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Scherff making two transitions as he settles in with the Redskins


Scherff making two transitions as he settles in with the Redskins

Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan now has a star pupil to work with so he and Brandon Scherff worked some overtime this weekend.

There were two rookie minicamp sessions on Saturday and after each of them Callahan and Washington’s top draft pick stayed on the field long after the others had headed to the locker room. They appeared to be working on some pass protection techniques along with rookie guard Arie Kouandjio.

Scherff is trying to absorb as much as he can from Callahan, who has a reputation for being one of the best at what he does.

“You have to learn each day from coach Callahan, he’s a heck of a coach,” said Scherff. “I’ve learned so much from him this past week. Just got to come in, keep improving every day . . . He’s taught us different hand drills, different technique drills, so it’s good.”

“It’s been great, he’s taught us a lot, he’s put a lot on our shoulders and he expects us to know it. You’ve got to go to meetings, come out and practice, and go to your hotel room and study.”

Scherff is making two transitions as he joins the Redskins. Along with the other players at rookie camp he is moving up from college ball to the NFL. At Iowa, Scherff could handle most defenders with strength and determination. But in the NFL he’ll be facing the equivalent of an All-American defender every single week. Getting the job done at that level requires mastering the finer points of the game.

“Just technique, you know,” he said when asked what he’s learning from Callahan. “Things are a little different, they’re a lot faster so you’ve got to be ready to go.”

The other transition Scherff is making is from left tackle, where he played most of his career at Iowa, to right tackle. It’s not as easy as remembering to go to the other end of the line after breaking the huddle.

“Obviously, moving over to right tackle is not just a transition that’s going to be immediate and easy for him,” said head coach Jay Gruden. “He’s going to have to take some lumps, but the good thing about Brandon is he’s a very focused individual. He studies very hard, he takes coaching extremely well and he’s got the best coach to coach him up.”

To Scherff, successfully making the transition from left to right is just about practice. In fact, he’ll keep working on his day off even though he won’t go on a football field.

“It’s all just repetition,” Scherff said when asked about moving from left to right. “You’ve got to just keep repping it, repping it. That’s what coach Callahan said. We have a Sunday off tomorrow so he said go to your hotel room and rep your pass set in your hotel room so might as well do that, too.”

Kouandjio is Scherff’s roommate in the hotel near Redskins Park and it’s likely that Callahan made the same suggestion to the team’s fourth-round pick. Given that they weigh a combined 634 pounds, you have to believe that the hotel managers hopes that they conduct their workouts separately. 

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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.