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Redskins Rant – As the World Turns, Redskins style!

Redskins Rant – Featuring Daniel Kucin Jr. and Sean Farrell

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Redskins Rant – Breakout year for Cam Sims? Are the Redskins investing too much time and effort on Guice?

Redskins Rant – Featuring Daniel Kucin Jr. and Sean Farrell

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Redskins Rant – Return of Reuben Foster? Haskins works out with elite receivers during offseason

Redskins Rant – Featuring Daniel Kucin Jr. and Sean Farrell

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Del Rio speaks about Young, the new look defense and return of the ice cream man uniforms?

Washington Redskins Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio Q+A

By The Sports Pulse

On what he’s seen out of DE Chase Young in the virtual meetings: 

“Well, it’s obviously a difficult time to kind of approach this. You’re excited to get your hands on your rookie class and really for us, as a first-time staff, get in and get working with all of our players. So we’ve not been able to do that in person, but we’ve done a great job, I think, of going through the meetings and going through the install and Chase has been doing what he’s supposed to be doing. He’s been paying attention; he’s been learning the system. For me, I just can’t wait to get going with him, but he’s doing all that he can right now as a member of our defensive line, a member of our Washington Redskins team. I think the sky’s the limit for him in terms of what he’ll be able to bring to us. We obviously have big designs, we think he’s a really good player, and we’re looking forward to getting him involved.”

On if Young can fit the mold of being a premier pass rusher:

“No, we haven’t seen him yet but I’ve watched enough tape. He’s going to be a real good player for us. And yeah, I’ve been very fortunate. My first year as a defensive coordinator at Carolina [Panthers], we had [Former DE] Julius Peppers. Obviously I go to Denver [Broncos] and we have [OLB] Von Miller. And then I’m in Oakland [Raiders] and we have [OLB] Khalil Mack. So when you have special players like that, very impactful players. In particular, if they’re about doing it the right way and everything that we’ve gathered in terms of trying to make the decision to take him where we did indicates that he’s a guy that loves football, that’s going to be a great teammate for us.”

On how the game planning aspect can change if Young becomes an elite player:

“Well I think the biggest thing is that he’s still just one player. But he’s one player that offenses have to deal with. It has an opportunity to create not only disruption and a problem in terms of how the offense feels with him, but also creates opportunities for others. It can in effect kind of raise the level of play throughout the defense. Obviously rush and coverage has to go together, and so you’ll hear me talk about that throughout the year. It’s not about just rush, it’s about rush and coverage and them going hand-in-hand. You’re going to need coverage to hold up so that when our defensive line does win, they can get there. You can have the best rush in the world but if you don’t have some coverage and make the quarterback hold it, it’s not going to be positive for you. They go hand-in-hand, but I do believe he can be impactful for us.”

On DE Ryan Anderson:

“We’re excited about him getting more opportunities. Looking at the film, he did some nice things. So yeah, we’re looking forward to getting Ryan involved. I agree with coach, we kind of look at it the same way. We think we have some depth in that group, and we’re going to try and get everyone involved. Obviously there will be some fierce competition for playing time and roles once we get started in camp.”

On LB Reuben Foster:

“I think he’s done a good job of trying to be involved in the meetings and we’ve approached it as though he’ll be there. Then we’ll see whether we get the clearance or not for him to actually go. In terms of the mental approach and in terms of his participation in the meetings, being up to date with the install, getting the coaching and all of that, he’s been on point with that. The part we can’t impact right now, is where he’s at with his rehab and whether he gets the clearance to go. But he’s working hard, doing all the things that he can with us in the virtual meetings and absorbing all of the information about what we’re going to expect out of him as a linebacker.”

On what he has stressed to the team in virtual meetings about improving communication:

“I mean a lot of little things. Part of it is really understanding the principles of the defense so that you can react as the offense deploys. The communication is huge. I think the understanding of what we’re going to do is huge. Then you have time when you’re merging and your alignment as the offense deploys, you’re able to recognize and get clues and share information pre-snap in terms of how you want to adjust and things. I think all of those factors are the things that we work on, that allow us to then be a defensive that does combine rush and coverage and is effective in getting quarterbacks off the field in 3rd down, and getting them into 3rd and long and then getting them off the field. That’s exactly what we’re talking about, being on the same page, making sure communication is sharp.”

