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  • Inside the mind of Redskins offensive coordinator Scott Turner
    by Bill-in-Bangkok on May 28, 2020 at 1:30 am

    Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports Back in January, the Redskins fanbase was divided on many things; one of those things was the question of whether Ron Rivera should retain Kevin O’Connell as the Redskins offensive coordinator. O’Connell was young and energetic, and Redskins fans had seen a lot of talented former coordinators of the same ilk leave the organization to have success elsewhere — guys like Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay and Matt LeFleur. ‘Skins fans were loathe to see yet another up and coming Redskins coach leave the building. In the end, both Rivera and O’Connell said that a mutual parting was agreed upon, and Redskins nation was introduced to a different young, up and coming offensive coordinator, but one not altogether unfamiliar to the franchise. Scott Turner, son of former Redskins head coach Norv Turner, is the very definition of a young and inexperienced offensive coordinator, having run the Carolina offense only for the last quarter of the 2019 season, but growing up, as he did, the son of an NFL offensive coach, he arrives with a lot of knowledge and experience. 9 January 2020: Scott Turner is the new Redskins OC and most of the Panthers offensive staff is coming with him Turner expressed a lot of excitement to be “coming home” when he talked to reporters in his introductory media session a few months ago, reminding them that this is where he lived for a long time while his dad was the coach in DC; that he had gone to high school in the area. Fans, in return, are excited to find out if the Redskins can reverse the flow of coaching talent and bring it into Redskins Park, drawing talent to the franchise instead of watching it leave. 16 January 2020: Redskins Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner Conference Call On Wednesday, Scott Turner had a lengthy Q&A session with local media via Zoom where he answered a bunch of questions about himself and his offensive plans for the Redskins. 5 May 2020: What can we expect from Scott Turner’s offense? While Turner was asked about specific position groups and specific players, he was also asked about his approach to teaching his offensive philosophies right now. We have a really good group of coaches on this staff and I am familiar with the majority of them in Carolina. What they are first is teachers. They all know this offense like the back of their hand. I try to delegate to them and let them spend the time with their guys to teach them. I have been in and out of those meetings. We meet with the quarterbacks as one because Alex [Smith] is in Hawaii. I spend all the time in there. With the quarterbacks, the big thing there is just every play — explain to them what the objective is on that play, what we are trying to accomplish and what the philosophy is. That is something that we are trying to express to those guys. Turner made some interesting points when he talked about the quarterback’s role in the offense, and got into the issues of identifying favorable matchups and progressing through reads. If...it is man [coverage] and you’ve got a one-on-one matchup, and you like the matchup, then get to the top of your drop, hitch and throw; take it and count on your guy to win. [Y]ou have to win on the outside with those matchups. But to me, you’re not waiting to read through a progression, you’re just saying, ‘Hey, we’ve got our guy against their guy and we’re going to take him.’ So that is kind of the point I was making there, and goes to speak towards some of the philosophy.... I think it does help Dwayne because he can get back quick in the drop and identify a matchup and then put the ball where he wants to. I think it makes it easy for all quarterbacks to recognize, ‘Hey, I might have a progression over here, but I have a matchup backside and I’m just going to take that.’ We don’t have that option on every play, but we try to do it quite a bit. Related: Inside the mind of Redskins Special Teams Coordinator Nate Kaczor Scott Turner was asked to talk about what the draft meant to the receiver group he has to work with. [We made sure to] bring in quality football players to create competition. Looking at some of the additions that we made, yeah, they might not be flashy names, but that’s not necessarily always the best route to go either. We brought in guys that are great competition, and the beauty of this is we don’t have to play anybody till September 13th, for real, so, we don’t have to set our lineup today, and in any one of our positions, [we’ll] let those guys practice, we’ll evaluate. We’ll evaluate and play the best players — play the guys that give us the best chance to win. You talk about our draft, I mean obviously with [Antonio Gandy-Golden] I’m excited about Antonio. The guy made all the plays. I know Liberty, but Liberty is still a pretty good level of football. They played against some top-level opponents, and those were some of his best games. Constant production. The guy plays fast, contested catches, all those things that you want to see. Now, he’s got to do it. He’s got to show it. Again, like I said, it starts in practice. Going forward, he’s going to have an opportunity to earn a spot to contribute. But even with Gibson, you can label him as a running back, you can call him whatever you want, but he played 80 percent of his snaps as receiver in Memphis. He’s...a guy that can give you some versatility offensively. And then he discussed the new running backs the team added since January. You know, it’s kind of the same thing I said with the receivers. We want to add quality guys and create competition. It’s no secret that we took over a team that hasn’t been in the best place, right? It’s not like I’m saying anything anybody doesn’t know — 3-13 last year. We’ve got a long way to go to get better, and I think the way to do that is to create competition on your roster. So we wanted to add guys...like Peyton Barber, J.D. McKissic, and then in the draft, you know like I said, Gibson is kind of a tweener type player. What we didn’t want to do is handcuff ourselves to where, ‘hey this is the guy and we’ve got to play him.’ Right now, we have options and we’ve got guys that are competing, and whoever ends up winning the competition is going to be better for it because they’ve got guys pushing them. Turner was asked if the offense would target any specific players in terms of getting the ball in their hands. I think that is yet to be seen, [although] obviously there are a couple candidates. Steven Sims — you saw what he did at the end of the year, Antonio Gibson — [I already] talked about drafting him. J.D. McKissic is a guy who was a slot receiver at Arkansas State who played at Seattle and for the Lions and now is a running back but has done a couple different things. Those are three guys that really come to mind. Obviously we’re going to try to get the ball in Terry’s hands but that is in more of a traditional receiver and throwing the ball type of sense. But we have guys that we feel like can fit those molds as far as just creatively getting the ball, not just like running back and receiver. We’re going to give a lot of people a chance and see how it shakes out. Every time I hear Scott Turner talk about the offensive plan, I am struck by his desire to run something that is not “traditional”. He seems to disdain the idea of throwing the ball to the receivers and handing the ball to the running backs. Instead, he seems focused on fielding a set of skill-position offensive players with a combination of running and receiving skills that will allow him to use formations, motions and movement to create mismatch opportunities on every play. His ability (or lack of ability) to do this effectively seems to me to be the key to whatever offensive success the Redskins will enjoy this season. Versatility has been a buzzword this offseason. Of course that helps any O. This is Scott Turner’s take on it (also discusses balance; it’s not about the run-pass ratio): pic.twitter.com/U9PaTz2Sny— John Keim (@john_keim) May 27, 2020 Related: A closer look at the Redskins’ position coaches: Offense He was aked to specifically comment on Adrian Peterson and whether he fits the type of offensive system that Turner had been describing. I’ve got a ton of respect for Adrian. I spent three years with him in Minnesota. In 2015, he led the league in rushing. I wasn’t calling the plays, I was the quarterback coach, but that’s the offense that we’re going to run to an extent. It always changes with your personnel. With Adrian and his skillset, when he’s rolling, there’s a role for that type of back. I understand what you’re saying with the pass game stuff and he’s capable of catching check downs and those types of things. He’s great when you have him in there for play-action passes, when you’re trying to throw the ball down the field. I’m not concerned with that. If someone’s not good at something, regardless of who it is, they don’t have to do it — with the exception of offensive lineman, they’ve got to block. But, as far as skill players, you can ask them to do the things that they’re good at. Unsurprisingly, the bulk of the questions that Turner handled focused on his young quarterback, Dwayne Haskins. He had a lot to say. Haskins, the student Obviously we can’t see him doing it on the field with the virtual meetings, but we’re putting a lot of work in, obviously abiding by the rules that the NFL has set forth – four days a week, two hours a day. We’re kind of throwing a lot at them. In the beginning of every meeting, we do some quizzes, tests just [to] test their retention. When we’re talking to him, he is speaking the language. It’s pretty easy to tell if they get it or not. Dwayne’s doing a great job. Haskins, the athlete You can tell he’s putting the work in away from the meeting time, and he’s working at it and doing as much as he can. The physical side of it —I know he’s doing a lot of it on his own. You guys, I’m sure, have all the seen the pictures. It looks like he’s in great shape. The time he’s putting in with the receivers, Terry and [WR] Kelvin [Harmon] — they all have been throwing together for some time now — that’s all positive. Preparing Haskins for the season Obviously as a coach, and with me coming in new and putting in this new offense, I’d love to have more time with him, but it is what it is. I think that we’re doing a great job with making the most of the situation. A lot of play in this league is confidence. Obviously, you have to have this skillset that we all believe Dwayne does, but it takes a while for guys to truly believe that they can do this and that they can play in this league. It is highly competitive, and it humbles everyone. Watching him and spending the time with him, getting to know him as I have over these past few months, you want to build on those things. If we’re watching film, we can ask him a question about, ‘Hey, what is this coverage?’ and he will give you the correct answer. Well, why is that? When you can have that dialogue and they can give you the correct answer and are repeating the things that you talked about in earlier sessions, that is when you know it is really starting to click. What Haskins showed in 2019 You look at him stand in the pocket; he doesn’t need a lot of space to operate. That is one thing that you worry about with players in college football. A lot of times in college football if you look at quarterbacks in the pocket, a lot of times there is no one around them. That is just not how we play the game. That was one of the first things that I looked at when I got the job — looking at Dwayne’s pass reps and how he operated in those tight pockets. His eyes stayed down field. He was able to push the ball down the field in those 20, 30, 40-yard throws with velocity, not needing a lot of space to generate with his body. He is a big guy and he is hard to bring down. I saw that firsthand in Carolina when the Redskins came down and beat us. He got out of a couple plays and extended plays that way just because of how physical he is. Those are the things that really stand out. You are going to make money in this league by standing in there and making throws down the field when it is tough. He has shown enough of that. His eyes aren’t going to go down, and he is not going to look at the defensive line. He is going to hang in there and execute the throws down the field. I really enjoyed this final set of comments in particular, as it highlighted something about our quarterback that is often overlooked or under-valued; specifically, that Dwayne has the ability to stand in a collapsing pocket and make throws because he is strong. Too often, we judge players on their 40 times or based on the arm strength they display on an empty field with a receiver streaking down the sideline in compression shorts and shirt. Some guys play faster than their 40 time (and some slower), and some quarterbacks can make plays when things aren’t perfect, while others can’t. I watched a bunch of highlight reels from the 2019 season this week as I was working on a couple of other articles, and, although I was focused on the Redskins receivers while I was watching, I was struck by what I saw from Dwayne Haskins. I saw tremendous improvement in pocket awareness. Even by the end of the season he was making some mistakes, but it was clear from watching film of one pass play after another across a string of games, that Dwayne was improving his footwork and becoming more aware of how to deal with the defense and how to put the ball on the right receiver effectively and on-time. If he learned that much in nine games under a coaching staff with no future in DC, how much faster will he improve under a staff that is devoted to developing him into the best quarterback he can be?

  • How good can Terry McLaurin be?
    by Bill-in-Bangkok on May 27, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images His potential is truly scary On a team filled with young, developing players, Terry McLaurin is the one young offensive playmaker who both produced at a high level throughout 2019 and appears to have “star” potential. On a roster dominated by top draft picks on the defensive side of the ball, McLaurin and Haskins are probably the only two players on offense who have any national name recognition (aside from a TE with the notable name of Moss). “This guy runs a 4.35, he can run a full route tree, he can hold onto a ball after a big hit, and he can win a contested catch battle in the air.” Because the team has looked so bad of late, I think that Redskins fans at times hesitate to embrace the idea that a given player can perform at a very high level on the field even as the team struggles. It can be hard to be a star on a bad team, but as the Redskins fortunes hopefully improve under Ron Rivera, Terry McLaurin has the opportunity to rise to national prominence. I contend that Terry McLaurin is going to build on his 2019 rookie season and be among the best in the NFL in 2020. First Down Training breaks down Terry McLaurin’s use of the “blindspot” technique Posted by Bill Horgan on Monday, May 25, 2020 First, let’s look at some simple statistics from Terry’s 14 games in 2019. He caught 58 passes for 919 yards and 7 touchdowns. He made a 1st down on 74% of his catches. He did not fumble the ball, and in fact, recovered one of his of his teammates’ fumbles. Had he played 16 games instead of 14, his numbers project as: 66 receptions 1,050 yards 8 touchdowns But the raw statistics above don’t really do justice to what Terry McLaurin accomplished in 2019 and how well that bodes for the future. Contested Catches Perhaps the most surprising and impressive advanced metric related to Terry McLaurin from 2019 has to do with his contested catch percentage. Terry McLaurin was #1 in the NFL in contested catch percentage at 68.4%. Watch this video that talks about how impressive McLaurin is when it comes to contested catches. Posted by Bill Horgan on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 Video from Billy’s Film Session Yards Per Route Run (YPRR) Consider the Yards Per Route Run, which you see charted against Target Rate below. Of course, being targeted at a higher rate will lead to higher YPRR, so we’re looking for receivers who are the highest on the chart at any given point along the X axis. You can see, if you look closely, Terry McLaurin’s name in a group at the 20% vertical axis, lumped together with Keenan Allen and A.J. Brown. Graphic messiness aside, this is a strong indicator of future success. McLaurin’s yard per route run (YPRR) average in 2019 is one of the best ever recorded by a rookie wideout in the 14 years from 2006-2019 shown on this chart. Only 11 other rookie receivers have recorded a higher YPRR average across 300-plus routes than McLaurin (2.05) during that time. Chart from Pro Football Focus Deep ball, sideline and end-zone receptions One of the hallmarks of a player who catches a lot of deep balls and makes a lot of contested sideline catches or catches in the end zone is that the player has limited Yards After Catch, which is a statistic that is compiled more by running backs and receivers who catch the ball on short passes, especially over the middle of the field. Compiling cumulative big yardage totals with limited YAC is a sign of a special type of receiver — one who is frequently beating defensive backs deep, catching the ball with more of the field behind him than in front of him when he gets his hands on the ball. First Down Training breaks down McLaurin’s ability to change direction Posted by Bill Horgan on Monday, May 25, 2020 Billy’s Film Session talks about the threat of McLaurin’s speed and shows him beating Stephon Gilmore Posted by Bill Horgan on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 McLaurin created separation down the field at a high rate, with his speed, route-running and releases all combining for high-end receiving production without high-end YAC. He was one of eight NFL receivers who recorded fewer than 25% of their receiving yards after the catch but still managed to total more than 800 receiving yards in 2019. Chart from Pro Football Focus According to PFF: New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, the NFL’s top receiver in 2019, ranked tied for 52nd in yards after the catch per reception with McLaurin at 3.8. And Atlanta Falcons veteran Julio Jones averaged only 3.6 yards after the catch per reception this past season. Winning downfield routes and separating at a high rate can lead to sustainable receiving production similar to consistent YAC threats like AJ Brown and Deebo Samuel in 2019. Route running abilities Darius Slay (who, after signing with the Eagles, will now get to play against Terry twice per season) rated McLaurin as the second-toughest receiver he had to cover in 2019 behind Keenan Allen. That’s pretty high praise when you consider that Slay went up against players like Stephon Diggs, Amari Cooper, and Allen Robinson last year. Terry McLaurin is capable of running any route the coaching staff asks him to. To illustrate, McLaurin and Seattle rookie WR DK Metcalf were the only two rookies with 100-plus receiving yards across four or more different route concepts. Chart from Pro Football Focus Terry McLaurin’s sophistication and versatility as a rookie auger great things still to come. What Terry McLaurin accomplished is especially impressive when you consider how little help he had from the scheme or the rest of the offense for most of the 2019 season. A Redskins top producer McLaurin ranked 6th in the NFL in 2019 with regard to the percentage of his team’s total passing yards accounted for. Michael Thomas was #1 at 38.6%; Terry accounted for 28.6% of the Redskins passing yards last season. He ranked 4th in the NFL in percentage of the team’s total passing touchdowns, at 38.9% (Cooper Kupp was #1, at 45.5%). McLaurin is one of only four players to be in the top-7 in both categories, and the only rookie to appear in either category. First Down Training breaks down McLaurin beating press man coverage Posted by Bill Horgan on Monday, May 25, 2020 Billy’s Film Session talks about McLaurin’s ability to take a hit and hold onto the ball Posted by Bill Horgan on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 Limited by quarterback play The real limitation to Terry McLaurin’s production in 2019 was the inaccuracy of the three quarterbacks throwing to him. No rookie receiver saw a lower percentage of accurate passes on downfield throws than McLaurin. Only 45.2% of his targets of five-plus air yards were charted as accurate in 2019, which ranked 52nd among all qualifying pass-catchers and dead last among rookies. Again and again, McLaurin beat the coverage and was running open, only to have the quarterback du jour overthrow him, throw behind him or far too high or low for the ball to be catchable. Just in the six passes shown in the video below, I estimate that Terry lost around 145 yards and 3 touchdowns to inaccurate throws without allowing for any YAC. Billy’s Film Session narrates as Redskins QBs miss a wide-open Terry McLaurin again and again Posted by Bill Horgan on Monday, May 25, 2020 A foundation laid for greatness Consider this from one analyst: McLaurin didn’t put up crazy numbers, but he was the focal point of his team’s offense, so if the quarterback play gets any better, McLaurin’s numbers will most likely go up significantly. Another thing to consider is that he was a rookie, and immediately became his team’s number one receiver. So you have to think he’s only gonna get better as a football player. He was definitely one of the steals of the 2019 draft, and seems like...a number one option moving forward. Terry McLaurin demonstrated the skills of a savvy veteran in 2019. He will only get better. Scary Terry is poised to dominate the competition and establish himself among the elite receivers of the NFL.

  • All aTwitter: 27 May 2020
    by Bill-in-Bangkok on May 27, 2020 at 4:00 am

    Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images News, links to articles, updates and more from DC area writers and national sports journalists All atwitter will be posted at the beginning of every day (at midnight in Washington, DC). The goal is to give readers a handy spot to check the Redskins beat writers & bloggers, national sports journalists, and football fans to keep up on the latest news and opinions about the Redskins, the NFL, and sports in general, along with a smattering of other things. NFL News twitter feed: Tweets from https://twitter.com/ScottJenningsHH/lists/nfl-rumors-and-reporters Redskins twitter feed: Tweets from https://twitter.com/ScottJenningsHH/lists/beat-writers Adrian Peterson is ~1,000 yards away from leapfrogging Barry Sanders. He may also be on the #Redskins' roster bubble:https://t.co/IrAKziXQmr— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) May 26, 2020 We use stickers to organize what equipment belongs to each player. The top stickers go inside the ear hole for every helmet. The middle stickers go under the shoulder pad epaulets. The bottom stickers go at a player’s cubby where cleats are stored. pic.twitter.com/lcxbGpzfb8— Skins EQ Guy (@Skins_EQ_Guy) May 26, 2020 Things EQ managers notice:-Chase signed with @UnderArmour so his cleats and gloves would not be Nike-@oakley has the rights to all eyewear so the visor tabs would have “O” on them instead of the Nike check— Skins EQ Guy (@Skins_EQ_Guy) May 26, 2020 The #Redskins pass rush graded at 69.2 overall in 2019, ranked 19th.Where will they rank in 2020?#HTTR pic.twitter.com/NOoDT4rLy1— PFF WAS Redskins (@PFF_Redskins) May 26, 2020 STC Nate Kaczor has an early crush. pic.twitter.com/vcAFfyPFKH— Burgundy Blog (@BurgundyBlog) May 26, 2020 : @TheHumble_21 Pregame ritual pic.twitter.com/rygMV6y3vl— All-Pro Reels (@allproreels) May 26, 2020 Dwayne Haskins ranks No. 39, behind Mitch Trubisky on QB Top-40 list https://t.co/Hlc5sVjJXT— The Redskins Wire (@TheRedskinsWire) May 26, 2020 To any Redskins fans getting upset at Simms' ranking of Haskins should google his past QB rankings and you'll realize you can probably just ignore this year's rankings...— Nick Akridge (@PFF_NickAkridge) May 26, 2020 Going virtual is helping everyone https://t.co/Ldh9XZC60o— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) May 26, 2020 Mike Tolbert recently commented on how the Carolina Panthers handled Cam Newton's injuries the past couple of seasons.Here's why his response is notable for the #Redskins.https://t.co/PoT063pyyt— Riggo's Rag (@RiggosRag) May 26, 2020 Who else doing this mid game with the other team chasing right behind......— Kam Curl (@KCurl_2) May 27, 2020 I got Lebron dunking on MJ in both their primes — Kam Curl (@KCurl_2) May 27, 2020 You never know what to expect with Riggo — Washington Redskins (@Redskins) May 27, 2020 The ESPN Football Power Index ran 20,000 simulations for the 2020 season and came up with their power rankings #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/T12Q8SyV0O— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) May 26, 2020 From @NFLTotalAccess on Monday: The #Bears expect to play both QBs in the preseason, a change from the past that should make their QB battle more interesting. pic.twitter.com/hnYEvp0LJe— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 26, 2020 Bears To Play Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Foles In Preseason https://t.co/QZmDhhRTys pic.twitter.com/e8BqIYtjco— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) May 26, 2020 Who are my two FA's to sign that have "value"? Check it out! @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/mhlbyyuJRL— Charley Casserly (@CharleyCasserly) May 25, 2020 Rams CB Jalen Ramsey said that he would report to training camp without a contract extension. He just said that on a video call with reporters. Ramsey is entering the final year of his contract.— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) May 26, 2020 More from Rams CB Jalen Ramsey/contract talks: “The Rams know where I stand...it will get handled. They have been in contact with my agent. They are on the same page. They know what’s up. I know what’s up...I will let them handle the business side of it...I will focus on football— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) May 26, 2020 Saints Placed DE Noah Spence On Reserve/Non-Football Injury List With Torn ACL https://t.co/WQa72qyG5h #Saints pic.twitter.com/lwAZ7PpLce— NFLTradeRumors.co (@nfltrade_rumors) May 27, 2020 New Jaguars OC Jay Gruden on developing a relationship with Gardner Minshew: "It's my job to make it mesh, you know, to take on the personality of the quarterback and get him to understand what we're trying to get accomplished." https://t.co/J77m33Uww4 pic.twitter.com/1jHXGJ4eQw— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) May 27, 2020 Jets' Joe Flacco Won't Be Ready For Week 1 https://t.co/nU95EAEWKh pic.twitter.com/pbUI6tRkQ6— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) May 27, 2020 Meanwhile, Cam still waits. https://t.co/l6luyOFa0n— Mike Jones (@ByMikeJones) May 27, 2020 Josh Johnson hoping for NFL opportunity, waiting to see future of XFL https://t.co/JeLIh3r7Hg— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 26, 2020 From #NYG: “Gov. Murphy and his administration continue to guide New Jerseyans through this very difficult time. We have been in close contact with Gov. Murphy’s staff to comply with the state’s protocols throughout.— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) May 26, 2020 For employees who need to return to work at our facility, we expect to begin that process next week, and we will do so in a systematic and safe way that adheres to the state’s guidelines and NFL protocols.” #Giants— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) May 26, 2020 Dolphins owner Stephen Ross today to @CNBC: “I think there definitely will be a football season this year. The real question is: Will there be fans in the stadiums? I think right now today we’re planning on having fans in the stadiums."— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) May 26, 2020 NFL and union negotiated/announced an end date to the offseason program of June 26, which gave them added flexibility. They've discussed having players back, on a voluntary basis, for a week in June to test protocols.But staging an actual minicamp = a different level than that. https://t.co/qJTsfDwzDl— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 26, 2020 Players: our union has not agreed to any reopening plan. Any reports about coming back to work are hypothetical. You will hear from the NFLPA when there are new developments.— JC Tretter (@JCTretter) May 26, 2020 Source says it's "possible... but not definite" that NFL coaches will be permitted back in teams' facilities next week, as @CharlesRobinson reported. NFLPA source said union has no knowledge of any plans at this point for players to participate in on-field practices in June.— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) May 26, 2020 NFL Still Eyeing June Minicamps https://t.co/tMlcxXIGiP pic.twitter.com/HwBAs0xChc— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) May 26, 2020 Could the #NFL really be on track to re-open sooner rather than later? @AlbertBreer checked in and explained: pic.twitter.com/2WacQJFc3m— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) May 26, 2020 All-new on #RealSports, Bryant Gumbel is joined by heads of the major sports unions: DeMaurice Smith of the @NFLPA, Michele Roberts of the @NBPA and Tony Clark of the @MLBPA. Tune in tonight at 10PM on @HBO. pic.twitter.com/lke0KhT4SY— Real Sports (@RealSportsHBO) May 26, 2020 It's the thought that counts Wonder if @joethomas73 even knows this happened right behind him : https://t.co/tdYhO1jDXo : https://t.co/wDTehovyLq pic.twitter.com/LbgW65oN15— Bussin' With The Boys (@BussinWTB) May 27, 2020 #Bundesliga on FOX is piping in crowd noise and I like it more than I thought I would #McAfeeAndHawk pic.twitter.com/z4uz5Nvxpa— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) May 26, 2020 Raiders considering moving camp to Henderson, Nevada https://t.co/givKX7sZGM— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 27, 2020 The Greenbrier has made preseason proposals to the Lions and Panthers, multiple sources tell PFT https://t.co/s1SBRLe66a— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 27, 2020 Ron Rivera believes it would be greatly beneficial to the Redskins if they were able to have just one in-person minicamp session prior to training camp.https://t.co/OrPfDAWjCB— NBC Sports Redskins (@NBCSRedskins) May 27, 2020 If the 4th-and-15 alternative to the onside kick becomes a thing the success rate from that distance will improve, because teams will spend more time coming up with ways to convert it https://t.co/r0YwQEMJdL— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 27, 2020 This is what the NHL will look like when play resumes. https://t.co/yfvf1OKrJe— Brian McNally (@bmcnally14) May 26, 2020 The NHL regular season is officially over.The 24-team playoff format is set, with dates and locations still to be determined.Let's power rank the participants. | @OvertimeScottB ⤵️— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) May 26, 2020 The NFL and NFLPA have been working with their joint committee on health and safety. Among the ideas discussed ...• Strict limits on # of players in the building while physicals and testing take place.• Then 2-3 weeks of strength and conditioning.• Then helmets go on.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 26, 2020 Bottom line is the union, league and joint committee are still working through protocols. The idea, like I said earlier, of having some players back in by the end of June to test protocols has been discussed.As for who is on that committee. ⬇️⬇️⬇️https://t.co/PmkSRkgioz— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 26, 2020 Also important note that the NHL would test players daily for coronavirus if/when the playoffs resume. Bettman estimated the league could conduct 25,000 to 30,000 tests, which would cost millions of dollars.— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) May 26, 2020 In the aftermath of the NCAA’s decision last week to allow athletes to return to college campuses for voluntary workouts starting June 1, VCU is working on plans for what that would look like for some of its athletes: https://t.co/ScpkkOfjHL— Wayne Epps Jr. (@wayneeppsjr) May 26, 2020 Time, money, work ethic, drinking, food tastes good, bed is super comfy, Netflix, etc etc etc https://t.co/xAgCm3OHNe— Tony Digs (@ToneDigz) May 26, 2020 These next door neighbors made this so they can safely enjoy a beer together while social-distancing. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/iA3uQ6iEBE— Rex Chapman (@RexChapman) May 26, 2020 Yeah, so I couldn't go on without finding out how this ended! "Alessandro was not at all shaken by his close encounter with nature and that he couldn’t wait to go hiking again." I'm hoping with this knowledge my heart will soon stop pounding?! Yikes. https://t.co/kMhqcLTGbV— JC (@Jumping_Cholla) May 26, 2020

  • Inside the mind of Redskins Special Teams Coordinator Nate Kaczor
    by Bill-in-Bangkok on May 27, 2020 at 2:50 am

    Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports In the house-cleaning that followed the firing of Bruce Allen, almost every vestige of the Jay Gruden coaching staff was swept away, but one of the few coaches to survive the purge was Special Teams Coordinator, Nate Kaczor. Having arrived in DC only in 2019, fresh from a three-year stint in Tampa Bay, Kaczor seemed to have the Allen-Gruden stamps all over him, making him an unlikely candidate to survive the burning desire for change in Ashburn. Kaczor’s tenure began with a bit of a rocky pre-season, but the regular season saw a solid performance for the ST Coordinator. Related: 19 Jan 2019: Redskins Coaching News: Nate Kaczor named new Special Teams Coordinator 19 Aug 2019: How bad have the Redskins special teams been under new ST coordinator Nate Kaczor this preseason? 3 Jan 2020: Ron Rivera has picked his ST Coordinator 18 May 2020: Is the Redskins’ special teams’ unit on the verge of being truly “special?” Sports’ Illustrated’s Rick Gosselin ranked all 32 special teams units at the end of the season, and the Redskins ended up 4th overall, behind just the Saints, Bengals, and Patriots. Gosselin rated special teams performance in 22 different categories, and the Redskins finished among the best several on them, including 4th in net kickoff return yards, 2nd in net punt return yards, and 1st in yards per punt. As we continue to wander in the desert of the internet-based 2020 off-season, Nate Kaczor took some time on Tuesday to meet with the media. As we’ve seen so commonly of late, the session featured a coach who was relaxed and ready to talk at length, with the entire session lasting over 25 minutes, instead of the usual 10-15 minute that is typical when coaches are at the podium. CLICK HERE to watch the entire media Q&A with Nate Kaczor Special Teams Coordinator Nate Kaczor spoke to the media about his virtual team meetings, his relationship with Head Coach Ron Rivera and