Washington Football

Quick Links

Redskins rookie minicamp observations: Notes on Haskins, McLaurin, undrafted guys and more

Redskins rookie minicamp observations: Notes on Haskins, McLaurin, undrafted guys and more

ASHBURN — Football has returned! Sort of.

Saturday marked the second day of Redskins rookie minicamp and the first day in which the media could watch the action in person. And while there were plenty of guys inside of the Redskins' practice bubble whose NFL careers will be over after this weekend, there was also plenty of hype surrounding Dwayne Haskins, Montez Sweat and the rest of Washington's 2019 draft class.

Here are the key takeaways from all that went down...

  • The first song blasting over the speakers at practice? "Old Town Road." Strong start for the Burgundy and Gold in that department.
  • Haskins, of course, was the main story. There'll be more detailed breakdowns of his performance to come, but if you want one word to describe it right now, it'd be "uneven." Now, that's to be expected: It was only his second session with the 'Skins and he was throwing to targets he has barely worked with, many of whom weren't exactly polished. But there were times Saturday where he made some throws that were fantastic, and others where he forced the issue or clearly wasn't on the same page. 
  • Here's one thing about the 15th overall pick, though: You will rarely hear about him not having enough arm for a throw. When he's able to set up and drive it, he drives it.
  • Haskins' best highlight might've come early in 1-on-1 drills, where he lofted a high 30-ish yarder to Terry McLaurin for a score. McLaurin had broken free on a go-route and Haskins really couldn't have delivered it any better. 
  • Speaking of McLaurin, you could've taken the numbers off of every wideout and still easily guessed he was the one who played college ball with Haskins. They were cooking in 1-on-1s.
  • Another tidbit on the Ohio State WR: In talking with him, you can really tell the pride he takes in doing things other than catching the ball. That's his reputation, and you understand why. "Anytime you step on the field, you should do everything that's expected you to the best of your ability," he said. "That's how you respect the game... I'm the type of guy who's willing to do anything for the team."
  • Haskins wasn't the only 2019 first-rounder on the field Saturday. Montez Sweat was there, too, and it looked like he didn't belong — in a good way. He looked like a five-year NFL vet just because of how large and athletic he is. Afterward, Jay Gruden remarked about how Sweat "eats up ground" when he runs and said he sees him as one of the team's fastest players already.
  • Rob Ryan was coaching up the linebackers. He's awesome. That's all.
  • Gruden spoke highly of many youngsters while at the podium, including Kelvin Harmon. The head coach compared Harmon to Mohamed Sanu, whom he coached while with the Bengals, and thinks he can work inside at some point in addition to his duties as the Z on the outside. 
  • Harmon met with reporters walking off the field and got the chance to reflect on the NFL.com draft profile that said he plays with a "big-dog swagger." He agrees with the evaluation. "It comes from my competitive nature," he explained. "I'm always trying to bully the guy in front of me, whether I have to block him or win the route... Always trying to win every 1-on-1 battle." That's a good quote.
  • There were a few non-rookies in Ashburn participating as well. Josh Woodrum was the other QB along with Haskins, while Darvin Kidsy and JP Holtz were working with the offense, too.
  • Not only was it the first time seeing this collection of players, it was also the first opportunity to see some of the new coaches on staff. With Ryan and Ray Horton now also in the mix, everywhere you looked, you saw an assistant with tons of NFL experience and knowledge. It'll be an interesting dynamic to follow all year and will make training camp worth listening to as much as it'll be worth watching. 
  • This time of year is always where one or two out-of-nowhere prospects make a name for himself. Could that guy this year be Steven Sims? The Kansas receiver popped a few times both in team and individual action and Gruden mentioned him by name in his presser. Last season, Gruden mentioned a different Sims, Cam, as well as Danny Johnson after minicamp and both of those players eventually made the 53-man roster. Not saying this Sims is a lock, but just file that away.
  • Lastly, the Redskins have already inked one tryout player, per our Ben Standig. Deion Harris, a North Dakota corner, did enough to secure a spot on the offseason roster. An Achilles injury caused him to go undrafted, but at one point, draft guru Mel Kiper was very high on him.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