On how he views the linebacking room and the traits he looks for in a linebacker:

“I think what we have isan interesting mix. I am excited to get them on the field and let them compete. We have a blend. We have some older guys. Obviously adding TD [LB] Thomas Davis and you mash that up with a guy like [LB] Cole [Holcomb] who played last year, was thrust into the lineup and got some valuable experience and showed some real speed and linebacking ability. Obviously, we added KPL [LB Kevin Pierre-Louis] as a free agent and he is flying under the radar, no one really talks about him. We are excited about letting him go and seeing what he can do. We know he is a dominant special teams player. When he was able to play, he played very well last year in Chicago. We are excited to see them all compete. Obviously, having [LB Jon] Bostic back and [LB] Shaun Dion Hamilton and those guys competing in the middle. There is a lot of competition throughout the roster. [LB] Khaleke [Hudson] we added in the draft. We have a group that is going to be very competitive fighting for playing time and fighting for roles. We will let that play out. I like the way they have been working with Linebackers Coach Steve Russ. He has done a great job in the meetings. Guys are very attentive and are working hard in understanding exactly how they are going to do things. They are going to be a key part of us when we talk about tying rushing coverage, the ability to fit the run, the linebackers are essential to that. We are going to count on them playing well for us.”

On the changes in the secondary and what his philosophy is going to be with the back end of the defense:

“First of all, I think [Vice President of Player Personnel] Kyle [Smith] and Coach Rivera have done a great job of giving us a chance. We looked at a lot of needs when we got here and talked about the wish list of approaching and filling holes on defense, giving us a chance to be competitive. I think we have done a really good job and they have done a really good job of giving us some pieces to compete with that will help us be successful in the fall. A large part of that happened on the defensive side and in the back seven. I talked about some of the linebackers just now in the back end. We were able to add corners in [Ronald] Darby and [Kendall] Fuller. Jimmy Moreland coming back and [Fabian] Moreau coming back. We have some guys that will be competing there as well. It will be a very competitive situation with guys in a competitive role. We added a safety in Sean Davis and we added to a group of safeties that were pretty productive players. Obviously you have Landon [Collins], [Deshazor] Everett and [Troy] Apke. We feel like we have a good group that is going to be very competitive. Right now, we are just trying to make sure we get everyone on the same page so we can play fast.”

On the best way to use CB Kendall Fuller:

“I think really, it just depends on how it fits and how it works when we get out there on the field. We have designs, obviously, to be flexible on how we approach it whether it is man-zones or what type of zones, true zones, we will determine that with the guys when we start playing and we start competing. Obviously, right now we are building the library and having guys understand our system. When we get a chance to actually work with them and compete against the offense to go through training camp and what not, then we will be able to see how far we can take it. For a guy like Fuller, he is obviously very versatile. He has played inside, outside, he has played all over the field. He was a versatile and valuable get for us and we are excited to have him.”

On how he has addressed the struggles with communication last year:

“We talked about that and there are a few things I would like to say, one being we want to spend a lot less time looking back and a lot more time looking forward. A big part of playing good defense is the ability to communicate and the ability to gather information pre snap and make any adjustments that you need to. That is all part of playing fast and being sound and solid. We are working hard at that. That was one of the issues that is apparent when you look at tape. I also believe this – in 2020, everyone here on defense, all the players and all the coaches, we all put our signature on what you see and how we perform. We are all responsible. I don’t think you could put it on any one person, I think it is a collective effort and I do believe it is very, very important and we will be stressing that from day one.”

On being able to coach with his son Luke:

“We are on opposite sides of the ball for sure. It is awesome that he is getting this opportunity. Obviously, he is excited for it. He has been around football his entire life. He loves ball and he has competed at the highest levels in college. It is awesome to have your son get a shot at something that he is passionate about. I am looking forward to that part. He is on the offensive side, so we are going to be doing some competing.”

On if there is one quality or trait that stands out to him that a defense must have:

“I think you have to be tough. The toughness part is not just physical. A large part of that is mental and that is where we are going to see a lot of growth. Defenses that play fast and are able to bounce back when they are discouraged or if they don’t get discouraged or a big play that you recognize. These are talented people in the NFL. They are going to make some plays from time to time. You have to be able to keep going and go to the next play. We will work hard at that in terms of mentally being tough and physically being able to tackle people. Typically, for me, when you look at defenses around the league when you are giving up explosive plays and getting hit with big chunk plays and giving up a lot of those, then you are typically not going to have a good unit. How do you minimize that? It really comes down to leverage and tackling. Those are some fundamentals that I believe in that we will be getting into. Then in terms of approach and scheme, there are a lot of different ways to do it. Where I have tried to do it wherever I have gone is take a look at what they have been exposed to and what experiences does the staff have. Then, we come up with what we are. It has been no different putting this defense together. I have done it everywhere I have been. You kind of grow that way and it is not like I come in throw a playbook down and say let’s go. It is a lot more involved and collaborative.”

