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Need to Know: The Redskins need a quarterback to have a chance at the Super Bowl

Need to Know: The Redskins need a quarterback to have a chance at the Super Bowl

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, February 5, 32 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  


Days until:

NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 24
—NFL Draft (4/27) 81
First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 217

The Redskins week that was

After today nearly half of all the Super Bowls ever played will have passed by in succession without the Redskins having participated. Since Washington last participated the Cowboys have won three, the Giants two and the Eagles have been to one. The Bears have been once, the Panthers have been twice and the Saints have won one. So have the Buccaneers. The Cardinals had a chance to win one.

RELATED: Tandler's all-time Redskins Super Bowl team--Offense

If the Redskins had remained even a competitive team most they almost should have stumbled into one of the 50 Super Bowl spots that have been up for grabs since they beat the Bills in Minneapolis. But since 1991 they have had three seasons with double digit wins, all of them 10-win seasons, and 12 seasons with double-digit losses.

Part of the problem has been at quarterback. In the 25 seasons since their last Super Bowl appearance, 13 different quarterbacks have led the team in passing yards. If you look down the list of Super Bowl starters you will find many more in the Hall of Fame (John Elway, Joe Montana) or very good, long-term starter (Joe Theismann, Russell Wilson) categories than you find in the average or below club (Trent Dilfer, Rex Grossman).

More Redskins: New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - Barstool Nate wants Kirk Cousins back

This does not mean that signing Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal will automatically get the Redskins back to the Super Bowl. Since 1991 they have finished in the bottom half in the league in points allowed 16 times including the last eight seasons in a row. But it is possible to have a solid defense while paying a quarterback in excess of $20 million as demonstrated lately by the Broncos, Panthers, and Seahawks, among others.

What it boils down to is drafting well and getting productive seasons out of low-wage players. Then when their rookie contracts are up the organization must make smart choices about who to keep on both sides of the ball. Even then, you have to stay healthy and get a break or two along the way. There isn’t a straight line from re-signing Cousins to the Super Bowl. But it’s a necessary starting point because if you don’t have a quarterback you don’t have a realistic chance.

Does it have to be Cousins? No. But good luck finding one in the free agent market. You could try to find one in the middle rounds of the draft, someone like Russell Wilson or Dak Prescott. But, wait, the Redskins already did that when they drafted Cousins in the fourth round. The Seahawks have had to give Wilson the big deal and the Cowboys will have to do so with Prescott in a couple of years.

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Check out the 2020 NFL Draft stage at the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas

Check out the 2020 NFL Draft stage at the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas

Whoever the Redskins select with the second overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, whether that be Chase Young or someone else, will have quite the entrance to the stage.

The site of this year's draft is Las Vegas, the first time the gambling mecca has hosted the event. Of course, the city was going to put its own twist on it.

The stage of the 2020 NFL Draft will be on the Fountains of Bellagio water, and players will take a boat from the draft green room to the stage.

Seriously. A boat. Take a look at the set up below.

Fans will also have easy access to watch the draft from the Vegas strip.

The entire set up looks larger than life. The draft has transformed from a one-day event at Radio City Music Hall to a full weekend experience.

With all these added features in Vegas, this year's draft experience certainly won't disappoint.

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How Dwayne Haskins beat Joe Burrow for the starting QB job at Ohio State

How Dwayne Haskins beat Joe Burrow for the starting QB job at Ohio State

Joe Burrow is arguably coming off the greatest single-season ever by a college football quarterback.

The LSU signal-caller finished the 2019 season a Heisman Trophy winner and a National Champion with a perfect 15-0 record. The 23-year-old broke numerous SEC and college football records with his 5,671 passing yards, 60 passing touchdowns, and just six interceptions.

Burrow, the presumed No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, only ended up at LSU because he did not win the starting QB job at Ohio State. After three years in the program and a recent Buckeye graduate at the time, Burrow announced his intentions to transfer from Ohio State shortly after spring ball ended in 2018.

During that spring, the Buckeyes had an open quarterback competition, and current Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins beat out Burrow for the job. So, how did that happen?

Ohio State beat reporter Bill Rabinowitz joined the latest Redskins Talk podcast to explain how.

Rabinowitz explained that the competition between Haskins and Burrow started long before the spring of 2018. During the 2017 season, Burrow was the backup over Haskins at first, but broke his hand earlier in the season. Haskins became the backup in his place. Haskins, a redshirt freshman at the time, was forced into action against Michigan after longtime starter J.T. Barrett injured his knee in the third quarter.

Haskins rallied the Buckeyes to a victory over their rival Wolverines on the road, which gave him a significant leg up over Burrow in the battle entering spring ball.

"It was an open competition, but we all basically know that Burrow was going to have to knock out the champ," Rabinowitz said. "If you go into Ann Arbor and rally the Buckeyes to win there, that's a huge thing on your résumé."

Rabinowitz explained that the two quarterbacks were practically even during spring ball; neither one stood out above the other. But with Burrow set to graduate in three years, there was no reason for him to stay if he wasn't the starter. He earned the right to explore his options and chose to head south to LSU.

"Urban Meyer and Ryan Day, the offensive coordinator at the time, had seen what Haskins did in a game, and watched those two in practice," Rabinowitz said. "There wasn't a lot of separation. They wanted both to stay, but Burrow earned the right to move on. There were no hard feelings. It was a completely understandable move by all sides. This was a win-win."

The following fall, Haskins rewarded both Meyer and Day for naming him the starter, leading Ohio State to a 13-1 record and a Rose Bowl victory. Haskins finished third in Heisman Trophy voting and set multiple Ohio State single-season passing records in the process. Additionally, he shattered Drew Brees' Big Ten single-season passing touchdowns record (Brees had 39, Haskins finished with 50).

In Burrow's first year with LSU in 2018, he finished with just under 2,900 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, and five interceptions. That's a solid season, but nothing spectacular, especially when comparing it to Haskins' 2018 campaign.

"Last year, in 2018, when you asked which quarterback would you rather have, there were no Ohio State fans who said 'I wish Burrow were here instead of Haskins,'" Rabinowitz said. 

"I don't think anyone, not even Joe Burrow, could have envisioned what he did at LSU," he continued. "It's only because Burrow went off this year, had a year for the ages [that we're having this discussion]."

The one thing that surprised Ohio State with Haskins was not his production in 2018, but his decision to leave for the NFL after just one season as the starter. When Burrow transferred in 2018, he had already graduated. Haskins was just a redshirt sophomore at the time and had two years of eligibility remaining following the 2018 season.

But the combination of Haskins' incredible season with a weak quarterback class had the Ohio State passer shoot up draft boards towards the end of the 2018 season.

"[Ohio State] expected him to have two years, maybe even three," Rabinowitz said. "It wasn't until midseason, maybe even the later part of the season, where they were like, 'Oh my god, this guy might leave.'"

Haskins left, and the Redskins selected him No. 15 overall. Justin Fields, the No. 1 quarterback recruit from the 2018 class, transferred from Georgia to Ohio State days later, and led the Buckeyes to the College Football Playoff in 2019. So, this situation also seemed to be a win-win for both sides.

"So I think the fans, the contrarians who wanted Burrow [over Haskins], they'd be looking for a quarterback next year," Rabinowitz said. "[Ohio State] doesn't have to. Ohio State has Justin Fields, who's going to be a Heisman frontrunner next year."

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