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For Redskins, the desperation shoe is on the other foot this year

For Redskins, the desperation shoe is on the other foot this year

During their last three runs to the playoffs the Redskins have been in desperate straits in December. In 2007, 2012, and 2015 they put themselves into early holes and had to spend the stretch run climbing out of them.

By no means are the Redskins on Easy Street as they make a run at this year’s playoffs. But they are not playing catch-up. A loss would be damaging, no doubt, but not fatal as December losses in previous years may have been.

For the next few weeks, the shoe is on the other foot as the Redskins face three potentially desperate opponents. On Sunday, they face the Cardinals, who were in the NFC title game last year. They are currently 4-6-1, two full games behind the Redskins for the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs. A loss to the Redskins would put them three games out with four to play, plus Washington would hold the tiebreaker edge with the head-to-head win.

But a Cardinals win would keep them alive—still desperate and facing long odds but nonetheless alive.

Redskins linebacker Will Compton was with the Redskins during their run last year and he knows that the game on Sunday will have a different sort of vibe.

“I guess you feel more of that playoff environment, that, I don’t want to say effort and say that guys take plays off earlier in the year,” said the defensive captain. “There’s just more urgency, you get teams’ best shots, there’s some different wrinkles in their system, things like that. We know we’ve got a big game coming up with Arizona this week and they’re in a must-win situation.”

“We just know we’re going to get their best shot, whatever that is. We know that they’re more desperate, so to speak, than us. We’re desperate as well, if we want to continue to control our own destiny, we’ve got to win, we’ve got to win out . . . They’re where we were.”

After Sunday, there are two more games against teams who could be fighting for their playoff lives. A road game against the Eagles, who are a game and a half behind the Redskins at 5-6, comes in Week 14. If they beat the Bengals they will be looking to make a stand in Philadelphia and the Redskins will be trying to put another nail in the coffin of their division foes.

The following Monday night the Panthers come to FedEx Field. At 4-7 the defending NFC champs’ playoff hopes are on life support. The plug could be pulled if they lose to either the Seahawks or Chargers in between now and that game. But if they get on a roll and win those two games they will believe that they are very much alive and will be the desperate opponent.

Meanwhile, the Redskins will do everything they can to win games and play the role of spoiler. If they can do that they will find themselves in the playoffs for a second straight year for the first time since 1992.

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Former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens joins Giants staff

Former Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens joins Giants staff

What a difference a year makes for Freddie Kitchens.

After a tumultuous season in his first year as the Browns head coach in 2019, Kitchens was fired at the end of the season. On Monday, reports surfaced that Kitchens would be joining new Giants head coach Joe Judge's staff in New York.

According to The Athletic's Bruce Feldman, Kitchens is expected to be hired as the Giants tight ends coach.

From head coach to position coach in just a month's time, that's quite the fall off for Kitchens.

Kitchens and Judge had previously worked together at Mississippi State in 2005. Kitchens served as the Bulldogs' running backs coach, while Judge was just starting his coaching career as a graduate assistant.

The two have not crossed paths since, but obviously maintained a relationship strong enough for Judge to bring the former head coach onto his staff.

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Dwayne Haskins reflects on bond with Kobe Bryant from pre-draft workouts

Dwayne Haskins reflects on bond with Kobe Bryant from pre-draft workouts

Terrible news hit America on Sunday when word came out that basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven others. 

A tragic event for a man and a player that made an impact far beyond basketball. Bryant was known for many things, but more than any, it might have been his competitive spirit. A five-time NBA champion and an 18-time All-Star, Bryant's play was defined by a fluid game and an unstoppable spirit. 

For Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins, he got to see some of Bryant's spirit up close. Last year, before the NFL Draft, Haskins trained at Bryant's gym in Los Angeles, and their encounters made an impression on the signal-caller. 

"He's definitely a guy that brings a lot to the table as far as how he trains, how he prepares and what he expects out of his teammates. Very, very demanding," Haskins said of Bryant. "I want to be able to have that other tool, being able to have that edge that Kobe had. Of course, I play like that, but I'd be able to lead like that. That's why I studied Kobe."

Haskins is one of many young athletes that grew up watching Bryant, and for plenty, idolizing Bryant. 

After the news broke Sunday, Haskins reacted on Twitter.

Haskins said it well: RIP to a legend. Gone too soon. 

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