On the transition to the 4-3 defense:

“Yeah it will be good. First of all, you have to understand we’re talking about how we deploy in base defense and we’re talking about base defense in today’s NFL, which is about a third of the game. Really you’re in sub packages, some form of sub packages where you’re playing against three wide [receivers] or more and you’re playing against that roughly 65-70 percent of that time. So we’re talking about a small percentage of the plays, but our overall approach is going to be more where they’ve been doing a lot of two-gapping and a lot of playing both sides of a blocker – we’re going to ask our guys to be more penetrating and disruptive. Our linebackers and secondary will understand how to fit off of that, so they’re going to have a lot more freedom in terms of being able to generate the beginning of a pass rush while we’re playing the run. It is kind of an aggressive approach to playing the run on the way to the quarterback and I think our guys are going to really like it.”

On Coach Rivera wanting a former head coach on his staff and if he has talked with Coach Rivera extensively about the defense and their shared vision:

“First of all, the head coach is involved in a lot of work. I think for him to surround himself with really capable people and guys that have been there, I did the same. I think it is wise to do so. I think it gives you an opportunity to delegate more and then he has asked for shared conversations for us to be able to bounce ideas and so I am doing that and I will continue to do that. Wherever I can help him and in any way that I can help him, I will do so. I think it is going to be a great working relationship. I have a lot of respect for Ron. We really have come along similar paths. We come off the West Coast, he was at Cal and I was at USC and we go in and have a long career and we both have careers as head coaches and defense and all that. Our roots go way back and I look forward to helping him in any way.”

On DE Ryan Kerrigan and balancing all the talent on the defensive line:

“You’re getting right to the part that is not so comfortable. You’re fired up for having all of these guys, but then they can’t all go on the field at the same time. So that is part of it, like being able to deal with that aspect of it, having guys understand, ‘Hey, you’re not going to play all the time.’ Or, ‘You’re not the starter.’ Those are things to me, that always get settled best with competition and once guys earn what they’ve earned I think everybody in the room pretty much understands that. But, that is definitely one of the things that I’m going to have to navigate. It is kind of like a basketball team not having enough balls to go around and you have a bunch of stars. But, it is good to have good players and we have good players in our front, guys that were well thought of coming out of the Draft and they were taken high and we should expect them to be really good players for us and be a really solid foundation for us to build around and that’s how we’re going to approach it.”

On if the competition at each position is emphasized in year one with a new staff or if that is a theme that needs to be carried over to sustain a successful program:

“I think the newness gives you a chance to give everybody a fresh start for sure and so that definitely comes in to play. I think the other part is that both Ron and I have been in this league for over 30 years, playing and coaching and I think we both understand the importance of competition. I know in my time as a head coach there were several times where we had a young player come into camp who was not highly thought of who all of a sudden everyday just competed his tail off and ended up making the team and created a role for himself. So, to me when you’ve seen enough examples of that you understand that what it comes down to is competition and ultimately we’re going to put a squad together and go compete on Sunday’s. So it is all about competition and that is really what the league is all about, you have to perform, it is a performance based business, you have to perform and those who perform the best play the most.”

On the players feeling refreshed working with the new staff:

“It is not surprising. There is a freshness to it, there is a newness to it, there is an opportunity, there is excitement and to me it is just about going out and taking advantage of your opportunities. The biggest thing we want to do is make sure we give an opportunity for each guy that is invited to our camp to come in and show us what he’s got and show us how he can help us and then if somebody is capable of doing something then we have to take advantage of that as coaches and make sure we put him in the right place where they can be productive. The other part about coaching is kind of keep guys out of positions that they’re not good at. It is like accentuate the positives and try and keep your guys out of situations that they are not good in and put them in more of the situations that they are good at. It has been a basic approach, but a fruitful one over the years.”

On his Twitter account and his approach to social media:

“I have fun. I’m not on all the time. I’ll come on, I’ll get off, I’ll pop in sometimes and lay something out there. I don’t really have an approach. I’m just enjoying and I like to follow and read people and gather information and just participate. My kids try and keep me in check. Don’t get their dad in trouble, so they don’t want me to go too far. But, I just try and have fun with it and when it gets uncomfortable or when it goes places I don’t want to go, I just get off.”

On how the players have stood out to him during the virtual meetings so far:

“There are just certain things that stand out, and you’re not really looking for it. Like I popped in here right at the buzzer, right? I went right in at 10 eastern time. A guy like [DT] Jonathan Allen, he’s on there 15 minutes before every meeting. He’s always early. Everybody has their own approach, and you kind of see personalities even through virtual meetings. I think I’ve been aware of some of those things. But in terms of really making your impression, I think it’s going to really come down to getting in pads and getting out on the grass and going to work.”

On if he views the game any differently after working at ESPN:

“One thing I was able to do was study the whole league and just kind of watch ball. And then having an informed opinion about it. That was beneficial, I think. The other thing, I have a real clear understanding of the work you all do and a greater appreciation for the media side of it, bringing the news and bringing truth to the fans. Not that I won’t get irritated if, let’s say you, write an article ripping me (laughs). I’m still going to be irritated by it. The reality is that there’s a business, you’re a conduit to it, to the public. I have a greater appreciation for that and the work that goes into being good at it. I spent a lot of time making sure my opinions were legit. That I had put film study behind it. That I talked to other people in the business so that I understood what I was talking about. So I have a greater appreciation for those who do it well.”

On his take on the all white uniforms for Week 1:

“No. Again, I wouldn’t read too much into it. It just sounded good. I thought I’d say ‘yes, sounds good Week 1.’ I’ll tell you what, if Coach Rivera or Mr. Snyder, if they want to know my opinion, they already know I’m in favor of white Week 1. But other than that, I’m going to leave it up to them (laughs).”

Jonathan Allen reflects on adjusting to public health crisis, expresses outlook for upcoming season

DMV product has uses quarantine time as opportunity to boost offseason training

By Demetrius Dillard/The Sports Pulse Contributor

WASHINGTON — While the coronavirus pandemic has led to an unusual NFL offseason, Washington Redskins lineman Jonathan Allen has not let anything take his focus away from the high expectations he has for the upcoming season.

Ever since emerging as a formidable force at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Va., Allen has been a part of a winning culture. However, with the three seasons that Allen has competed for the Redskins, the team has a combined record of 17-31 with no postseason appearances. 

One of Allen’s primary objectives, along with his teammates and Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera, is to re-establish a winning tradition in the nation’s capital.

Allen said he first met Rivera as soon as Washington signed him as its new head coach.

“My first impressions, I love him. I love everything I’m hearing from him, I’m loving everything I’m hearing from other players and other former teammates,” Allen said of Rivera. 

“He seems like the type of guy that we need in Washington to help get this culture change and turn things around for the better.”

Allen, a No. 17 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, has gradually improved in the professional ranks and is coming off his best season for the Burgundy and Gold. 

The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder ranked fourth on the team this season in tackles with 68, up from 61 for the 2018 season and 10 his rookie season. Allen has also recorded 15 sacks in his three years with Washington.

Even amid the public health crisis, Allen has made sure that he has remained physically active as local authorities have not yet lifted restrictions on public gatherings, OTAs, etc.

“I’ve been trying to do anything just to stay active and stay fit. I mean, I work out every day, but it gets pretty boring because usually, I mean, I get done with workouts by 12:00, and we have meetings from 12 to 2, so from 2:00 on, I’m literally doing nothing,” Allen said. 

“Just trying to do something to get out of the house and keep my mind sharp and just not get so bored because there’s really nothing to do out here.”

Restrictions and ordinances such as the stay-at-home orders resulting from the pandemic have left many athletes in positions of uncertainty. Still, Allen is confident the NFL season will be up and going in a timely fashion.

“Well, I mean first and foremost I’m definitely hoping to play the season which I think we will, I couldn’t imagine us not playing a season,” Allen said.

The former University of Alabama standout added that this lockdown provides the valuable time that he is using to enhance his training regimen and get ahead of the competition.

“I’m just trying to take this as an opportunity to get ahead of my competition in any way I can and make sure that I ramp up my training and make sure this is the best offseason of training that I’ve ever had, that way I’m in that much better shape come training camp. And that’ll just help me play that much better this upcoming season,” he said.

“I’m a firm believer of if you want to have a good season, you’ve got to have a good offseason. I’m doing everything I can to eat right, sleep better this offseason, just do everything I can to make sure I’m in the best possible shape. 

“And really just try to use quarantine as an opportunity for me to get ahead of the game and get ahead of my competition a little bit with how hard I’m training, so those are some of the things I’ve been doing.”

Allen quickly became a fixture on the defensive line at Alabama, where he amassed 152 tackles (44.5 for loss), 28 sacks and three forced fumbles during his career. 

He additionally earned numerous awards and honors and helped the Roll Tide to a national championship in the 2015 season.

Thus far, there have been several NFL personnel who, at one point, were diagnosed with the coronavirus, including New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller and rookie receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden. 

While Allen is more than ready to get back on the field, he understands that safety is paramount and has embraced the process of adjusting amid the COVID-19 crisis. 

“I mean first things first; you definitely want to be safe. But as far as moving forward, I mean I have full faith in our medical staff, so I mean, it’s really what they determine and what the NFL determines is safe for us to move forward with,” Allen said in response to moving forward and playing this upcoming fall.

“That’s really all I can think about, and it’s just so much for one person to even try to comprehend that it’s not even worth it, you know? Just pray for the players that do have it and do everything you can to take the precaution to be safe.”

Redskins Rant – Tress Way a starting quarterback? Is this the real life?

Redskins Rant – Featuring Daniel Kucin Jr. and Sean Farrell

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Collins talks about acclimating in new and unusual work environment, thoughts of this defensive unit

Washington Redskins Safety Landon Collins Q+A

By The Sports Pulse Staff

On his adjustment to the new coaching staff:

“I mean I like the adjustments to the coaching staff. The coaches we had last year were really good. The ones that coached me and the defensive room were really good. The coaching staff now is very hands on. I like the details, I like the awareness of what’s going on, how people know exactly what’s going on. The fine details with them. When the motion needs to happen, if something were to change with the call or change within the formation that makes our defense change. Everything gets pinpointed, and that’s the best thing about the defense for me. Everybody’s going to have their job and know what their job is. If anything happens, they’ll know what to do within their job. That makes it easier for everybody to be on the same page. Everybody literally knows what everybody else is supposed to be doing. That makes it easy to communicate and be on the same page. We react faster. Everything is about split second reaction and inches. We just need that part to be very sound.”

On what he has been able to get out of the Zoom meetings with the defense:

“Everything. It’s like there is basically a team meeting. If we’re in the facility right now, we’d be going over installing the defense or we’d be installing whatever we’re installing, it’s the same way. We’re going through the same process that we’d do. The only thing we’re not doing is taking what we got from the classroom on to the field. That’s the only difference right now. It’s fairly easy. We ask our questions and we tell our group that there is no dumb question. There are no questions that we cannot answer. Today I had a question about a couple things because I wasn’t getting it. I was trying to picture it in my head and most of us players picture a lot of stuff in our heads. So when I was trying to picture it in my head, I didn’t see what they meant by it, so I just asked my questions until I got it down. Regardless of how long it takes, we have to get it down because at the end of the day, once football season starts or once we all start back up, we don’t know if we’re going straight into football or if we’ll have some time before we start. Those questions, those answers, how everything goes within the Zoom meetings, it’s fairly the same as if we are in a team meeting room.”

On if he has kept in touch with his teammates to make sure that everyone is staying in shape:

“Most of us post what we do on Instagram, so I know what everybody is doing. I follow everybody on Instagram, so I can just look up their Instagram and see that they’re working. But more than everybody knows right now since we don’t have OTA’s, don’t have everything going on, this is the time and period where everybody starts to work out because we won’t have mini-camp. Everybody wants to go into training camp at least in decent shape to play football because playing with your defense in a week or so from starting camp, it’s very, very tough as we all know. In saying so, having to text guys to ask them if they’re working out, no I don’t have to do so.”

On if he has had a chance to talk to Coach Rivera and what the team meeting with Rivera and the entire team on Zoom was like:

“That meeting was very stern and straight to the point. He was telling us his expectations of the team and where he wants to go with us and what he’s looking for once we all get together. It was very, very good. Very stern. Putting his philosophy in place and setting the tone to let everybody know what to look forward to and what kind of mindset to come in with this team. Personally with me and his text messages and what we’ve talked about, I think we’ve talked on the phone maybe three times. We text more than – I was surprised – we text more than we talk on the phone. It’s just like common stuff. Then if anything needs to be mitigated, he asks me for stuff. He asks me to be the leader I am and stuff like that. To give you a focal point, to always be myself and continue to be the leader that I am and keep doing it the right way. That’s kind of the gist of how we handle our stuff.”

On the defensive line’s potential:

“I think playing with the defensive front that we have with the veterans like Jon Allen, Daron Payne, [Tim] Settle, Montez [Sweat], [Matt] Ioannidis, all those guys are going to be able to teach Chase [Young] NFL football. He’s already a great athlete, so that’s going to be a dominant force that he already has within himself. Having those guys around him to teach him how to attack this, how to read that, how you can play this better in a professional league and getting out of his college form is going to be great. It helps us with having a great speed guy with Montez Sweat off the edge and how we have another physical guy like [Ryan] Kerrigan and getting Kerrigan some more rest time because we know when Ryan Kerrigan has rest legs, we know what he can do. That’s a big plus for us because we can always rotate him in and out, and they make plays. They make plays, and it makes it easier for us on the back, so we don’t have to cover for so long. By the ball not coming out fast, you’re not getting big gains. The ball is not going over our heads as DB’s [defensive backs]. That’s a major key for when we’re playing with a great D-line like that.”

On how his interactions with Coach Rivera have compared to his experiences with other head coaches:

“My experience with other head coaches, every experience with a head coach is different. It depends on the guys you have around. I think we have a fairly young team, a coach with a stern background coming in with a focal point of how he wants things to be run, just to give guys an attention grabber. The other coaches I’ve dealt with had an older group, so they didn’t really have to say much. Everybody just knew what was known to be done and it was already done because those guys were professionals and stuff like that. From there, Rivera is just a solid coach, from that point on he just [inaudible] he was about to get the job done. That’s why he said what he said the way he said it.”

On his thoughts on the changes in the secondary:

“The changes, we’ll see how they go. I like it. I watched [Ronald] Darby, I watched Kendall Fuller, I know how these guys play. I will watch Sean D [Davis]. It’ll be my first time. I have to look up his stats and talk to a couple guys from the Steelers to see how his attitude was towards everything and how he runs things just to get a background and stuff like that. These guys are great pickups by our team. I’m looking forward to it. I definitely will always miss Josh [Norman] and Dunny [Quinton Dunbar], but at the same time, we have to move on and we have to move on with what we have. I think the team has some great defensive backs that can be put around me and myself around them to make this thing work. I’m looking forward to that opportunity. It’s a blessing to me because I’ve watched these guys play and they play really good.”

On what he can do to help the younger players out during this virtual program:

“All I can do for these guys is just tell them that I am here. Open line of communication. Ask me any questions about the league if you have any just to give them knowledge. It is hard to give them knowledge when I am not around them even if they have questions. Usually vets tend to feed off what a guy is doing right or doing wrong if he has suggestions to give a guy in different aspects of the league and what he should do for the league. There is not much I can say over the phone to do that. All I can do is keep a line open. Our rookie right now, [S] Kamren Curl, I just have an open line with him. Any questions he has, I am here to answer anything. Don’t be scared. At the end of the day we have to be a brotherhood on the back end. If anyone has any questions, my lines are always open on offense or defense.”

On CB Jimmy Moreland:

“Jimmy was supposed to have seven picks last year. That was just off of athletic ability. He was doing what he was supposed to be doing in the game but at the end of the day he was all athleticism. I was like. ‘Wow, he is going to be special.’ Once he got it down and could see it before it happened, he could jump for a pick six. He could jump before the play. He just didn’t trust himself within his ability to do those things. That is just a rookie not being sure or seeing what they want to do and just going for it. I think he has the confidence now and the trust that he knows we trust him in his ability to do something, have his back and cover him. That’s how it is as a rookie. I saw things and didn’t do it because I was scared that a veteran was going to be mad at me. It’s all praise. We all try and make plays. I feel that way about Jimmy.”

On if the optimism around this season feels different than in years past:

“It feels different because of the coaching staff. We have changed the whole coaching staff and have switched the defense around. I can’t speak for everyone, but it was much needed. When I talk about concepts and rules, set in stone things that need to happen within a defense, this defense has it all.”

Washington Redskins strong safety Landon Collins (20) brings down Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) during an NFL game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField in Landover, MD. Michael R. Smith/The Sports Pulse

On if there are any specific examples that he can point to that makes him feel confident:

“No, the guys, just talking to them. Talking to the coaches and Coach Rivera, knowing who we brought in. These are coaches that all have coaching backgrounds that have all had great athletes that have made a killing with their team. From that aspect, it is going to be the same way. Guys have to literally buy in. If we buy in, you win. If you don’t, you are going to fight here and there. From that standpoint we are going to make this thing work.”

On if his approach to film study has changed at all:

“No, I think this is my fourth defensive coordinator. I have never changed my approach on how to study and how to look at what I am supposed to be doing because it is second nature to me. It is how you study the game and how you study the game within the defense. What I can and cannot do within the defense. I work hard and ask questions about it. I was in the meetings the other day and was asking questions if I could do this or do this. If this was to happen. Just finding ways to make certain adjustments within the defensive call to get an inch or a yard out of making the play. From there what I am studying, the defense and if I have to make the calls and adjustments to what is going on, I have to be really on point. Every formation has an adjustment to it.”

On his campaign to feed frontline workers and what his foundation has planned for the future:

“My foundation is going fantastic. We really didn’t end the campaign, we just wanted to move somewhere else with it. We were helping the nurses, now lets help the custodians that are cleaning up everything and the police officers that are on duty, stuff like that. We never have stopped yet, we just try and help more than one group of people. We just want to jump here and there for different groups in different communities and different parts of the cities. We don’t stop. I appreciate you bringing it up.”

On if he plans to incorporate any of his teammates in any future events:

“I am going to try. I want to see who is down there. Make sure they stay safe. The lesser people the better controlled the environment can be. I am not trying to bring the whole team, I just need maybe five. I am just going to see who is down there. I know [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.] is down there, I think [DT] Jon Allen is down there. I know [DE] Ryan Kerrigan is down there, [DT] Daron Payne, [LB] Shaun Dion Hamilton. I have a couple guys down there that I can ask to come through, so yes.”

On the defense’s potential:

“I am looking forward to that. It reminds me of all the guys we brought in during my 2016 year in New York. Those guys are major pickups and they helped us tremendously and we had a crazy year. Having that big pickup with [DE] Chase Young and having those two corners brought in along with some solid safety help. I don’t see why we don’t have that breakout year that we want.”

