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Need to Know: The week that was--Barry gone and plenty of money to rebuild the D

Need to Know: The week that was--Barry gone and plenty of money to rebuild the D

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 7, 53 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL free agency starts 61
NFL draft 110
First Sunday of 2017 season 246

Top stories of the week that was and Tandler’s comments

Defensive coordinator Joe Barry fired—My take on Barry all year has been that it won’t make any difference if he’s gone if the organization doesn’t take further steps. Those steps include getting in a defensive coordinator with a proven philosophy and then signing and drafting quality players who are fits in that philosophy. Fans got their scalp and that’s fine. But a new man on the headset won’t change things all by himself.

Mock draft 1.0—Sure it’s waaaay too early. I mean, there’s another week and a half to go before the deadline for underclassmen to declare. But I’ll bet you’re going to check out who Ben Standig has the Redskins taking with the 17th pick. I don’t know what they’re going to do but I am confident in saying that it won’t necessarily be a defensive player. It will be the best available player. Scot McCloughan has a philosophy and he’s going to stick to it.

Cousins on new contract: 'Not trying to suck out every dollar possible'—The quarterback’s approval rating has taken something of a hit since he that critical interception against the Giants six days ago. His somewhat uncomfortable and neutral answer after the game when asked if he wanted to remain with the Redskins didn’t help things. His attempt to smooth things over the next day on his regular appearance on with Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan but it fell kind of flat. His awkward attempt to say that he didn’t want to take too little because the precedent would hurt future quarterbacks’ earnings was widely panned as disingenuous.

Redskins have ample cap space to work with—As noted above, the Redskins have a lot of defensive needs and a starting quarterback who is a free agent. They also have Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson going into free agency, among others. The good news is that they have a lot of cap space to work with and the ability to create more if they choose to move on from some veteran players. The organization has done a good job of bouncing back from the $36 million cap penalty that was spread between the 2012 and 2013 seasons and get into such good cap position now while remaining reasonably competititve.   

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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 mom 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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