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While he'll really shine later, Landon Collins is already looking to change one thing on Redskins' defense

While he'll really shine later, Landon Collins is already looking to change one thing on Redskins' defense

Landon Collins will really make the biggest difference on the Redskins' defense when Week 1 rolls around. That'll be when the team's critical free agent signing can don his helmet and game uniform and throw around his thick frame to help against the run and in coverage.

However, he's already looking to influence and improve the unit in another way at OTAs, and Jay Gruden has noticed it now that the safety is starting to participate more in the May sessions.

"He's a good guy to have out there, he's a communicator," Gruden said in his post-practice presser.

Collins has yet to fully get involved in every snap, as he and the team are trying to be patient with his comeback from a shoulder injury. Still, the increased action is a delightful development, according to a guy who's a self-described hater of sitting around, and now he's looking to get himself in shape and also learn about his new DBs.

"Going through the process, making sure I'm right for my teammates, making sure my guys are right for themselves," Collins answered when asked what he looks to accomplish in these offseason get-togethers.

You can look at plenty of things — including the 25-year-old's monstrous production in the NFL thus far or his monstrous contract — and know that when the 'Skins line up against the Eagles in Week 1, No. 20 will be at one starting safety spot. But the job next to him is still very unsettled, with players like Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett vying for the trust of coaches.

So, what will Collins be hoping his fellow starter will eventually bring to the secondary? His answer shouldn't surprise you.

"Great communication," he said first, before also mentioning a ball-hawking attitude as another prerequisite. 

Collins' new defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky, was presented with the same question. His response was more Xs-and-Os-focused, though.

"They call them safeties for a reason," Manusky said. "They're safety valves. If something breaks through, they have to make those plays on the back end... From a coverage standpoint, they're going to cover those main tight ends."

Regardless of whoever emerges, he'll slide next to a leader who clearly values getting everyone thinking and playing the same way. For a defense that often cited that as their main issue in 2018 — how many easy 60-yard TDs did Drew Brees have against the Burgundy and Gold last year on Monday night? Like, seven? — that makes Collins an ideal addition. 

So, hopefully, his devotion to the vocal side of football will generate more consistency. But, of course, you should be thrilled to see him contribute to the physical side of football come September, too.

"It's hard to tell when his presence is felt in shorts," Gruden said, "but when the pads are on, that's when you feel Landon."


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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

While the rumors about the Redskins potentially trading for Marvin Jones from over the weekend were total nonsense, a reason they resonated so much with fans is because many believe Washington needs major help at wide receiver.

But during a segment of Monday's Redskins 100 show, analyst Trevor Matich assessed the position group and actually thinks that, as a whole, the team should be relatively pleased with the talent it has outside.

"I like it better than I have in recent years, especially if Paul Richardson stays healthy," Matich said.

His "especially" qualifier is a common one, and that's because Richardson is the most established wideout currently on the roster — and he still has just 1,564 career receiving yards to his name. However, a healthy Richardson (which the 'Skins never really saw in his first year, considering he got injured early in training camp and was never the same) provides Jay Gruden the field stretcher he loves to have.

Richardson isn't the only player Matich is anxious to see, though.

"Terry McLaurin, their draft choice from Ohio State, is legitimately a 4.3 guy," he said. "He gets deep down the field and catches the ball in space."

One of the biggest issues for the 2018 Redskins was a lack of speed at every single spot. In Richardson and McLaurin, the Burgundy and Gold now have a pair of pass catchers who can fly past corners, do damage 30-plus yards down the sideline and open things up for other targets as well.

Overall, in reacting to the Jones storyline, Matich really doesn't see a huge need for the organization to make any additions to that collection of pieces. 

"I think that when you take a look at all the other guys, Trey Quinn in the slot, things like that, this receiving corps is fine," he said. "It's not desperate. They don't need to invest resources to bring extra people in."

Now, is "fine" and "not desperate" the level the front office and coaches want their receivers to be? Of course not. But Matich's stance is intriguing, because he's content with who'll be lining up there while plenty of others absolutely don't see it that way and feel a trade would be prudent.

If you're in that second group, recent history indicates this is the dead zone for NFL deals. So try not to waste your time refreshing Twitter over and over and over.

Perhaps Washington gets to Richmond and, after a few weeks of practices and a couple of exhibition contests, realizes their depth chart could use another name. Or maybe an injury happens and forces their hand. But according to Matich, as of now, the offense can function with the parts it has in place.


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The Redskins' decision with Dwayne Haskins actually isn't that complicated

The Redskins' decision with Dwayne Haskins actually isn't that complicated

The Redskins drafted Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick back in April with one very clear goal in mind: new franchise quarterback. 

What isn't clear, however, is that timeline. 

Eventually, Haskins will be the Redskins starting quarterback. That could happen Week 1 2019, or it could be a year away.

Haskins wasn't particularly impressive during the team's minicamp, and veteran signal caller Case Keenum looked like the better option. Remember, though, real football is more than two months away. The mental aspects of NFL life that Haskins struggled with during the spring sessions, like calling plays and getting to the line of scrimmage in correct formations, are quite fixable. Haskins is smart and has talked about his commitment to learning the playbook. 

If that happens by the time Haskins gets to Richmond, then the quarterback competition will look much different than it did in Ashburn. And the 'Skins don't report to Richmond for another month. 

Here's the reality: Haskins should absolutely compete for the starting quarterback job. That's the minimum expectation for first-round picks. 

The important news: Haskins will compete for the starting job in Richmond. Jay Gruden has been clear about that.

Now, if Haskins doesn't win the job, he can't start. Politics or expectations can't push him into the top spot, no matter what pressure might be applied. 

Football players improve, often dramatically, over the summer. Haskins has all the physical talent needed to take the QB1 spot. He just needs to learn the speed of the NFL, which is challenging, and the depth of the offensive system, which is daunting. 

It's entirely possible Haskins does not win the Redskins starting quarterback job. In fact, it's probable he doesn't, by Week 1 anyway. 

But the notion that he can't start because of a difficult early portion of the schedule is crazy. If Haskins is the best option to win games, Gruden is obligated to give his team the best chance to win a game, regardless of an opponent. 

In a lot of ways, the Redskins decision with Dwayne Haskins is really up to Haskins. Compete and win the job? The decision will be easy.