Quick Links

Enjoy a closer look at the new Washington Football Team helmets

Enjoy a closer look at the new Washington Football Team helmets

As NFL teams prepare for the truncated preseason, the Washington Football Team's equipment managers are preparing for an entirely new look. The team already unveiled its new-look uniforms and helmets, and it shared a closeup look for fans on Instagram Wednesday night.

View this post on Instagram

‪Helmets are ready for tomorrow!!‬

A post shared by Washington Equipment (@washington_eq) on

The helmets have been a major hit among fans online since being revealed, so any time they can get up close and personal, they'll be happy.

RELATED: NFL UNVEILS NEW OAKLEY MOUTH SHIELD TO MITIGATE CORONAVIRUS SPREAD

As the opener grows nearer, fans will continue to be excited for any glimpse of the new uniforms, helmets and players ahead of the 2020 season. As long as the uniforms look this great, we'll take any more videos from the equipment team, please and thank you.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TALK PODCAST

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

MORE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM NEWS:

Quick Links

DeAngelo Hall explains why he's so excited to join Washington's radio broadcast booth

DeAngelo Hall explains why he's so excited to join Washington's radio broadcast booth

The Washington Football Team announced its revamped radio broadcast crew on Tuesday, and longtime Burgundy and Gold defensive back DeAngelo Hall was named as one of the new additions to the booth.

Hall will provide color commentary alongside play-by-play analyst Bram Weinstein. Julie Donaldson, who recently took over as Washington's Senior VP of Media and Content, will serve as host and anchor. 

In an interview with Donaldson on Wednesday, Hall shared his excitement to return to Washington in a different role, with the same team he spent over a decade playing for.

"It was just so much that I felt like was unfinished with Washington," Hall said. "I wanted to bring championships to the city, wanted to win so many more games, wanted to cement my legacy as a member of this organization."

Hall spent parts of 10 seasons with Washington, suiting up for a total of 106 games for the club. The cornerback-turned-safety was a team captain for multiple seasons during his time in D.C. and seen as one of the main leaders on the squad.

As Hall mentioned, during his tenure in D.C., the team left the field on the losing end a lot more times than they were victorious. In the near-decade that Hall played for the Burgundy and Gold, Washington made the playoffs just twice, losing both times in the Wild Card round.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TALK PODCAST

Despite multiple losing seasons as of late, the team is ushering in a new era, one that fans have plenty to be excited about. Well-respected head coach Ron Rivera is now in charge, and the team has no shortage of young talent. Now, they have a new broadcast team to help begin a new era of Washington football following the plethora of organizational changes that have occurred this offseason.

The team's new radio broadcast trio replaces the long-time voice of the team, Larry Michael, as well as analysts Chris Cooley and Rick "Doc" Walker. Michael resigned last month amid allegations in a Washington Post story of inappropriate behavior

Cooley joined the booth as an analyst in 2013, replacing former Washington linebacker Sam Huff. Cooley worked alongside Michael and Sonny Jurgensen, who served as part of the radio broadcast before retiring last August.

Hall knows he has big shoes to fill, and he's ready to do just that.

"Having played all those years there, listening to Sonny [Jurgenson] and Sam [Huff], to pick up that mantle, to me, that's just as big of an honor as playing for the Washington Football Team," Hall said. "Those guys did such a great job for so many years. I just hope I can do half as good of a job as those two guys."

Since retiring following the 2016 season, Hall has spent time as an analyst for NFL Network and NBC Sports Washington.

"I'm super pumped. Super honored," Hall said. "I'm ready to work...I just can't even put into words, I'm so excited."

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

MORE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM NEWS: