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Josh Norman tips cap to Panthers — but wishes he could've done more

Josh Norman tips cap to Panthers — but wishes he could've done more

In the week leading up to his highly anticipated meeting with the Panthers — the team that unexpectedly dropped him roughly eight months ago — Josh Norman mostly dodged and evaded questions meant to get a rise out of him like he was a kick returner, not a cornerback. 

And following the Redskins' letdown against Norman's ex-employer on Monday night, in which the hosts lost 26-15 in a game they truly needed, the defender again took that same path. There were no short, one-word answers, and there were no long, incendiary quotes that the people on Twitter were surely yearning for. 

There was just respect. Respect delivered in a solemn, slightly dejected tone, sure, but respect nonetheless.

"First and foremost, it was a hard-fought game," Norman told the massive horde of reporters surrounding his locker, one that likely would've waited until Wednesday to hear him talk if he wanted draw things out that long. "They beat us. You have to credit them. They came out and did what they had to do... You just have to tip your hats off to them."

Much like he did with the media, No. 24 kept a relatively low profile on the field during the matchup as well. Some were wondering how well he'd be able to contain his emotions while searching for revenge on a national stage, but aside from his typical post-whistle actions, Norman never really got chippy with any of his former teammates. 


As for his performance, he played soundly, but was never really challenged by Cam Newton. He allowed a few first down completions early on, but also nearly snagged an interception on a long double move in which he showed good discipline. For the rest of the 60 minutes, though — 60 minutes that he wanted to be the star of — he was uninvolved while all facets of the Burgundy and Gold floundered. 

Overall, he came across as unsatisfied with the lack of action that came his way on the night. 

"I wanted him to, that's what I was talking to him about out on the football field," Norman said when asked if he wish Newton would've tested him more. "That's why we was jawing at each other. He threw that long ball to Teddy [Ginn], I came down with it, it popped up from me — after that, I didn't see no more of him all night. I think [offensive coordinator Mike] Shula got in his ear. I wish he didn't."

In the end, while he said all the right things, there's no doubt missing out on the victory disappointed Norman. There are competitors, and then there are competitors; he absolutely falls in the latter category. 

However, there's no time to lament the result, and he knows that. After all, there's another contest to play in Chicago and a finale after that against New York, both of which carry playoff implications for the Redskins, who now stand on the outside of the postseason yet again. 

Vengeance or not, it's time to move on.

"We have to go back and look at what we did wrong and our mistakes," he said. "We’ll go at it for this two-game series. We just have two games left and we have to come out here and finish the job."


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Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins reacts to winning Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year

Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins reacts to winning Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year

Ohio State named former quarterback Dwayne Haskins the 2019 Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, a few months after the Washington Redskins drafted Haskins in the first round. 

Washington drafted Haskins 15th overall in the 2019 MLB Draft, after Haskins threw 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns with Ohio State in the 2018 season, the first season he started for the Buckeyes.

Haskins also set 28 Ohio State and seven Big Ten records in his junior year with the Buckeyes, after which he was awarded the Big Ten Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year, the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year and the Chicago Tribune Silver Football award. 

Now Haskins vies for a spot as the Redskins' starting quarterback, after attending both Washington's voluntary organized team activities and mandatory minicamp. The rookie is one of three players––including Case Keenum and Colt McCoy, who is working back from injury––fighting for that spot in the starting lineup, as Washington prepares for the preseason.  


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There's reason for excitement about Trey Quinn, and the numbers back it up

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There's reason for excitement about Trey Quinn, and the numbers back it up

No Redskins receiver caught more than 45 passes last season, and the team lost their steadiest wideout of the last two years when Jamison Crowder signed with the Jets in free agency. 

Even with that, the Redskins coaching staff remains bullish on the team's pass catchers for this season, and second-year pro Trey Quinn is a big reason why.

Last season as a seventh-round rookie, Quinn made the team after showing great hands and a consistent ability to get separation from defenders. Listed at 6-foot and 200 pounds, Quinn is a natural slot receiver in the NFL, but last year, that role very clearly belonged to Crowder. 

With Crowder gone, that role has changed.

"Trey Quinn has taken over the inside slot role," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said during minicamp. 
"He’s confident, he’s quick, he’s got strong hands, he’s physical, [and] he’s tough," 

The toughness will be key, as Quinn twice landed on the injured reserve list in his rookie season. He played in just three games last year but made an impact when he was on the field, grabbing nine catches and scoring a touchdown in Dallas. 

Looking at Crowder's production over the last four seasons, Quinn will get lots of opportunities.

In four seasons with the Redskins, Crowder played in 56 games and averaged 5.8 targets per game. He averaged about 12 yards-per-catch in Washington, and was good for 60+ catches per season in his first three years with the 'Skins before injuries limited Crowder to just nine games in 2018. That's a lot of action for the slot role in Gruden's offense. 

Looking at the Redskins potential quarterbacks, Quinn would be an asset for any of them. Case Keenum's game definitely works well with skilled slot WRs - like Stefon Diggs in Minnesota two seasons ago. If rookie Dwayne Haskins gets the starting job, he could certainly use a consistent target in the middle of the field, and Quinn should serve that role. Should Colt McCoy take over as Redskins starter, he and Quinn actually found success on the field last season, particularly against the Cowboys. 

In fact, Keenum is already speaking highly of the former Mr. Irrelevant. 

"Trey Quinn is going to be really special," Keenum said during minicamp. 

Health is never a guarantee. Quinn struggled to stay on the field as a rookie, but when he was on the field, he did not struggle. Redskins receivers coach Ike Hilliard is typically a man of few words, but even he praised Quinn this offseason and considers him a breakout candidate for the 2019 season.

Summer is the time for optimism in the NFL. Nobody has fumbled, players are mostly healthy, and nothing has gone wrong. 

With Quinn, there is plenty of optimism. More importantly, based on Crowder's targets, there are reasons to buy the excitement around Quinn.