Redskins

Relative: Woman slain by Chiefs player brought joy

Relative: Woman slain by Chiefs player brought joy

BLUE RIDGE, Texas (AP) The slain girlfriend of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher was a loyal friend who brought joy to others with her smiles and laughter, a relative said Thursday at a memorial service for the woman.

Belcher fatally shot 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins on Saturday at the Kansas City home they shared with their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey. He then drove to the Chiefs practice facility at Arrowhead Stadium, where coach Romeo Crennel, general manager Scott Pioli and defensive assistant Gary Gibbs witnessed Belcher commit suicide.

Perkins was from Texas, and family and friends gathered at a church in Blue Ridge on Thursday to remember her. Her great-uncle Ted Downing said Perkins considered Zoey to be the love of her life.

``She had a deep, deep understanding about the important things in life,'' Downing told mourners.

He recalled a time in Perkins' childhood when she got upset that a friend of hers didn't get a desired part in a play.

``She always had no shortage of friends - and I mean good friends,'' Downing said.

A white casket bedecked with a spray of white lilies and pink roses was the mourners' focal point at Ridgeview Family Fellowship in Blue Ridge, about 40 miles northeast of Dallas.

Steve Sweeney, senior pastor at Ridgeview, offered a prayer for God to bring healing to both her family and Belcher's family. He also prayed for strength for Zoey, who was at the service.

Downing told the about 200 mourners, including Chiefs team chairman Clark Hunt, that Perkins always called him her ``aunt'' after her brother had decided for some reason to call his wife ``uncle.'' He said that in recent months, Perkins had informed him she'd be calling him ``auntie'' to reflect the diversity in their multiracial family.

He said Perkins had a knack for making everyone she met ``feel like the most important person in the world.''

``To put it simply, Kasi loved life,'' he said.

According to a police report, officers were called to the Kansas City, Mo., home of Belcher, 25, and Perkins about 7:50 a.m. Saturday. Police found Perkins on the floor of the master bathroom.

Belcher then drove about five miles to Arrowhead Stadium. When police arrived, Belcher moved behind a vehicle, out of clear view of officers, according to police. He then knelt down and shot himself once in the head.

According to Perkins' obituary, she was born in nearby McKinney, just north of Dallas, and attended elementary and middle school in the Dallas suburb of Garland. She graduated from Anderson High School in Austin in 2009. She wanted to become a teacher.

Downing said after the service that it hasn't been decided yet who will raise Zoey.

The service included a slideshow of photos of Perkins as she grew up, from a shot of her with a cowboy hat on a horse as a young girl to posing in a graduation gown to photos of her pregnant and then with her daughter.

As the slideshow of photos ended, a note from Perkins' mother was shown in which she writes that she'll promise to make sure Zoey knows ``what a beautiful person her mother was.''

Downing ended his eulogy by saying, ``Goodbye for now, Kasi. We'll see you one day. I love you.''

Another service for Perkins will be held in Austin, where Perkins' father lives. Life Celebration Funeral Home said that service will be held Saturday, followed by burial in nearby Pflugerville.

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PROfiles Episode 2: Dwayne Haskins shines in minicamp, ready to compete for starting QB role

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PROfiles Episode 2: Dwayne Haskins shines in minicamp, ready to compete for starting QB role

This is the second episode of a three-part series. You can watch the first episode, remembering when Haskins fell to the Redskins in the 2019 NFL Draft, here.

The Redskins are less than three weeks away from traveling to Philadelphia to kick off their regular season on Sept. 8, but head coach Jay Gruden has yet to name a starting quarterback.

The reasons for that vary depending on who you ask. Veteran Case Keenum is the favorite to win the job, especially with recent injury developments to Colt McCoy.

The Redskins selected the Ohio State product No. 15 overall in this year's draft with the expectation Haskins would compete for the starting job but ultimately start the season on the bench. Now, he must be considered to start.

