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Need to Know: Redskins roster shuffles will continue as rookie camp, OTAs unfold

Need to Know: Redskins roster shuffles will continue as rookie camp, OTAs unfold

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, May 8, 16 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.

Timeline

It’s been 127 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 125 days.

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 4
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 16
—Training camp starts (7/27) 80

Roster shuffles will continue as rookie camp, OTAs unfold

The players have been on the field at Redskins Park for a few weeks now but they have been doing conditioning and drills and very little that looks like football. That is going to change this week.

Rookie camp, May 12-14—This is about the 10 draft picks, the eight undrafted free agent signees and as many as 50 tryout players. It’s easy to see that the tryout players are under tremendous pressure. For them, it’s a chance to get a chance. They will get a few precious reps over the three days to show that they deserve a contract, a chance to participate in OTAs later this month. But the undrafted players who are under contract also are under the microscope. If the staff sees a tryout player outperform an undrafted signee, the contract can be terminated and the player on tryout can take that roster spot.

Organized team activities (OTAs), starting May 24—OTAs will run on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for three consecutive weeks. The practices will be open to the media for the Wednesday practices each week. During this phase of the offseason program the offense and defense can run plays against each other, although no contact is allowed. There may be some additional roster shuffling here if some of the undrafted rookies show that they can’t cut it when going up against the seasoned pros. Attendance for these sessions is voluntary; sometimes the best thing that can happen to a rookie hopeful is for a veteran at his position to take a week off, giving the rookie a chance to get snaps with the first or second unit.

RELATED: Which Redskins draft picks can make the 53-man roster?

Minicamp, June 13-15—This is a lot like OTAs but attendance is mandatory. It’s also a last chance to impress the coaches before the players scatter for six weeks prior to the start of training camp. Remember that even for players who are extreme long shots to make the 53-man roster there is a chance at one of the 10 practice squad spots. That doesn’t pay as well ($7,000 per week during the season compared to over $27,000 per week on a rookie minimum deal) but it is the proverbial foot in the door.

Training camp, starting July 27—This is when the competition gets real as the pads go on and the physical and mental grind that simulates and NFL season gets underway. Injuries become a factor and the scouts are scanning the waiver wire for replacements and upgrades.  

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Why Dwayne Haskins could be the first Ohio State QB to find real success in the NFL

Why Dwayne Haskins could be the first Ohio State QB to find real success in the NFL

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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Dwayne Haskins sees parallels between himself, Lion King's Simba

Dwayne Haskins sees parallels between himself, Lion King's Simba


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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