The Redskins coaches apparently thought that Lorenzo Alexander didnt have enough to do between preparing for his role as a reserve inside and outside linebacker and being the captain of the special teams. So they gave him another position to learn.Alexander told 106.7 The Fans LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes that he has been doing some work at tight end in the early phase of OTAs at Redskins Park. His work on offense has been mostly mental reps from watching film and practice plays, the coaches want him to be ready to step in if there is an emergency.In his five seasons in Washington, Alexander has played on the offensive and defensive lines in addition to both linebacker spots. His versatility has earned him the nickname One Man Gang.I fill that niche as being that One Man Gang and doing a lot of different things for the team, Alexander said. Thats why Ive been in the league for eight years and hopefully I can play four or five more years doing the same thing, if not eventually become the starter.Alexander is not completely unfamiliar with lining up at tight end. Earlier in his career he occasionally reported as an eligible receiver in short yardage and goal line situations.
The Ohio State University has one of the most prestigious football programs in all of college football.
Year in and year out, the Buckeyes are National Championship contenders, and also produce some of the best NFL players of any school. Ohio State has produced 81 first-round NFL Draft picks in their program history, tied with the University of Southern California for the most of any school.
But for whatever reason, quarterbacks that hail from the Columbus-based university don't tend to usually find success at the next level. The Redskins need this trend to end now. The Burgundy and Gold invested a first-round pick on former Buckeye Dwayne Haskins, who they expect to be their franchise quarterback for the next several years.
The Redskins Talk podcast sat down with Ohio State football beat reporter Bill Rabinowitz last week to discuss Haskins' lone season as the Buckeyes' starter, his leadership qualities, how he's different from past Ohio State quarterbacks and why he might be the first former Buckeye QB to experience real NFL success.
Despite only spending one year as the Buckeyes starter, Haskins turned in the best statistical season of any Ohio State quarterback in program history.
He shattered the Big Ten record for most passing yards in a season, throwing for more than 1,000 yards more than the previous record holder. He also broke Drew Brees' Big Ten record for most passing touchdowns in a single-season, tossing 50 in 2018, compared to Brees' 39.
"Maybe the most impressive single season by any Ohio State quarterback," Rabinowitz said on Haskins' 2018 season.
Over the past couple of decades, the Buckeyes have had some very successful college quarterbacks, they just were unable to translate it to the next level.
"Ohio State's history at every other position is pretty impressive in the NFL," Rabinowitz said. "Probably the best quarterback they've every produced is Mike Tomzack in terms of a pro career. He was undrafted. Troy Smith looked like he had the chance to do that, but never really panned out in the pros."
Before Haskins, the previous two Buckeye quarterbacks, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones, combined to win a National Championship for Ohio State. Neither one has been able to establish themselves in the NFL. Other recent examples include Terrelle Pryor and Braxton Miller, who both had spectacular careers as Buckeye QBs before switching to wide receiver in the NFL.
But Rabinowitz says Haskins is "on a different level than those guys as a passer." Unlike many of the past Ohio State quarterbacks, Haskins relies on his arm a lot more than his legs.
Some draft experts were skeptical of Haskins because of the type of offense Ohio State ran, which included a lot of short, quick passes. But Rabinowitz believes Haskins' arm will allow him to be successful in the NFL.
"Sure there were some shovel passes, but [Haskins] made some deep throws that were just spot on," he said. "Just beautiful, majestic throws. Even from high in the press box, you just went 'wow.' There should be no question about Dwayne Haskins ability to make every throw."
Of course, Rabinowitz was asked by the podcast crew the question that will dominate training camp headlines: Should Haskins start Week 1?
While Rabinowitz admitted that he was not too familiar with the Redskins' QB situation, he did say that because of Haskins' lack of experience, "it may be best not to throw him in with the wolves right away."
"I covered Tim Couch with the Browns in 1999, we saw what happened with him," Rabinowitz said. "Carson Palmer with the Bengals, he didn't play at all his first year, and he was a Heisman Trophy winner. I see the benefits. I know it's tempting to have a first-round pick and want to play him, and if he's their best option, maybe he should play. [Haskins] will do everything in his power to be as ready as he can be, but the NFL is different than the college game."
Training camp and the preseason will be telling for Haskins as to how soon Redskins' fans can expect him to be on the field.
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The story of the Lion King is one that takes many of us to our childhood, a feel-good story about a young cub going through adversity to become King.
It's a story Redskins new quarterback, Dwayne Haskins Junior, has related to since he was a child himself, having taken on the moniker Simba.
Disney first came out with the movie in 1994 and just released a photorealistic live-action re-make. Haskins made sure he was there for the world premiere in Los Angeles walking the red carpet with his girlfriend Savhana Cousin earlier this month.
"The new Lion King brought so many great old memories!" he tweeted. "A blessing to be a part of. "
Haskins sees many parallels in Simba. He told me before the draft that the nickname first came from when his aunt was combing out his hair saying he looked like a lion.
Beyond that, he liked the story of the young cub going through adversity to become King.
"The story behind him growing to king, going through adversity, and having to fall to get up and that's just something that resonates with my story. Everyone sees the highs of everything but not what it takes to get there," he said.
He has even used the story for his own clothing brand as well, Kingdom of Pride.
Haskins fell in the draft to number 15 and the Redskins but has every intention of proving he is worthy of the pick and one day winning what he declares will be multiple Super Bowls.
That would certainly fall in line with the story of Simba taking back the kingdom.
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