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With Buccaneers getting HBO Hard Knocks, former Redskins players set to star

With Buccaneers getting HBO Hard Knocks, former Redskins players set to star

The Redskins won't be featured on the 2017 version of HBO's Hard Knocks, but two of their prominent former players will surely get airtime this summer. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that they will be the team that gets HBO's brightest spotlight during training camp. 

That means DeSean Jackson and Chris Baker, who both signed with the Bucs as free agents, will get some attention. 

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Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston will undoubtedly be the biggest star of the show, but it will be cool to get a behind the scenes look at how Jackson forms a connection with his new quarterback and fellow wide receiver Mike Evans. 

Baker, of course, has never seen a camera that he didn't like, so Hard Knocks is a perfect, unfiltered outlet for him to let his personality shine. With Baker's love for dancing and pulling pranks on his teammates, we are sure to get a few good laughs out of him on Hard Knocks. 

More Redskins: Jon Gruden gives glowing review of Terrelle Pryor's athleticism

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Dwayne Haskins has secured the starting job, now he wants to secure more authority

Dwayne Haskins has secured the starting job, now he wants to secure more authority

The Redskins' starting quarterback job now officially belongs to Dwayne Haskins.

Next up? The rookie wants take more ownership of and have more confidence in the offense he's being asked to direct for the next seven games.

In his first midweek turn at the team's podium in Ashburn, Haskins reflected on how he felt more at ease as his first start in Buffalo progressed. That's a comfort level he hopes grows starting with this Sunday's matchup versus the Jets.

"The more reps I got, the more rhythm I got with my eyes and my feet and being able to look at guys in the huddle and tell an All-Pro Brandon Scherff what the play is and have some authority behind it meant a lot for me," Haskins told reporters on Wednesday. "I feel like I'll continue to get better at that."

One thing Haskins has spoken of often, even going back to training camp this past summer, is wanting to play the position more with his instincts as opposed to instincts-after-thinking. It sounds like that process has begun, and with each contest, those instincts will kick in more and more.

That authority Haskins wants to have, though, doesn't just come from on-field performance. It's about how he behaves each day leading up to Sunday and the commitment he displays while preparing.

Those were things that apparently weren't being taken care of early on this year, but he certainly seems more aware of them now, which is quite encouraging.

"Everyone is watching what you're doing, how you handle yourself, how you walk in the building and how you walk into a meeting," he said. "That's all very important for the guys who want you to lead them."

So, the question now becomes how all of these factors — a deeper understanding of the offense, a more mature approach, the security that comes from knowing he's the No. 1 signal caller — influence Haskins' production. Can he show enough flashes from now until the end of the season for the Redskins to believe they can truly build around him?

Terry McLaurin, who's seen what a locked in Haskins can do firsthand, gave a terrific comparison for what that version of the QB looks like. And if No. 7 can get to where No. 17 has witnessed him get to before, then this final stretch of 2019 will be very fun.

"I kind of describe it as an elite shooter," McLaurin explained. "Ray Allen, any type of elite scorer in the NBA you can think of being in a zone. It's like, 'Man, it doesn't matter who's in front of him, what he's seeing, it's just the ball's going in.' I see that a lot out of Dwayne when he gets going, when he's confident."

Haskins, meanwhile, was more straightforward when it came to describing what he wants to get out of this next month and a half.

"I know I can play at a high level," he said, "So, I've just got to do it."

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10 reasons why the Redskins are about to end their touchdown-less streak

10 reasons why the Redskins are about to end their touchdown-less streak

The last time the Redskins scored a touchdown, Netflix was sending people movies in the mail, Jack Bauer was beating up bad guys every second of every day in 24 and Dwayne Haskins was throwing footballs at recess.

Oh, it's only felt that long? OK. Got it.

In reality, Washington hasn't found the end zone in 13 quarters. Terry McLaurin was the last Burgundy and Gold player to notch a six-pointer, and that happened all the way back on Oct. 13. They've somehow dragged this thing out for a month.

Well, fortunately for everyone who's languished during the drought, the touchdown-less streak is coming to an end this Sunday against the Jets. It's lasted a little more than three full games, but it's not making it through a fourth.

