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From Fortnite to the NFL, Adonis Alexander excited for chance with Redskins

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From Fortnite to the NFL, Adonis Alexander excited for chance with Redskins

When Adonis Alexander answered arguably the most important phone call of his life, he had to put his controller down.

Like most millennials, Alexander likes to play the video game Fortnite, and that was the case when the Redskins reached out to let the former Virginia Tech safety know he'd been drafted. 

"I was actually in my room with my mom playing a game. I was playing Fortnite," Alexander said. "It was kind of exciting to be on Fortnite and to get drafted by the Redskins."

Exciting indeed.

Alexander's path to the NFL has been difficult, and most of that has been self-inflicted. Twice he got suspended at Virginia Tech, reportedly at least once for marijuana violations, and earlier this year he was deemed academically ineligible for the Hokies' 2018 season.

Ineligibility meant Alexander was headed for the NFL Supplemental Draft, where the Redskins rolled the dice and spent a 2019 sixth-round draft choice on Alexander

"I definitely made some mistakes at Virginia Tech but I’m using those, just learning from them. Using them to help form a better character, form myself as a man. I’m trying to benefit from the things I did in the past in a good way," Alexander said on a conference call with reporters.

The young man sounds contrite, genuinely. 

And he should. 

In three seasons in Blacksburg, he amassed seven interceptions. His best season came as a freshman, when he grabbed four INTs, knocked down nine passes and made 55 tackles. From there, the suspensions began and his college career began the arc towards the supplemental draft. 

In turn, it's likely Alexander cost himself some money. 

Had he been able to play his senior season, and play well, he probably would not have been a sixth-round draft choice. A slow-ish 40 time in pre-draft workouts didn't help either, but his college performance would probably override the workout result. Plus, at 6-foot-3 and a frame that will support more weight in an NFL training program, Alexander looks like a prototypical safety or rangy corner. 

Regardless, he's with the Redskins now, and he's got a number of familiar faces around him. 

Washington defensive backs coach Torrian Gray coached Alexander as a freshman at Tech. Tim Settle and Greg Stroman, two Redskins draft picks this season, also played with Alexander. In fact, Alexander was playing Fortnite with Settle when he got the call that he'd been drafted. 

"Coach Gray knows exactly how to coach me. With my teammates, they have been around me," Alexander said. "They know exactly the type of person I am."

In the NFL, coaches and scouts often try to discern from young men that make dumb mistakes compared to young men that make bad mistakes. It's the type of thing that is hard to find, but easy to see. 

With Alexander, it seems like he made dumb mistakes. And he now realizes he can't make any more of them. 

"This is a golden opportunity for me. Being able to play with Coach Gray, being able to play with former teammates, I feel like it was the best opportunity I could’ve gotten."

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Is Junior Galette hinting at a possible return to the Redskins? Maybe

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USA TODAY Sports

Is Junior Galette hinting at a possible return to the Redskins? Maybe

Junior Galette played well for the Redskins in 2017, he just didn't play enough. 

Coming back from consecutive torn Achilles injuries that forced him to miss the 2015 and 2016 seasons, it made sense for Washington to ease Galette back into the pass rush rotation early in the season. It made sense, for a time.

Galette did not get more than 30 snaps until the second half of the season, and even then, his snap total slipped below 20 for consecutive NFC East games in November. 

The statistical production wasn't particularly impressive, Galette registered just three sacks in 16 games, but Pro Football Focus graded him a +16.2 on the season, landing in the Top 15 among 3-4 outside linebackers. 

When the season ended and his contract expired, the Redskins made an offer to keep Galette. The money wasn't enough and the two sides ended the negotiations. 

Now, just two weeks before the start of training camp, it's hard to say the outside linebacker spot couldn't use a boost. The 'Skins have stalwarts in Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith, but after that come Pernell McPhee and Ryan Anderson. 

Washington moved quickly to sign McPhee after contract talks with Galette broke down. He's a veteran that has produced, when healthy, though he's fought injuries over the least few seasons in Chicago. Anderson, a second-round pick in 2017, showed zero in his rookie season. Could he make big strides in year two? Sure, but that might be a risky proposition. 

Which brings things all the way back to Galette.

In 2017, the Redskins went to camp deep at OLB. The team had Kerrigan, Smith, Galette, Trent Murphy and had just drafted Ryan Anderson. 

In 2018, the 'Skins have just Kerrigan, Smith, McPhee and Anderson. Certainly other OLBs are on the 90-man roster, but none seem like locks for the actual 53-man roster that will take the field Week 1 in Arizona. 

For months, it seemed Galette was done with Washington. He even hinted at retirement in social media posts. 

This week, however, that sentiment seems to be thawing. 

In another tweet, Galette said he would "pull up right now" if the Redskins made a "2/10" offer. The "2/10" in the tweet (caution graphic language) refers to a suggested contract offer of two years for $10 million.

Back in March when free agency opened, Galette made clear he wanted more money than the Redskins were offering. It's possible that offer was on the table, and maybe didn't look great then, but looks good now. Remember that the Redskins pulled their offer and 'Skins personnel VP Doug Williams told Galette that the team was going in a different direction. That direction was McPhee. 

A few months later, and with camp coming fast and the regular season just around the corner, maybe time can heal old wounds?

It seems unlikely.

Scot McCloughan signed Galette and stood by the pass rush specialist as he dealt with two lost seasons. McCloughan hasn't worked in Washington for more than a year now. 

Repeatedly this offseason, Washington's top brass stated their confidence in the 2018 squad. Williams, along with Bruce Allen and Doug Williams, expect this team to compete for the NFC East title this fall. Bringing Galette at this point back would run counter to that sentiment.  

Still, never say never. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap

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Derrius Guice surprised his mom with a new car and the video will melt your heart

Derrius Guice surprised his mom with a new car and the video will melt your heart

Redskins rookie running back Derrius Guice made a quick impression on Washington fans.

In just a few short months since the NFL Draft, he's shown to be generous and caring, raising money for cancer research in his native Louisiana and taking random Redskins fans to the movies just for fun. 

Whatever the "character concerns" were with Guice that caused him to slip to the late second round of the draft, they sound foolish now. Redskins players and coaches have all spoken highly of the rookie runner, and frankly, the character question storyline needs to go away. 

Particularly after watching this video.

Guice's tragic childhood is well documented. His father was murdered when he was a young boy, and nothing in his life came easy coming up in an impoverished section of Baton Rouge. His mother raised him alone and let Guice go live with another family for high school so he could pursue his football career. 

Buying his mother a car - and that car, a Jaguar SUV - is not just a mere act of kindness. It's a statement that he's risen out of poverty and tragedy and is now in position to take care of his family. 

In a way, it's even more encouraging that Guice still wants to buy his mom a house, but recognizes now is not the time financially.

Guice has fast become a Redskins fan favorite, enough that he might vault to most popular player status if things go well on the field this fall. Each day, it's becoming easier to see why. 

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