more.Posted by Washington Redskins on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 Let’s look at some of his more interesting quotes. Like nearly everyone who I’ve seen interviewed in the past month or so, the first questions Kaczor faced were about the challenges of the Zoom-based off-season. I believe that this is going to, once it’s all said and done, this is going to help all of us become better teachers because you have to develop plans: what if the video is dragging really badly today, can I go back to PowerPoint? Oh, how good is my PowerPoint slide? Is that descriptive enough for them? Is it visually captivating enough for them? As we know, all of us, let alone the players, all of us in this society are around the best graphics all the time and the higher leve... and the NFL has a lot of resources as well; we don’t see bad graphics. So challenging yourself to have plan A, plan B, plan C, and have it all be as visually stimulating as it can be, that is definitely a challenge. I can already tell that it really pushes your limits as a teacher. I don’t think anybody is going to go through this and just fall back into be a coach that can’t check his emails, so to speak. Asked about how he can evaluate the rookies, his answer was initially an extension of his earlier comments about the challenges of the virtual off-season. Well we do so much work evaluating the video, putting that together with an in-person contact at the Combine if they are there. At the direction of our personnel department and [Head] Coach [Ron] Rivera,...we really put the pieces of the puzzle together on these players — and it’s not just lip service. We’re really reliant on that right now because you see the video at the Combine through the workout, through the interviews come to life. Then whether it’s virtually like this or on the field, I probably know less about their mental capacity. I tested it a little bit at the Combine. I know more about what they can do physically because I’ve been watching that tape a long, long time. Asked about his input to the process of identifying the types of players and skillsets he wants on special teams, Coach Kaczor echoed much of what we’ve heard previously about the approach of Ron Rivera. Every year [you want] alignment as a building — and when I say building, I mean football personnel, coaching, strength and conditioning, training room, media, everyone. So, when Coach Rivera got here and I was asked to be a part of the new staff, I looked forward; I don’t look back and I don’t compare, but immediately we were in alignment. There was no question who was in charge and the chain of command. That being said, when we met as a building, [there was] more emphasis on the coaching and personnel department and this is being well documented by you in the media. We all got to talk. Obviously, Kyle [Smith] is a part of this. We are all in the room. You may say that you really like the fastest linebackers we can get. It may get to a point where [we focus on LB] Khaleke Hudson — wow this guy is fast! He is not a big imposing linebacker in terms of positioning, but he is fast and explosive. Just using him as an example. This was actually the second time that Kaczor mentioned Khaleke Hudson’s name. I think it’s safe to assume that Hudson is a cornerstone of the ST Coordinator’s plans. He also mentioned Kamren Curl and Antonio Gibson earlier, both of whom are expected to contribute to special teams. From the standpoint of some basic X’s and O’s, I thought the coach’s answer to the question of what’s missing when the players can’t get on the field to physically practice was pretty interesting. On special teams, one of the first thing we always talk about is the movement patterns that they have to learn. For example, the college punt rules are different, and I get a lot of questions about this in general. The college rule, the coverage players can leave as soon as the ball is snapped. In the NFL, they can’t leave until you punt the ball [and] there are movement patterns like kick shuffling on a punt or a kickoff return dropping. Some of these players have not done this or maybe they did it when they were a freshman or sophomore in college and have not done them for a few years. Our challenge...on special teams [is] we have to get everything we can do in the classroom done so the second we are together we can start working on these movement patterns that these guys are not accustomed to doing. They have done something similar to what we are going to teach them in college, meaning we are going to teach them different techniques but it is not going to be totally foreign if that makes sense. Asked to describe head coach Ron Rivera, Kaczor was very positive about his new boss. He’s so consistent. I’m going to throw out so many terms that get overused. He is such an authentic, real, sincere person with just a great background that covers a lot of different areas. When you meet him, you’re not surprised that he meets that consistency because that’s just the way he is. He’s just a rock. Like I said, you have some tough discussions about whether it’s personnel or scheme or putting things together or what not, what’s going on pandemic-wise. I mean, I’ve seen him lead already because we haven’t been through the most normal of times. Obviously when you go through the season, emotions and feelings get amplified but he’s