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Redskins Stock Report: Rookies Cole Holcomb, Montez Sweat moving in opposite directions

Redskins Stock Report: Rookies Cole Holcomb, Montez Sweat moving in opposite directions

The Redskins sit at 0-2 through two games and look lost defensively. It might not help that Washington played arguably the two best teams in the NFC in the first two weeks of the season, but the schedule is what the schedule is. 

While overall the team is underperforming, a few players have stood out. 

Stock up:

  1. Terry McLaurin - The brightest spot for Redskins fans in an otherwise tough start to 2019. Through two games McLaurin has 10 catches for 187 yards and two touchdowns, and he's on a pace to smash the past few years most productive wideouts in Washington uniforms. The third-round pick from Ohio State has speed and physicality, a rare combination, and seems like the real deal going forward. 

  2. Cole Holcomb - Another rookie, Holcomb seized a starting spot in the middle of the Redskins defense and has delivered. He's got 14 tackles in two games and uses his speed and instincts to often be in good position to blow up plays. The former Tar Heel leads the Redskins with three tackles for loss. 

  3. Tress Way - Fans might not want to see the punter on the stock report, but here we are. In a loss to the Cowboys last Sunday, Way moved into the all-time top spot in Redskins history for punts inside the 20. With his ability to drop punts near the opposition's goal line, Way is a real weapon for Washington when they try to play field position football. 
     

That's the good news. There is more bad news.

Stock down:

  1. Brandon Scherff - The Pro Bowl right guard seems oddly out of rhythm so far this season, and two holding calls against the Cowboys are the biggest example. Scherff's partner on the right side Morgan Moses hasn't played great either. In fact, in a surprising turn of events, the Redskins left side of the line in Donald Penn and Ereck Flowers is outperforming the much higher paid right side. Expect Scherff to turn it around, and maybe the entire Redskins offensive line can figure out a way to stop getting hold calls. 
     
  2. Josh Norman - Let's be clear that the deep touchdowns over Josh Norman the past two weeks have not been completely his fault. There should be safety help in the middle of the field, and that's just not happening. Against Dallas, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was more to blame for Devin Smith's TD than Norman. But still, Norman makes a lot of money to be a shutdown cornerback, and the Redskins defense could really use that level of performance. It hasn't happened so far. 
     
  3. Montez Sweat - The Redskins first-round rookie has been very quiet through two games. Sweat has logged nine tackles and two tackles for loss so far, but no sacks, and really not much disruption. Washington traded back into the first round to grab Sweat with hopes of him bringing his size and speed to attack opposing QBs. There's been very little attack. 

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Kurt Warner offers his support to Dwayne Haskins: 'I didn't start my first game until 28'

Kurt Warner offers his support to Dwayne Haskins: 'I didn't start my first game until 28'

Despite being the 15th overall pick, Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins is yet to start a game this season. According to Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner that's nothing to worry about. 

The conversation between Warner and Haskins started after the rookie passer tweeted out that the chip on his shoulder is "staying there." What that means specifically is up for debate, but Warner wanted to offer the former Ohio State star some encrouagement. 

Warner's story is practically unparalled in the NFL. Undrafted out of Northern Iowa in 1994, Warner didn't make it to the NFL until 1998. He had stops in NFL Europe as well as the Arena League, but once he caught on with the St. Louis Rams, he stuck around. He was the backup in 1998, but when Trent Green went down in 1999, Warner erupted onto the scene. The Rams won the Super Bowl and Warner won the NFL MVP. He threw 41 touchdowns, and eventually, rounded out a Hall of Fame Career between the Rams, Giants and Cardinals. 

So for Warner, the adveristy that Haskins is going through seems minimal. 

For Haskins, however, it might seem like a lot. He's played about a half of football in six games, and it didn't go well on the field. He threw three interceptions against the Giants. Off the field there have been reports about his readiness as well as his relationship with Jay Gruden, the former Redskins head coach that was fired after Week 5. 

Things seem to be back on the upswing for Haskins though. Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan spoke highly of the rookie after Wednesday's practice in which the rookie got all the first-team work while veteran Case Keenum got a rest day. 

"His growth is starting to show in practice and also in his preparation. He’s in earlier, he’s out later, so it’s all coming to fruition," Callahan said of Haskins. "It’s going to take a little time, but it’s good to see him take a major step today in practice."

Whatever happens next for Haskins it sounds like he can lean on Warner for advice. 

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The Redskins finally have a fullback again, and he's ready to pave the way in the run game

The Redskins finally have a fullback again, and he's ready to pave the way in the run game

For the first time since Darrel Young was contributing in the backfield from 2010-2015, the Redskins have a legitimate fullback on their active roster.

Michael Burton got the call from Washington on Sunday night in which they said they were interested in adding him, caught a flight on Monday, worked out for the team on Tuesday and, after signing his contract, took the field for his first practice on Wednesday. He's been a busy man lately, but in a conversation following that Wednesday practice, he used the word "excited" a handful of times to describe his current mood.

He should be feeling that way, too.

Burton's arrival is yet another commitment to running the football by interim coach Bill Callahan. The Redskins have been using Ryan Anderson in a pinch in short-yardage and goal-to-go situations as a lead blocker, but now, they have someone who's played the position in the NFL for multiple seasons. 

Under Callahan, Burton could very well have a role. 

"I think it can give the defense different looks," Burton said of fullbacks. "I think they can do a lot of different things, whether you start us out wide and you bring us in, that can kind of be a tell to what the defense is doing. It just adds another blocker from the backfield. It makes it a little more difficult for the linebackers to fit. We can create more creases. Obviously, I'm a big fullback fan."

Jay Gruden often spoke about how he'd like to keep one on his final rosters, yet he never found room in recent seasons. But when backup tight end Jerome Cunningham was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, Burton was chosen to take his place.

Of course, a huge chunk of the league continues to emphasize the spread and speedy skill-players and attacking defenses in the air. 6-foot, 240-pounders aren't exactly in high-demand.

That is precisely why Burton feels like he can be a sneaky asset for the Redskins.

"They don't see it in practice all the time," he explained. "When you play that team that hasn't seen it, it's difficult to prepare for that in a week... I think it just adds another element to the offense."

Now, it remains to be seen whether Burton is long for the Burgundy and Gold. These kinds of mid-season acquisitions are often gone before their lockers are fully set up. 

However, with Callahan in charge and Adrian Peterson being a featured piece again, perhaps Burton can become effective and beloved like Young and Mike Sellers were for the organization. He's not worried about that, though. He's instead focused on much simpler goals.

"If Coach Callahan wants to get the run game going, I take pride in that," he said. "I'm going to put that on my shoulders every single day to make sure we have a successful run game."

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