On if he has any personal stories about how COVID-19 has affected him:

“No, I don’t have any. No one has caught the virus yet and hopefully no one does in my family. Knock on wood. I am praying to God no one does. I don’t have any stories about what is going on in the world in my personal life.”

On his concerns with getting back to playing football:

“I really don’t have any concerns. I just want to get back to playing. It is big on me. I just really want to play.”

On S Sean Davis:

“I heard great things. He is very fast and knows how to run the sky and make things happen. He has done a good job.”

Thaddeus Moss looks to carve out own NFL Path despite his father’s HOF success

Get to know Moss through Q+A

By The Sports Pulse Staff

On how he embraces the Moss name:

“Well, I mean I embrace it a lot. You know, my dad [former NFL WR Randy Moss] only has two sons, so there’s only two of us that can carry on the last name. I’ve always had a target on my back, my whole life growing up. So I’ve kind of just grown accustomed to it and you know, you kind of use it as fuel, and look forward to it.”

On how his last name could help him in the NFL:

“To answer the question no, there’s nothing additional that it can do for me. Which is exactly how I would have it anyways. I wouldn’t want my last name to do anything for me, I would rather work for everything for me, and not be given anything. Just still what he’s [Father, Randy Moss] done for me up to this point, still there in my corner, giving me advice on whatever it is. You know, he has a few things to school me up on, now that I’m in the NFL and there’s still a learning curve for me. Just being in my corner and you know, being there for support and advice.”

On why he chose Washington:

“Well Washington was the first team that contacted me. So they were the first team that contacted me and that was what I was going to stick with. Disappointed in being undrafted, absolutely. It was kind of a slap in the face to me. As soon as the draft was over, they [Washington Redskins] were the first ones to contact me.”

On his knee injury:

“Where I’m at with the rehab, so first I went and had the best doctor in sports do a surgery, so I feel really good about the surgery, I’ve felt really good about the surgery. Rehab is going great. You know, I’m ahead of schedule. I mean everything is going great with it. I will be ready to go when hopefully we start up and get going football wise, I’ll be ready to go. I went to Green Bay and had Doctor Anderson do it. As soon as I could after this draft, I didn’t really have time, so the following week after the draft I went and had Doctor Anderson do it.”

On working with T Saahdiq Charles:

“Man absolutely. It was great when I found out that Washington contacted me and they also drafted him. We’re not only teammates, but that’s one of my best friends off the field. One of my best friends off the field. So it’s a blessing to still be on the same team, still be teammates, be chasing our dreams and everything together. Have I been able to talk to him absolutely. I talk to him almost every day. On top of that, not only us being teammates and being best friends, we also play next to each other. It’s not like he’s the quarterback and I’m the receiver. With him being the left tackle, we have such a good chemistry with us being best friends and having so many reps and stuff next to each other.”

On T Saahdiq Charles:

“I mean he’s a reliable teammate, he’s a great teammate first. A dependable teammate. I could always rely on him to get the job done, always rely on him to always have the answers and give it his all. As a teammate that’s really all I could ask for is, having a teammate that knows what he’s doing, and giving it all he’s got. You know, but he’s a baller, he’s going to do great here in his first year at Washington. I’m looking forward to seeing how he plays.”

On not being drafted:

“Well, I mean, first it’s a blessing to be here. I thank God and the Redskins for this opportunity. Ultimately all I could ask for was an opportunity. It was definitely a slap in the face, I put a lot of work in. Years of football, we went undefeated, I won a National Championship. I played my best ball in our biggest game. So I definitely felt like it was a slap in the face not getting drafted, having picked kickers and punters, and special teams. Just seeing guys getting picked over me, I definitely felt a type of way about it. But, it’s no difference. I’ve always had to prove myself my whole life. Having the last name that I have I’ve always had to prove everybody wrong, or just prove myself right my whole life and this is no difference.”

On how he plans on proving teams wrong for not drafting him:

“I mean first off, I’m not going about this trying to prove teams wrong. Just proving myself right. I’m not going out there with a vengeance, trying to prove people wrong. I’m just trying to go out there and be the best football player that I can be, be the best teammate that I can be, you know, and like I said just prove myself right. Of course, I’m still a rookie. So getting in there and adjusting to the learning curve and learning the offense, and doing what it takes, doing the little things that a rookie has to do, and earning my keep on the team and just from there, just playing football, and everything will take care of itself.”

On what he has learned in virtual rookie minicamps:

“Well absolutely it’s been different. Having online meetings has been something that I think every team is having to deal with and get accustomed to. It’s just different. It’s just a whole lot different learning football. This is the first time I’ve had football meetings, not in person. So it’s definitely different. It’s a different type of learning, it’s a different type of learning and kind of a different kind of studying just with it being over Facetime, over these virtual meetings.”