an impressive person behind the scenes as he is out in front of the camera where you see him mostly. Very consistent, very authentic, very strong. One reporter asked specifically about players like Antonio Gibson and Steven Sims and whether their apparent importance to the offense would have an effect on how much they contributed to special teams. Kaczor discussed this question at length. If you look at a sliding scale – whether it’s on the SAT test for college eligibility or any type of sliding scale – the more Antonio plays on offense, the less he would play on special teams. He’s different than Steven Sims, obviously, because he’s big and fast. He was 220 pounds and some people had him in the low 4.4’s and high 4.3 area. He’s not only a returner, he can bring some protection and speed and coverage. For example, he could be on the punt team and play a slot, which is very conducive to a running back skillset, where they block rushes and release and help contain. Quite often on the punt team in the NFL, you will see a starter or two – be it offense or defense – being used. He’s so versatile because he is a returner, and he is big enough to play in the return game as a blocker, as an off returner. In an ideal setting — and this isn’t really just talking about Steven Sims or Antonio — if you have a legitimate returner and your off returner who is 30 pounds bigger than your returner, who if he doesn’t get the ball is a blocker — he weighs 220 — then that’s a really good situation because, if they don’t really want to kick it to one guy and they want to kick it to your other one, and he’s really good, then you have a heck of a situation there. It was mentioned that Terry McLaurin had been drafted in 2019 with the expectation that he would be a key special teams player, but was quickly pulled from ST duties when he became the focal point of the offense. Yes, so that would be like getting a Christmas present and just when you open it, your brother snatches it from you and you never get it back. You’re happy for your brother, but (laughs). If I didn’t believe this then I would be a little fraudulent. What I tell our players is that special teams is a great way to start your career, and a great way to extend your career if you are not starting. Ultimately, I want all of these guys to become starters on offense and defense and play a long time. Obviously with Terry, his makeup just as a football player, his character, effort, intelligent, speed – the fact that that happened didn’t surprise anybody. So, I was really happy for our football team and I was really happy for Terry. I think he scored a long touchdown in the first game against Philly. It was kind of like right off the bat like, ‘Oh I’m glad he is on offense.’

  • Daily Slop: Redskins Media Links Roundup
    by Philip Hughes on May 26, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports A collection of Redskins articles from around the web Redskins adapting to learning new playbook over Zoom - Washington TimesFrom noon to 2 p.m., Jonathan Allen sits in meetings that would normally be held inside the Redskins' practice facility. But instead, the Redskins defensive lineman is now like everybody else who has worked from home for the past few months: He logs into Zoom. Landon Collins sees 2016 Giants parallel with Redskins' offseason - Washington TimesThis Redskins offseason reminds Landon Collins of his second year with the New York Giants, when the team improved to 11-5 from 6-10 the season before. Jennifer King, new Redskins assistant coach, has been a cop, QB and national champion - The Washington Post“I think the ultimate drive for me is to be successful and great at whatever I was doing,” said King, who is the first African American woman to hold a full-time NFL coaching job. The NFL 'failed' with pass interference replay rule, NFL exec Troy Vincent says | NBC Sports WashingtonNFL executive Troy Vincent tells NBC's Peter King that his department failed with last year's rollout of the pass-interference replay rule COVID-19 will impact 2020 NFL season - but Redskins players want to get on the field | NBC Sports WashingtonNFL fans, and Redskins fans particularly, need to prepare for a weird, if not tumultuous, 2020 season. Without Trent Williams, mystery looms over Redskins' left tackle position | NBC Sports WashingtonBetween Chris Samuels and Trent Williams, the Redskins had left tackle locked down for almost 20 years. These numbers prove it, as well as the mystery that now looms over the position. Chris Simms ranks Dwayne Haskins almost at the bottom of NFL quarterbacks | NBC Sports WashingtonEach year NBC Sports football analyst Chris Simms ranks the top 40 quarterbacks in the NFL, and this year, the rankings are not kind to Redskins passer Dwayne Haskins. Redskins Rookie Review: Antonio Gandy-Golden Will Put His Many Talents To Use With The RedskinsGandy-Golden is a man of many talents, both on and off the field. Now he wants to help the Redskins win by bringing those gifts to Washington. Ohio State Coach Larry Johnson Reflects On His Close Bond With Chase YoungJohnson and Young have known each other for six years, and since then their relationship has grown to a bond that goes beyond that of a player and coach. Adrian Peterson Talks Ron Rivera, Dwayne Haskins, Redskins Offseason & More


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