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You're worried about Ereck Flowers starting at left guard for the Redskins, but Donald Penn isn't

You're worried about Ereck Flowers starting at left guard for the Redskins, but Donald Penn isn't

Redskins fans have had a very stressful last few months when it comes to thinking about the left side of the team's offensive line.

At tackle, Trent Williams is still absent, and while there's a tiny bit of momentum building that he could return soon, nothing really promising has developed with that story in quite some time.

At guard, meanwhile, Ereck Flowers has secured the starting job for now. The former first-rounder from the Giants is switching positions and moving inside, an experiment that was the source of some intrigue early but now is the source of much angst.

There's no angst, however, coming from the man who's filling in for Williams and who also will be working next to Flowers beginning Sunday in Philadelphia.

"Flowers and Penn have played a lot of football," Donald Penn told JP Finlay on the Redskins Talk podcast when asked for his view on the O-line's left side. "We're going to find a way. That's what we do, that's what we were bred to do."

The two players do have quite a bit of experience between them. Penn has been in the league since 2007 and has appeared in 178 games, while Flowers has suited up 59 times since becoming a pro in 2015.

The key here, however, is that none of Flowers' 59 games have come at guard, which is the position he'll be occupying against a deep Eagles front.

Penn is already preparing to be challenged often.

"I know Philly is going to probably try to attack 'E' because it's a new position. We're going to be ready for that, I'm going to try and help him as much as possible," he said. "Philly is probably going to try and attack me, too, because I've been out of football for a while. So, we're ready for that."

The thought at training camp was that, while Flowers and Penn were a combo since Penn signed on July 31, eventually it'd be rookie Wes Martin and Penn to open against Philly. Yet Jay Gruden is giving Flowers the first chance, and Penn approves of the choice.

"If it was a rookie, it'd be a lot harder," he said. "But with 'E' having so much football, and me playing so much football, I think we'll be able to pick it up a lot quicker."

It won't be long until Penn's belief in Flowers is either backed up or proven to be misplaced. The Eagles are very familiar with Flowers from his days with the Giants and they absolutely will target him early to see how effective he is.

Unfortunately, Penn can't promise a certain level of effectiveness or that it'll be a smooth debut. He does guarantee one thing, though. 

"We're not scared," he said. "One thing we're not, we're never scared. We're ready for anything."

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Alex Smith could make 'interesting' battle for QB practice reps with Dwayne Haskins

Alex Smith could make 'interesting' battle for QB practice reps with Dwayne Haskins

Training camp should be a major opportunity for Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins to get a lot of work with new offensive coordinator Scott Turner and the new playbook, but if Alex Smith is healthy, the reps for Haskins might shrink.

"The biggest thing we’ve got to do is not make sure we’re divvying up the reps as evenly as possible, but we divvy up who they work against. This could be a very interesting challenge for us because of QB Alex Smith. If Alex is healthy and continues to get healthy and we do activate him, he’s going to be in the throes of this competition," head coach Ron Rivera said on Monday. 

The Washington Football Team drafted Haskins 15th overall last year, only after Smith suffered a broken leg in November 2018. Rivera wasn't around for either of the decisions to draft Haskins or trade for Smith, but now the new coach gets to try and solve the QB riddle in Washington. 

Haskins struggled as a rookie in part because he didn't get much practice work with the first team offense. It was obvious how little Haskins knew of the offense and his offensive teammates when he first got on the field in Week 4 last year. Some of that might have been self-inflicted, regardless, Haskins needed the work. 

Now in his second season, Haskins got exactly zero team drills in this offseason due to Coronavirus. None. 

So, with what should be the most important training camp of his young professional career, Haskins again might face another hurdle in the return of Smith. 

Smith deserves tremendous accolades for his recovery after 17 surgeries and intense infection in his leg. But is Smith getting back on the field the best thing for a young Washington team trying to rebuild?

Haskins is 23. Smith is 36.

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Haskins has tremendous potential, Smith has already proven he can produce.

Haskins has started seven NFL games. Smith has started seven NFL playoff games. 

Considering all of that, Haskins should get the most work of any Washington passer.

Take note that Rivera didn't say the reps needed to be equitable, but rather the level of competition. Haskins needs more reps than Smith or Kyle Allen.

RELATED: WHICH WASHINGTON PLAYER HAS A LOT RIDING ON THE 2020 SEASON?

Smith has been in the NFL since he was drafted first overall in 2005. Allen started 13 games for Rivera and Turner in the last two seasons. Haskins hasn't even been through a padded practice with Rivera and Turner. 

It makes total sense to get Allen reps against the first-team defense. He needs to be prepared. And should Smith get medically cleared to be back on the field against a defense, he should get some of those reps too. Washington needs to see what Smith has left if he actually gets cleared for football.

Still, Haskins should get the majority of that work. He needs it, and Rivera needs to see what he has in the former Ohio State star. 

Smith's recovery is an incredible story, but Rivera's plan in Washington is a long-term rebuild to put together a consistent playoff team. That means getting Haskins on the field as much as possible. 

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Peter King says cutting Derrius Guice was the 'right call' by Ron Rivera

Peter King says cutting Derrius Guice was the 'right call' by Ron Rivera

After Derrius Guice was arrested on domestic violence charges Friday, the football world's eyes were fixated on the team's response to the allegations.

Facing a critical decision before his first season as Washington's head coach, Ron Rivera ultimately released the former second-round pick. Guice then went unclaimed on waivers

NBC Sports' Peter King was one of those individuals paying close attention to Washington's response to the allegations against Guice following a Washington Post story detailing sexual misconduct by several front-office executives. His take on Rivera's decision? It was the only decision to make. 

"I think that was a good first move, and the only move, Ron Rivera," King wrote in his Football Morning in America column. "Cutting Derrius Guice when the weight of evidence suggested domestic violence by the 2018 second-round running back. With everyone looking to see how the organization would react to any domestic issues after the behavior in the organization documented by the Washington Post, the franchise did the only thing it could do when the heinous behavior Guice was accused of in Virginia was made public.

RELATED: RIVERA EXPLAINS DECISION TO CUT GUICE

"In this climate, it was impossible for Washington to allow the legal system to run its course," King said. "This was the right call."

Washington's backfield is in a tough spot following Guice's release. The hope in 2020 was for him to become a featured back after his first two seasons in the league were marred by injury. Rivera will now have to lean on an aging Adrian Peterson again and two rookies who've had limited experience at the position. 

But those issues aren't the worst problems to have. Rivera and Washington were under pressure to make the right decision, and in King's eyes, they did. 

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