trainer, but the setting is an interesting one.

Out on the driveway, the quarterback never knows who may pass by on a daily basis.

"I like my privacy, so being out in the driveway, on display for the whole neighborhood to see is probably less than ideal," Cousins told ESPN. "But desperate times call for desperate measures."

"[Every car will] see me doing my shuffles across the driveway, or my cariocas, or doing the jump-rope or different plank exercises, core work, medicine ball, lunges -- whatever it may be," he added. "And different people honk or wave, so it's kind of fun."


Honks and even the occasional "Go Pack, go!" at Cousins in the middle of his workout bring a smile to his face as he navigates the new situation. Cousins may have been a Pro Bowler in 2019, but the current situation of the world has him and many other athletes heading back to their humble beginnings. If he finds success on the field in 2020, his parents' driveway and front yard will be part of the equation. 

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Adrian Peterson has his sights on passing Barry Sanders for 4th in all-time rushing

Adrian Peterson has his sights on passing Barry Sanders for 4th in all-time rushing

Adrian Peterson could go down as one of the NFL's all-time greats without ever having to play another snap in the NFL.

But as the running back gears up for his 14th NFL season and his third with the Redskins, he has one specific goal in mind.

"Passing Barry Sanders would definitely be one of the highlights of my career," Peterson said on NFL Network, via ProFootballTalk. "What he accomplished, and how I’ve looked up to him, I’ve always wanted to say I did something better than Barry Sanders."

What the 35-year-old running back is referring to is passing Sanders on the all-time career rushing yards list. Peterson, who has amassed over 14,000 rushing yards in his career, currently trails the Lions great by 1,054 yards.

As it stands now, Peterson is fifth all-time in career rushing yards, trailing only Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton and Frank Gore.


Moving past Sanders in 2020 might be a tough ask, as Peterson has not topped 1,054 yards in a single-season since 2015, where he rushed for a league-best 1,485 yards with the Vikings. The running back came close to topping that mark in 2018, when he finished with 1,042 yards in his first season in Washington.

Peterson has been the lead back for Washington the past two seasons, starting 31 of a possible 32 games for the team. But with a new regime in place in 2020 and a crowded backfield, it's unlikely that Peterson will turn in a third-straight 200-carry season.

Last season, Peterson went on record to say his goal is still to break Smith's all-time rushing yards record. Peterson currently sits just over 4,000 yards behind the Cowboys legend.

"Yeah, why not?" Peterson said. "I'm still playing the game at a high level, and I feel like I can continue to play for a long period of time. So why not keep my bar at reaching 18 [thousand yards] and surpassing Emmitt Smith?"

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