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College basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale gives Dwayne Haskins a pep talk on Twitter ahead of 2020 season

College basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale gives Dwayne Haskins a pep talk on Twitter ahead of 2020 season

Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins got some words of encouragement on Twitter on Tuesday, and it was from someone you'd least expect.

The conversation started when famous college basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale tweeted at Haskins on Tuesday, asking the rising second-year passer what his favorite choice is for Washington's new moniker, additionally stating that his choice would be the 'Redtails.'

Rather than answering Dickie V's question about the name, Haskins responded to the college basketball announcer by saying he was shocked that the "GOAT" tweeted at him.

In response to that, Vitale completely shifted gears. Dickie V sent the 23-year-old a mini pep talk, telling Haskins to "prove to all the critics how really good [you are]" if football is played this fall. 

Additionally, Dickie V told Haskins to play how he did at Ohio State, where the Washington quarterback broke numerous school and Big Ten records in his lone season as a starter in 2018.

To close the conversation, Haskins responded to Vitale quoting recently signed New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, saying "In the words of Cam, I haven’t seen this Dwayne yet!"

Despite the coronavirus-altered offseason, Haskins has made major strides entering his second season. He's dropped close to 20 pounds and trimmed his body fat percentage significantly. He's trained with multiple teammates, and they have praised Haskins' growth several times this offseason.

With training camp less than two weeks away, it's now up to Haskins to perform when it counts. When football does return, the passer knows he has someone rooting for him in Vitale.

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How fishing — yep, fishing — may be helping Terry McLaurin improve as a wideout

How fishing — yep, fishing — may be helping Terry McLaurin improve as a wideout

This interview between Terry McLaurin and Sports Illustrated's Conor Orr contains solid info on why he views himself as a No. 1 receiver in the NFL and how he's seen Dwayne Haskins' attitude change over the past few months. That stuff is all certainly worth noting.

The more interesting angle, however, is that McLaurin — who is not only someone who gets seasick from time to time but is also a guy who's ALLERGIC TO SEAFOOD — has really taken up fishing this offseason. And he actually believes the new hobby can help him produce on Sundays.

Yes, that all sounds crazy. But if you allow him to explain it, it soon becomes difficult not to buy in at least a little bit.

“You can be out there all day and not get a bite,” McLaurin told Orr. “And in my line of work, you can be working for your opportunity and it may never come or it may not be the opportunity you thought. It doesn’t mean you quit working hard, whether that’s catching a fish or catching a touchdown.”

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That's the primary lesson he's picked up while out on the water lately, and it's something that will help his focus and patience moving forward in Washington's offense. 

By the way, for those concerned fans of the team who are about to ask, no, McLaurin does not keep what he snags on his line. He's either thrown back or passed off the roughly 20 fish he's hauled in this summer, meaning that seafood allergy of his has been kept at bay. 

So, though his quote above shows a key similarity between fishing and football, that particular fact highlights the major difference. On a boat, he doesn't keep what he catches. His teammates, supporters and opponents know the opposite is true when he's on the field.

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Washington Football Team to play games at FedEx Field without fans

Washington Football Team to play games at FedEx Field without fans

On July 24, Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer Terry Bateman said Washington was planning on having fans at games. Now it appears the unpredictability of the coronavirus pandemic has caused the franchise to change its mind.

After discussions with health officials from Prince George's County and the state of Maryland, the Washington Football Team announced their decision to play home games without fans during the 2020 season. 

“We are fortunate to host the best fans in the NFL year after year, but the wellbeing of those supporters, along with that of our players, coaches and each and every member of our gameday staff is simply too important, and the current knowledge of COVID-19 too unpredictable, to welcome our fan base to FedExField to start the season,” Dan Snyder said in a statement. 

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“We were the first team in the league to recall our scouts and other personnel from the field back in mid-March and have been monitoring this evolving situation ever since," Snyder said. "This decision was not an easy one, but after several discussions with federal, state and local officials – along with input from some of the nation’s foremost medical experts, based right here in the nation’s capital – we are confident that it is the right one. We are working to find ways to make our fans’ presence felt in new and innovative ways for 2020 and can’t wait to welcome the community through the gates as soon as it’s safe.”

In their announcement, the team also said they will reevaluate this decision should the situation with the coronavirus pandemic improve. They have also reached out to season ticket holders with financial alternatives to their ticket plans. Ahead of their Week 1 matchup with the Eagles on September 13, Washington plans to give fans the opportunity to virtually cheer on their favorite team. 

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