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Will the Redskins hold on to NT Cofield?


Will the Redskins hold on to NT Cofield?

This morning, we examined the 2015 outlook for the Redskins’ defensive line and studied the salary cap situation at the position. Now, Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will give their take on the most pressing issue at the position:

Should the Redskins keep Barry Cofield at nose tackle?

Tandler: Cofield converted from defense tackle in the Giants’ 4-3 defense to nose tackle in the Redskins’ 3-4 when he signed with Washington as a free agent in 2011. He was solid in the role his first two seasons but his performance has started to fade. Injuries are partly to blame. He played the first few games of the 2013 season with a cast on his hand after suffering a broken thumb in the preseason. Then last year he suffered a high ankle sprain in the season opener and spent the next eight games on short-term injured reserve. Cofield played the rest of the season but was not very effective with one sack and five tackles while played 252 snaps. The question now is if his body can continue to hold up under the pounding that comes with the position in the middle of the line at his age (31 before OTAs start) and size (listed at 303, probably heavier but still a smaller than average NT). When you factor in his cap number, which is fifth highest on the team at $7.7 million, you have to think that Scot McCloughan will be considering other options at nose tackle. I think he takes a reduction from his 2015 salary of $5 million, including roster and workout bonuses) and moves to a rotational role at end.

El-Bashir: Earlier today, I noted that four of the Redskins’ seven defensive linemen are on the wrong side of 30. And, as Tandler just mentioned, Cofield is one of them. He’s a respected, lead-by-example veteran in a locker room that needs more players of his type. In 2013, he was one of the league’s most productive defensive linemen. But in the NFL, it’s all about, ‘What have you done for me lately?’ And when you couple Cofield’s recent injury history (particularly the groin/hernia ailment that required two procedures last season) his high mileage and salary, it’s difficult to conclude that his current (and even projected) production matches his $7.7 million cap number in 2015. It’s very difficult, in fact, especially when you take into account the fact that 27-year-old Chris Baker is able to step in as the starter at nose tackle. Would Cofield accept a pay cut? I’ve got imagine the Redskins will ask him to do so. If he won’t, it's possible he'll be elsewhere in '15. I do believe Cofield’s versatility and leadership can be a key asset as a new general manager and defensive coordinator reshape the Redskins’ D-line. But I suspect it will only happen at the team’s price. And that could complicate matters.


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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.