So, why should there be confidence that the 13-quarter stretch is about to wrap up? Here are 10 reasons for confidence.

1) They HAVE to be due for one

This one's simple: THEY HAVEN'T CARRIED A FOOTBALL ACROSS THE GOAL LINE AND INTO THAT RECTANGLE AT THE END OF THE FIELD IN 195 MINUTES OF ACTION. THIS CAN'T GO ON FOR ANOTHER 60 MINUTES. IT SIMPLY CAN'T.

2) They're starting their most talented QB

Haskins clearly isn't as experienced as Case Keenum or Colt McCoy, but going back to OTAs in May, he's shown that he has more raw talent than those two vets.

Perhaps versus New York, he'll dial up a throw those two aren't capable of making, or he'll break through a sack those two would've taken and then generate a chunk play those two couldn't have generated that sparks a drive.

Odds are, Haskins will miss a protection call or a run audible that Keenum or McCoy wouldn't, but right now, it feels like the offense at least has a higher ceiling than it did with the other two under center.

3) That talented QB should be feeling really good about where he's at

Before his first start in Buffalo, Haskins' teammates and coaches noticed a more prepared No. 7, due to the fact he finally took all of the reps with the starters in the Redskins' practices.

After his first start in Buffalo, Haskins told the media he felt better and more comfortable as the matchup went along. 

And since that first start in Buffalo, Haskins has taken even more of those precious reps, been named the starter for the rest of 2019 and was given a bye week to review his effort in Buffalo while also getting ready to take on the Jets.

In short: This should be the most at ease, sure of himself and ready he's been as a pro.

4) The offense will (hopefully) employ a more aggressive approach

In naming Haskins the team's starter, Bill Callahan explained that he wants to "expand" the playbook and intends to do so "going forward."

Now, that doesn't mean he's about to abandon his beloved running game in favor of 40 passes, but hopefully it means more downfield passing, play-action shots and general creativity, which in turn should lead to more scoring.  

5) Derrius Guice is returning

Look, it's difficult to expect a ton from Guice in his return from injured reserve, considering he's played in two preseason games and one regular season game and he got hurt in 66-percent of those appearances. Whether he's just been unlucky so far or is incredibly injury-prone remains to be seen.

However, if — and feel free to highlight, underline and bold that if — he can get through Sunday healthy, he should make the offense more dangerous. Even if he just spells Adrian Peterson, Guice provides the group with another option who could potentially make quite a difference.

6) The J-E-T-S defense isn't exactly G-O-O-D

Adam Gase's squad just let Daniel Jones throw for four touchdowns and, overall, they allow 26.4 points-per-game, which ranks 26th in the NFL. That's a unit that should contribute to some Dustin Hopkins PATs, as opposed to Dustin Hopkins field goals.

7) Terry McLaurin is going to break out again soon

McLaurin has cooled off lately, as he's posted just 11, 39 and 39 yards in his last three times out on the field. Those are easily his three lowest totals from his first eight contests in the league.

Getting him going must be a focus in Week 11, and if it is, expect the third-rounder to produce in a major way. 

8) Sam Darnold's ball security is lacking

Haskins has definitely dealt with enormous turnover issues so far, but it's not like his counterpart, Darnold, keeps the ball locked up in a bank vault.

The second-year QB has been picked off nine times in six starts and has also put it on the ground three times, meaning Greg Manusky's defense will be looking to give the Redskins' offense a short field or two by forcing a turnover. In fact, they could possibly just take one back to the house and destroy the 13-quarter streak on their own.

9) There won't be any monsoons on Sunday

Part of the reason this TD-less stretch exists is because of that monsoon that completely altered the Redskins-49ers game. FedEx Field should be monsoon-free for Redskins-Jets.

10) Washington is coming off a bye

The franchise's bye week won't just benefit Haskins, who will have a few more days to settle in. It should benefit everybody.

On Monday, Trey Quinn walked the media through how refreshed he feels thanks to the time he took during the bye. Quinn and Co. are a lowly 1-8, but at least they had a minute to reset.

Maybe they'll feel a little more excited and upbeat about playing on Sunday now that they stepped away from football for a bit, as opposed to going into the afternoon feeling totally beaten down. 

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