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Why the 2016 Rams could show the 2019 Redskins how not to handle Dwayne Haskins

Why the 2016 Rams could show the 2019 Redskins how not to handle Dwayne Haskins

How should the Redskins handle Dwayne Haskins in his first year as a pro? It's a question that will loom over all of training camp and carry into the regular season.

Do they play him right away? Do they allow him to learn behind one of their other veteran options, then jump in after a few weeks? Do they sit him until he's 32 years old, then let him go once he's niceeee and seasoned? 

It'll be on Washington to make sure they take the path that best suits their young passer. Now, if they want an example of one path not to take, they don't have to look back too far.

While on NBC Sports Washington's Countdown to Training Camp show, QB development coach Paul Troth explained how the 2016 Rams botched Jared Goff's rookie campaign.

"They had a coach on the hot seat," Troth, who's worked with signal callers like Haskins, Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson, said. "Goff came in late in the season and it was a disaster."

Like Troth mentioned, heading into 2016, Jeff Fisher wasn't exactly locked in on the sidelines (he eventually was fired in December). That's the situation Jay Gruden finds himself in now. 

Ironically enough, Case Keenum was the one who opened as starter for those Rams as well. Of course, he has a chance to do the same with the Burgundy and Gold in a few months.

As for Goff, he was inserted into the lineup in the team's 10th contest and proceeded to go 0-7 in those seven final matchups. The first overall pick finished with a 54.6-percent completion rate and a 5-to-7 TD-to-INT ratio. Luckily, Sean McVay has since come in and assisted in getting Goff pointed in the right direction, but that stretch could've been more damaging in other circumstances.

The tricky thing in D.C., according to Troth, is that Gruden badly needs victories yet the organization's long-term hope under center may not be the one who can deliver those victories in 2019.

"You've got to win games," he said. "So, how can you win games and develop your young quarterback at the same time? Early on, I think Case Keenum is going to give them the best chance to do that."

Though Keenum wasn't thriving with Los Angeles in 2019, the Rams were 4-5 in his starts. Regardless, Fisher and Co. elected to make the switch and hand things over to Goff, and the entire operation fell apart.

So, what's the lesson for the Redskins?

The team needs to let Haskins play only when he's ready. Not because he's the first-rounder, not because he'll attract attention and crowds, but when he's ready. 

If Keenum opens as starter and the record isn't fantastic in September and October, people will be clamoring for Haskins. But the Redskins can't just toss him out there to satisfy that noise if he's not prepared.

Who knows how an initial spiral similar to the one Goff experienced could affect him? After all, it's not like there's a McVay on deck to come clean everything up.

"You can run the risk of putting too much on his plate early on and then you're backtracking later on," Troth said. 

Haskins will run into issues like all 22-year-old athletes do. The key for the Redskins is that they don't expose him to severe ones before he's able to handle them. While the Rams got away with that when it came to Goff, the Redskins may not be as fortunate.  


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Redskins Charitable Foundation donates over 2,500 food baskets at annual Harvest Feast

Redskins Charitable Foundation donates over 2,500 food baskets at annual Harvest Feast

The combination of frigid temperatures and the Redskins' scheduled off-day did not stop a few members of the Burgundy and Gold from giving back to the local Prince George's County community on Tuesday.

Linebacker Jon Bostic and offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom highlighted a handful of Washington players who participated in the Redskins Charitable Foundation's 17th annual Harvest Feast, an event designed to give back to the local community around Thanksgiving time.

Bostic and Bergstrom helped lead an effort with over 200 volunteers to put together 2,500 Thanksgiving food baskets that will be distributed to Prince George's County families in need on the holiday. Baskets include full turkeys and several side dishes for these families to get the full Thanksgiving experience.

As to why he chose to spend his little free time helping in the community, Bergstrom's answer was easy.

"This time of year, it’s all about giving thanks and being grateful," Bergstrom said. "We’re so grateful for a community that’s supported us through everything. So coming here and being able to be a part of their Thanksgiving, it’s awesome. Anything you can do to help."

In just a few hours, over 90,000 pounds of food and 30,000 pounds of turkey were packaged and ready to be sent out to those families.

Seeing young children volunteer at the event really stuck with Bostic, and that was one of the main reasons he wanted to give back.

"You see kids out here, I’ve been in places just like them," Bostic said. "Now, where I’m at, anytime I can help somebody else get to where I’m at, or give them some type of encouragement, I’m always up for that."

Both Bergstrom and Bostic have fond memories from Thanksgiving growing up and want families in their local community to experience something similar to what made their Thanksgivings so special.

“Every Thanksgiving, we’d go to my grandmother’s house and our whole family would be there," Bostic said. "You had people coming from all over, so I know how much I cherish family. So to be able to help them, get the family together, sit down and watch football, have a good time and enjoy each other, what more could you ask for?”

“Oh, man, it’s awesome. Football and Thanksgiving go together," Bergstrom said. "I grew up in Utah, but I was a Lions fan because of Thanksgiving. I probably couldn’t tell you a single guy on their team before that. Just being able to be a part of [these families] Thanksgiving is awesome. We’re making some Redskins fans for life.”

Several of the volunteers posed for pictures with the players and continuously thanked both Bostic and Bergstrom for coming out and giving back.

"Anytime you can put a smile on somebody’s face and better their day, that’s what we do it for," Bostic said.


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Adrian Peterson is not worried about splitting time with Derrius Guice, and there's one main reason why

Adrian Peterson is not worried about splitting time with Derrius Guice, and there's one main reason why

Entering the 2019 season, how the Redskins planned to split their rushing attack between veteran Adrian Peterson and second-year back Derrius Guice was sort of a mystery. Peterson was coming off a 1,000-yard season and proved he still has plenty in the tank, while Guice was in the final stages of his recovery from a torn ACL he suffered in August of 2018. 

But just hours prior to the Redskins Week 1 contest in Philadelphia, then-head coach Jay Gruden decided to make Peterson a healthy scratch for the first time in his career. The move did not sit well with Peterson and many of his veteran teammates. Guice injured his right meniscus in the loss and landed on Injured Reserve, forcing Gruden to activate Peterson the following week.

Peterson has been the Redskins lead running back since Guice's injury, but his production has greatly increased since interim head coach Bill Callahan took over in Week 6.

It's been nine weeks since Guice's injury, and he's healthy again and ready to play. For the first time in the 2019 season, both Peterson and Guice will be active when the Redskins host the Jets on Sunday.

So, will Peterson and Guice be the lead back going forward? While Peterson knows his role will slightly change, he's not worried about it. Why is that?

Well, there's one main reason: Jay Gruden is no longer the team's head coach.

"Yeah, coach Gruden was here," Peterson said. "He's no longer here, so it's a different scenario."

Peterson smiled a little while giving his response, but his message was clear. The 34-year-old was not pleased with his usage under Gruden in 2019.

While there seems to be a strained relationship between Peterson and his old head coach, there's no bad blood between Peterson and Guice. The veteran had to hold back tears after finding out about Guice's injury earlier in the season, and is looking forward to seeing what the duo can do in the coming weeks.

"It's going to be exciting. We were kind of just talking about it today as we were walking off the field," Peterson said on the duo. "Just having a guy, when you come out, you can kind of relax, because the guy that's in there is going to get the job done. It's going to be interesting to see how things go."

How Callahan determines the split between the two has yet to be determined, but both Peterson and Guice will have to be on their 'A' game on Sunday; only the Buccaneers allow less rushing yards per game than the Jets.