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Sean McVay says Kevin O'Connell has a 'mastery' of QB position

Sean McVay says Kevin O'Connell has a 'mastery' of QB position

Kevin O'Connell, who served as Washington's offensive coordinator a year ago, was one of the many members of the Redskins staff in 2019 that was not retained under the new regime of Ron Rivera.

Rivera considered keeping the 34-year-old as his offensive coordinator but ultimately hired former Panthers' OC Scott Turner to fill the position. Days later, O'Connell was hired by the Los Angeles Rams and Sean McVay, who served as the Burgundy and Gold's offensive coordinator prior to being hired as the Rams head coach in 2017.

On Wednesday, the Rams formally introduced O'Connell, along with three other staff hires. McVay, who did not hire an offensive coordinator the past two seasons, spoke glowingly of O'Connell.

"I’ve always watched him from afar," McVay said. "I’m a fan of coaching, I’ve been really impressed with from when he was a player and the seamless transition that he’s made into coaching – his mastery of the position. Just the charisma, the presence, all those things were things that excited you about getting an opportunity to work together."

Although the two never crossed paths in Washington (O'Connell joined the Redskins staff just days after McVay left for LA), the two have known each other for quite some time. McVay said that once they met, they immediately clicked, and have a lot of "similar connections."

McVay raved about O'Connell's ability to communicate with his players, and believes the addition of the offensive coordinator will be an enormous help for quarterback Jared Goff. 

"His ability to communicate, his big picture, I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for [QB] Jared [Goff] to work with someone like him, because of some of the things that he’s done, that maybe I haven’t gotten exposed to," McVay said.

Despite the Redskins' offensive struggles a season ago, the 34-year-old was strongly considered for the same role under Rivera. O'Connell was given full play-calling reigns following the departure of Jay Gruden in Week 5, and showed growth in the role throughout the season.

Many believed he would have the chance to remain in Washington and grow as a coordinator alongside young quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Now, O'Connell will be tasked with getting Goff to return to his 2018 form, when he led the Rams to the Super Bowl.

McVay is considered one of the young, bright offensive minds in the sport. His immediate success as a young head coach sparked a trend in the NFL, paving the way for guys like Matt LaFleur, Zac Taylor, Kliff Kingsbury and Joe Judge to all earn head coaching jobs before their 40th birthday.

Despite the great reputation McVay has in the sport, he expressed his desire to learn from O'Connell.

"I’m really excited about learning from him, working together and us positively pushing each other, to ultimately figure out what’s the best version of the 2020 Rams offense and how does that look as we continue to try to put that together with our players in mind," McVay said.

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Free agent safety Damarious Randall is openly talking to Landon Collins about joining the Redskins

Free agent safety Damarious Randall is openly talking to Landon Collins about joining the Redskins

With Coronavirus forcing most Americans to stay home, it looks like NFL players might be just as stir crazy as the rest of the country. 

On Friday night, free agent safety Damarious Randall reached out to Redskins safety Landon Collins about possibly joining up this fall and playing together. Of course, this conversation took place via Twitter.

Randall started things out with this tweet to Collins, aka @TheHumble_21.

Collins responded, at which point some segments of Washington fans probably lost their mind. 

Check the Twitter feeds of both players for more similar, yet quite vague, interaction about playing together. 

It's important to point out that some reports suggested the Redskins had interest in Randall as a free agent. A first-round pick in 2015, Randall played three seasons for the Packers before being traded to the Browns the last two years. He's been versatile throughout his career, playing all over the field as a cornerback and then as a safety in Cleveland. Randall also has ballhawking skills with 14 career interceptions in 56 starts. 

Before people get too excited, however, the Redskins just signed safety Sean Davis from Pittsburgh. The plan with Davis is to pair him up with Collins, allow Davis to play deep center and let Collins stay closer to the line of scrimmage. 

That's the plan. Accept that. 

Could Randall still help in a secondary that lost both Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar? Sure, but the price will need to be right. 

Washington's biggest free agent signing this year was cornerback Kendall Fuller, and he got four years at more than $40 million with $23.5 million in guarantees. Davis got $5 million. The team won't spend that much to bring Randall in, and he's probably looking for more. 

