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Need to Know: Redskins' rule change rejected but others will make game safer, move faster

Need to Know: Redskins' rule change rejected but others will make game safer, move faster

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 29, 29 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 19
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 44
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 56
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 108
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 156

Rule changes with commentary

—Prohibits the “leaper” block attempt on field goal and extra point plays.

Tandler: While it’s a fun play when it’s executed properly I can see the player safety angle of it. I’m not sure why teams didn’t just run some placement kicks with delayed snaps to get a free five yards because once a player has committed to the leap he can’t stop.

—Makes permanent the rule that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. 

Tandler: One of the few times that this came into play was in Week 3 when Giants center Weston Richburg got the boot for multiple penalties against the Redskins. I suppose most Redskins fans will be fine with it until a Washington player gets kicked out of a key game. Last year the rule was experimental and this makes it permanent

—Changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line for one year only. 

Tandler: I think this is kind of a dumb rule but it's designed to reduce kickoff returns and they did go down from 1,138 in 2015 to 1,012 last season. That’s an 11 percent drop and they want to give the experimental rule another year to see if that was just a statistical anomaly. It should be noted here that the Redskins’ proposal to place a kickoff that goes through the uprights at the 20-yard line did muster 11 votes but that’s far short of the 24 needed to pass it. The No Fun League indeed.

—Gives a receiver running a pass route defenseless player protection. Makes crackback blocks prohibited by a backfield player who is in motion, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped. 

Tandler: These are two different rules but I’m combining them into once comment—good for player safety, not sure why it took them so long to pass these rules.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

—Replaces the sideline replay monitor with a hand-held device and authorizes designated members of the Officiating department to make the final decision on replay reviews. 

Tandler: This is good for so many reasons. We should get better, more consistent decisions (although there’s no guarantee that my evergreen “Siri, what is a catch” tweet will be retired permanently). And the time that replay uses up should be greatly reduced.

—Makes it Unsportsmanlike Conduct to commit multiple fouls during the same down designed to manipulate the game clock. 

Tandler: This keeps teams from grabbing multiple receivers to prevent a Hail Mary attempt at the end of half or a game and prevents them from holding multiple players on a punt attempt to run out the clock at the end of a game. It’s a loophole that was closed, forcing a team to play defense or execute a punt instead of committing intentional penalties. The key is that the clock is reset to where it was when the ball was snapped.

—Makes actions to conserve time illegal after the two-minute warning of either half.

Tandler: This just takes the penalties that result in 10-second runoffs in the last minute of a half, mostly false starts when the clock is running, and makes them illegal any time after the two-minute warning.

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.

Tandler on Twitter

Responding to a tweet saying that the rule to put replay in the hands of official at the NFL offices:

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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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Case Keenum does not envision a return to the Redskins in 2020

Case Keenum does not envision a return to the Redskins in 2020

Statistically, veteran quarterback Case Keenum was the most productive signal-caller for the Redskins a season ago.

But after Keenum was forced to miss the Redskins Week 9 contest against the Bills due to injury, rookie Dwayne Haskins was inserted into the starting lineup. While the first-round pick had his ups and downs as a rookie, Haskins finished the 2019 season on a high note, flashing his potential as to why the Redskins selected him No. 15 overall the previous April.

Keenum, who described himself as a realist, still believes he's capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL. Understanding a scenario of that happening with the Redskins is unlikely next season, Keenum is not too optimistic about a return to Washington.

"I have no idea. I would say probably not," Keenum said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in Orlando about returning to Washington. "I can't tell the future though."

Keenum understands the direction the young Redskins roster is headed. Washington is hoping to build off a promising young core that includes Haskins, as well as young offensive weapons Terry McLaurin, Steven Sims and Derrius Guice.

The soon-to-be 32-year-old quarterback was impressed with the progress that Haskins made towards the end of the 2019 season.

"I think Dwayne did an incredible job towards the end of the season, adapting and getting a lot better," Keenum said. "I think it's his team moving forward."

However, Keenum believes he can still play football and play the quarterback position at a high level.

So if he has the opportunity to be a starter, or at least compete for the starting job, somewhere else, the veteran will certainly take that chance.

"I feel like I played really good football. I know the wins and losses didn't show it." Keenum said on his performance last season. "I'd love another shot to play in this league. So if there's another chance, another opportunity out there, I'm not sure where that might be, I don't take these things lightly. I'm going to go compete and make myself better this offseason and hopefully and be ready for whatever team might come calling."

During Ron Rivera's introductory press conference on Jan. 2, the new Redskins head coach was said he believed Haskins could be a "franchise-style quarterback." But he was also not overly committed to handing the starting job to Haskins right away. In fact, Rivera mentioned that some veterans would get the chance to compete for the job, with Keenum potentially being one of them. 

"I also think there's a couple of good veteran quarterbacks that are obviously going to get some opportunities to play as well," Rivera said. "We won't know until we get ready to open up in September. Until then, everything's just a process. We can't get ahead of it."

While Keenum would appreciate the opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback position in Washington, he didn't have his hopes too high when asked about that possibly being an option.

"If that's a possibility, and that's how it's going to be, I'm all for competition. I love it," Keenum said. "But I understand. I'm also a realist. I know what's going on. It's a tough situation, but I'm excited wherever I get an opportunity to compete."

Keenum referred to his year in Minnesota as an example of how nothing is ever guaranteed in the NFL. Things change fast.

"I came in as a third-, second-string at best [in Minnesota] and ended up starting 14, 15, 16, 17 games and going to the NFC Championship," he said. "Nobody could have predicted that when Sam Bradford went down Week 1."

During his eight-year NFL career, Keenum has spent time with seven different organizations. Change is nothing new for the veteran.

"It's funny, this league, there's so much talent, so many great coaches that get let go every year," Keenum said. "It's about having the right combination, the right people in the right place at the right time. I hope Ron does a great job bringing it all together [in Washington]."

In Rivera's introductory press conference, he was asked why his regime in Washington will be different than the unsuccessful ones before him. The head coach responded with: "I believe in me, and I'll bet on me."

Whether Keenum is with the Redskins or not in 2020, it sounds like the quarterback has already adopted that mindset from Rivera.

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