On dealing with learning virtually:

“Well for me, I’ve had to change just the way I’m learning this playbook just from going from college to the NFL, it’s a whole lot more information. It’s still essentially the same information, it’s just a lot more. Just a learning curve, learning how to learn and learning how to study differently going from college to the NFL. I took about, I think around my phone right now as I’m looking I have about 25 pages right here with all notes on, you know I wasn’t a big writer in college so that’s one thing that has definitely changed since I’ve gotten to the NFL, my notetaking. I write, I’m a writer, I don’t like typing. So I write on pieces of paper and just keep them all around me.”

On how the Redskins approached him after the draft:

“Well, like I said they were the first team, as soon as the draft ended they were the first team to contact my agent. They just contacted my agent, my agent contacted me, and it was like, we have three teams right here and they called first, they called second, they called third and these three teams are interested. I just went with the team that wanted me first.”

On how he will prove himself while not being able to go to camp in person:

“They’ll know it when the time comes. Whenever that day is, when we put pads on, on day one they’ll know that. I already feel like with the season that we had last year, we being LSU, and the season that I had last year, everybody has a good idea of what I can do and what I am capable of. Once I get healthy, get back out there on the football field and put them pads on, everybody will be able to see what I can do.”

On being able to establish his own legacy in the NFL:

“That’s definitely the approach that I’m taking to this. I’m not taking the approach that I’m trying to make teams feel me for going undrafted. It’s not the approach that I’m taking. That’s going to come with me just playing football, just playing football. That’s what I told my dad, after the draft we were sitting there, well actually during the draft we were sitting there, you know I kind of had a good idea of how things were going to unfold. I was still holding on hope and hoping things would turn out differently. He was kind of sitting there, not really knowing what to say to me, and I went ahead and just told him, like look, this is no different from what I’ve had to do my whole life. The last name Moss, people have always had their eyes on me and always doubted me and always wanted to see what I can do, and always had expectations. This is no different. Being an undrafted free agent, I don’t really have a lot of expectations, so going in there and playing football. You know, having to really get out the mud and work for everything. That’s what I’ve been having to do my whole life and that’s one thing that people don’t understand, and that people get misconfigured is me having the last name that I have, a lot of people think that I was handed a lot of things or that I was given a lot of things but that’s actually the opposite. People always ask me with the last name, what are some pros and cons, that’s definitely a con to it. But absolutely I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work for everything. Whatever my NFL career is, whether that be one year, two, three, four, five to ten, you’re going to have to respect it, because I worked for everything. I wasn’t given anything.”

On the other teams that were interested in him:

“Cincinnati [Bengals] and New England [Patriots].”

On conversing with RB Adrian Peterson:

“I haven’t had any conversations with anybody on the team, actually I have some former teammates that I used to play with I think three or four that’s on this team that I’ve been able to contact and just stayed in contact with. I reached out to [QB] Dwayne Haskins, just wanted to introduce myself and just say hey, but other than that, I haven’t been able to speak to anybody. But you know, with Adrian Peterson with him having played with my dad, I mean I’m not going to go up and introduce myself to him, that’s just not what type of guy I am. That’s just not me.”

On his relationship with LSU Coach John Decoster:

“Well they’re getting a young coach, they’re getting a hell of a coach first off. They’re getting a young coach, a real active coach, he can relate to his players really good, he’s a real player’s coach. He’s been around some good football minds, he’s been at LSU for the past however many years. He’s a hell of a recruiter, recruited the number one tight end in the, I think ever, coming out of high school. And he was able to recruit him and get him, the two tight ends that he’s had, one got drafted and the other broke the records, the tight end records at the school. So I think that right there speaks a lot about him as a coach. I mean I can’t say enough good things about him. I love Coach Decoster. When I got to LSU, he was the first guy that I talked to. When I actually got on campus, I sat down with him at the time, he was the GA, not knowing that he would be my position coach three years later.”

On what identity he wants to build in the league:

“Just my own identity. I’m tired of people, I mean, I don’t get tired of the questions, I’m not going to get tired of that I’m just tired of the comparisons. I think I finally have reached that point where I am tired of the comparisons. You know everybody keeps mentioning my father, mentioning his last name but, just the identity that I want to make is my own identity. I look forward to getting out there and making a name for myself. You know and, just working for everything.”

On the biggest piece of advice he’s gotten from his father:

“I mean, to be honest, he really doesn’t give advice unless I ask him. He’s not one of those parents that’s just always in my ear. You know, he knows that I know that if I need him or I need advice I’m going to go to him and ask him. The critique I get on television is not going to be worse than the critique I got from him being in the house or being in the car together. He was the defensive coordinator of my high school team my junior year of high school. So we would ride, after practices or after games, we would ride home together. You know and I would hear it from him. He could only say so much, so on TV I’m not worried about that.”

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