It's a situation to monitor as free agency continues because the Redskins' staff has openly talked about their desire for versatile players, and Randall can help all over the field. Keep in mind though that once Davis signed, the chances of Randall coming to Washington took a big hit. 

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Rewatching 'All Or Nothing': You'll absolutely love this Ron Rivera halftime speech

Rewatching 'All Or Nothing': You'll absolutely love this Ron Rivera halftime speech

Pete Hailey is rewatching Amazon's All Or Nothing, a behind-the-scenes look at the 2018 Panthers, to learn about Ron Rivera and other key people who are now a part of the Redskins. Here's his review of episode five, "It Happens."

The first four episodes of 2018's All Or Nothing, which closely followed Ron Rivera's Panthers from the start of the season to the end, have led to thoughtful reviews about the coach's steady leadership and how he believes in building confidence in his young players.

This review, however, is going to be simpler than the previous installments. In fact, it'd be difficult to get much simpler, honestly.

That's because the climax of the fifth episode involves Rivera ripping into his team at halftime, and the ripping goes on for 60 straight and intense seconds, and few things are cooler than getting access inside of a locker room where this level of ripping is occuring, so this story exists just to highlight the ripping.

The reason Rivera goes off on the Panthers is because of a very poor first half on the road against the Steelers. Carolina went into Pittsburgh hoping to make a statement on prime time, but instead, they got worked to the tune of a 31-14 deficit through two quarters.

So, Rivera lets his guys have it. First, he addresses corner Donte Jackson, who was losing his one-on-one battle with Antonio Brown. After that, he goes in on everyone else. Here's a transcript of it all (pretty much every sentence could have an exclamation point at the end of it, by the way, so read this in your best yelling voice):

Don't lose your mind. Don't let him get inside your head. You got just as much skill and ability as anybody on that damn field. You don't let that (redacted) push you around. You're too good, but you've got to keep your mind in the game and stay focused, all right? Don't let him get to you. You are too good of a football player to worry about (redacted) like that, all right? You go out and do your job.

Now, the rest of you (redacted), the same thing. The only thing they've gotten on us has been what? Two (redacted) long passes. You have to challenge these (redacted) guys. You can't sit there and accept it. This is their (redacted) history. This is who the (redacted) they are. They expect you guys to (redacted) roll over. You can't. You've got to defy them and challenge their (redacted). You've got to hit the (redacted) (redacted) center in his (redacted) mouth. That's how you beat these (redacted) teams. These (redacted) teams come out because they think they've got (redacted). And they challenge your (redacted). Well (redacted) them. Challenge them back. Find out what they're really made of. 

While All Or Nothing is a produced show, Rivera's passionate speech wasn't followed by a made-for-TV comeback. In fact, the second half was worse than the first, with the Panthers losing the contest 52-21. That said, the rant was 1) still compelling as (redacted) and 2) a look at a side of the 58-year-old Redskins fans obviously haven't seen yet.

Since taking over the Burgundy and Gold in January, Rivera gave an introductory press conference that featured only hints of his competitive nature. After that day, he's done plenty of other interviews, but they've been fairly typical or even lighter conversations.

The version of Ron that lit up the Panthers that night in 2018 will probably only show up from late-summer to late-winter or so, when meaningful practices and games are taking place. Until then, the calm and thoughtful (though still serious) vibes he's given off so far with the Redskins when behind a microphone or on-camera should continue.

However, as episode five of Amazon's project highlighted, Rivera's not afraid to turn the dial up so much it snaps off in his hand. 

In recent years, big-name Washington players like Adrian Peterson and Jonathan Allen have made it clear that they didn't like how easygoing Redskins Park felt at times, specifically when the results on the field suggested a need for more accountability and discipline.

When watching Rivera sound off on his old team, it was hard not to think how that approach will be more than welcome on his new team.

Here is a link to the uncensored speech. If around family, you may want to put some headphones in before watching.

Links to past reviews:

Episode 1: Rivera doesn't flinch after adversity hits

Episode 2: Rivera shows his feelings on distractions

Episode 3: Special teams truly mean something to Ron

Episode 4: Young Redskins will have a chance in 2020