In the second episode of NBC Sports Washington's PROfiles: Dwayne Haskins, chronicling the signal-callers first offseason and training camp with the team, Haskins lights it up at minicamp, having many media members wonder if the rookie could be thrown into the fire quicker than initially thought.

During minicamp, head coach Jay Gruden said there would be an open competition for the job, including Haskins.

At the start of the episode, NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay said that "he should look good" in minicamp, and expected him to look good until he saw Haskins face a true NFL defense later on in the summer at training camp.

Brian Mitchell agreed with Finlay, and said that Haskins must not take any time off and continue to work every day during the time in between minicamp and training camp in order to best position himself to win the job. He also said that the Redskins don't need to rush Haskins, but "if he's the best quarterback out there, why not play him?"

"I'm not really worried about starting Week 1," Haskins said at minicamp. "I just want to be ready to play Week 1, whether that's this year, next year, or whenever my time may come. I just want to make sure that when I do play, I don't look bad." 

While Gruden acknowledged during minicamp that Haskins still has a long way to go, he was impressed with his rookie QB, saying he was pleased with where Haskins was at in terms of development and learning the system.

Whether Haskins does win the starting job or not, there are plenty of reasons for the Redskins to have high hopes in their young QB.

"I feel like the sky is the limit," Haskins said.

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Derrius Guice and two more Redskins worth watching against the Falcons

Derrius Guice and two more Redskins worth watching against the Falcons

If this were the regular season, you could probably call Thursday night's game against the Falcons a "must-win" for the 0-2 Redskins. It's August, though, so no one in the universe can call it that.

But it's still an important contest.

The third preseason matchup will be the one where the starters play the most, and also be another chance to shine for backups and fringe roster guys. That means everyone in Burgundy and Gold will be worth watching.

These three, however, will be particularly interesting to keep an eye on.

Derrius Guice

On Tuesday, Jay Gruden said he feels it's vital for Guice to "get a couple carries" and "get used to being taken to the ground, protecting the football." The head coach didn't commit to playing the running back in Atlanta, but those comments, plus some reports, indicate his long-awaited return should be coming.

Guice may be the offense's biggest X-factor for 2019. If he's healthy and able to handle a large workload, there's no telling how much of a boost he could be for Washington. Thursday looks like it'll be everyone's first chance to see how ready he is to assume that role.

Everything, from how he runs the ball to how he pass protects to how he catches the ball, will be closely examined. Let's see if he's playing confidently and with a burst in his first live-action since last August.

Greg Stroman

Fabian Moreau is going to miss the Atlanta game because of an ankle injury, which should mean an increased workload for Jimmy Moreland early on. Moreland, though, has already proven he deserves a spot on his team, so while it'll be a nice opportunity for him, Stroman's the one to monitor with Moreau out.

The second-year corner looks to be in a solid position to make the 53 behind Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Moreland. Adonis Alexander could've pushed Stroman for a spot, but he's been hurt as of late.

Still, Stroman could use a strong defensive effort in the secondary versus the Falcons. Plus, with Trey Quinn missing as well, he may be in line for some punt return reps.

Overall, he figures to see the field a lot. It's time for him to make a splash play.

Josh Harvey-Clemons

Shaun Dion Hamilton is dealing with a chest issue and won't be active for the second consecutive week. Last week, Josh Harvey-Clemons got the work in place of Hamilton, and he likely will pick up the slack there again this time.

JHC has put on a ton of muscle and weight since entering the league in 2017 and looks much more prepared to handle his linebacking duties than he was in his first two years. Hamilton and Jon Bostic appear to be the starters there as of now, but both Harvey-Clemons and Cole Holcomb have the potential to push those veterans for snaps.

Watch to see if Harvey-Clemons is making plays in both the run game and the pass game. Rob Ryan would love to see someone emerge at inside linebacker who can truly play three downs, and JHC has the tools to do so. Hopefully he puts them to use on Thursday.

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