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Offseason Diary: Keeping Up With The Redskins' Biggest Storylines Before Training Camp

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The offseason diary is a part of the Redskins' 2020 Offseason Update presented by Bud Light Seltzer.

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The Washington Redskins have had an eventful offseason to say the least. From hiring Ron Rivera as their head coach to remaking the roster through free agency and the draft, the organization has made significant changes as it attempts to rebuild a consistent winner. (Check out about all of the biggest developments over the past several months, HERE.)

With the team now in the midst of its virtual offseason program, Redskins.com will be frequently updating this page with news, analysis and top storylines as the team prepares for training camp, which is scheduled to start in late July. (Expect daily updates from June 10-19 and periodic updates after that.)

June 18: Dwayne Haskins Jr. Get Praise And Challenges From Good Morning Football Crew

Haskins attitude, leadership and progress this offseason has gotten rave reviews from his coaches and teammates, and NFL Network's Good Morning Football crew has started to take notice as well.

"Dwayne Haskins has taken this team under his wing this offseason," said analyst Peter Schrager. "I think there's going to be a giant leap...in Year 2."

Schrager highlighted the importance of Haskins' weight loss and taking on a leadership role in Zoom meetings during the virtual offseason program. More importantly, he was impressed with Haskins attending the protest in front of the White House in response to the death of George Floyd. That has a lot to do with football, Schrager said, because it shows that Haskins understands what it means to be a starting quarterback who leads in different ways off the field.

Kyle Brandt agreed with Schrager, saying what Haskins did is exactly what people want to see, but he added that it's important for the second-year quarterback to produce during the season.

"That's what it's going to come down to," Brandt said. "I love what [Haskins] is doing, but if he doesn't spend his fall following up on it on the field, unfortunately that stuff gets swept aside. If he's good on the field as he is out in the community, he's got big plans."

Nate Burleson believes there is some symmetry in what Schrager and Brandt said, and he feels that Haskins has the attention of other players in the league.

"It seems like right now, he has changed his mind," Burleson said. "He's changed his mind on his approach, on how he wants to be perceived, which is a big deal."

June 17: Three Current Redskins Make ESPN's NFC East All-Decade Team

Defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, safety Landon Collins and punter Tress Way made ESPN's NFC East All-Decade Team, which was released Monday.

Former Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall also made the team, as did cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants before coming to Washington for the 2019 campaign.

Kerrigan also edged former Redskins offensive lineman Trent Williams as the franchise's player of the decade. A first-round pick in 2011, Kerrigan started 139 consecutive games and before suffering an injury towards the end of last season. A three-time Pro Bowler, Kerrigan is currently 1.5 sacks away from becoming the team's all-time sacks leader.

"Since he entered the league in 2011, only three players have recorded more sacks than Kerrigan's 90 --Von Miller, J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones," ESPN reporter John Keim wrote. "And Kerrigan's 26 forced fumbles trail Jones by one for the most since 2011. Kerrigan wasn't considered elite, but was consistently good during the decade. His 37 sacks from 2016-18 were fourth-most in the NFL."

June 16: Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio Listed On College Football Hall of Fame Ballot

Long before Rivera and Del Rio were NFL coaches, they were accomplished college players at rival schools California and USC, respectively. They were officially recognized for their successes Tuesday, as both were listed as two of 78 FBS players on this year's ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.

"It's an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.4 million people have played college football and only 1,027 players have been inducted," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "Being in today's elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game."

As a linebacker for the Golden Bears from 1980-83, Rivera led the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons. He was at his best during his senior year when he was a consensus first-team All-American, a Lombardi Award finalist and was named the Most Valuable Player in the East-West Shrine game. He also ended the season as the Pac-10 Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

Del Rio, who played for the Trojans from 1981-84, also led his team in tackles during his first three seasons with the team and was a two-time first-team All-Pac-10 selection. He recorded 340 tackles, including 58 for a loss, and helped lead his team to a win in the 1985 Rose Bowl.

June 15: Redskins Defensive Line Named One of Six Most Underrated Position Groups in NFL

With Chase Young joining a defensive front with four fellow first-rounders, The Ringer's Danny Kelly believes the unit will surprise a lot of people this season. That's why he included the Redskins' defensive line as one of the six most underrated position groups in the NFL for 2020.

"Washington's defensive line has certainly generated some buzz this offseason after adding Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young with the second overall pick of the draft," Kelly wrote June 9, "but I'm not sure we all appreciate just how big of a jump this group could make in 2020."

His reason for optimism centers around Young, the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Kelly described Young as a "game-wrecking force" whose rare combination of size, strength and explosiveness will overwhelm opposing tackles. Offenses will also need to dedicate additional resources to the 6-foot-5, 264-pound Young, Kelly said, which will free up both established veterans (Ryan Kerrigan, Matt Ioannidis and Jonathan Allen) and up-and-comers (Daron Payne and Montez Sweat).

"Under new head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, Washington's defensive line looks ready to dominate games," Kelley wrote. "That group alone should help pull the team out of the cellar."

June 12: Cole Holcomb Talks About Learning From Ron Rivera and Thomas Davis Sr.

While Rivera, Haskins, McLaurin and Kerrigan all talked to the local media this week, Voice of the Redskins Larry Michael recently spoke with second-year linebacker Cole Holcomb via videoconference.

Holcomb's first full offseason in the NFL has certainly been a unique one. Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally altering all of his offseason plans, he's also had to deal with a coaching change along with learning a new defense.

As someone who grew up watching Rivera and players like Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis Sr., Holcomb is familiar with what Rivera wants from his players. But now that Rivera is his coach, he has a more profound understanding of what playing for him is like.

"Having [Rivera] explain what he's looking at, what he's going through, you can only guess when you're just watching the film," Holcomb said. "Having a coach there who has been with him, and then he can actually explain what they're doing and it makes sense. It's nice being able to see that."

The Redskins will only have a limited amount of time on the field before the season begins, so Holcomb knows it will be important for him and his teammates to take full advantage of the virtual classroom sessions.

"It's going to be, 'Hey who can pick it up the fastest, and let's go,'" he said. "It's time to get going, it's time to really hit it. There's going to be no learning curve for anybody. You need to go, and it's on."

JUNE 11: Terry McLaurin, Ryan Kerrigan Address The Media

A day after hearing from Redskins head coach Ron Rivera and quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., two of the team's best players -- wide receiver Terry McLaurin and defensive end Ryan Kerrigan -- spoke to the local media Thursday.

McLaurin delivered detailed and insightful responses on a variety of topics, including the development of Haskins and his fellow young second-year receivers and how he plans to improve entering 2020. He also talked about what the offense might look like under offensive coordinator Scott Turner and contemplated the potential of a young and talented defense.

But most importantly, McLaurin was candid and blunt when discussing the fight against social injustice.

"I don't want to be somebody who's sitting down here just talking like I have all the answers because I don't, but I do know what it's like to be a Black man and the importance that it has to me and where I come from," McLaurin said. "I just want to live in a place where everybody can be comfortable being who they are and don't have to look over their shoulder about any type of injustice. That's kind of how I feel, and going forward I want to be a part of any solution that I can."

Kerrigan, meanwhile, expressed his intentions to finish his career in Washington -- "they know where I stand, and I want to be here" -- and his excitement about switching to a 4-3 defense.

He also provided his impressions of No. 2 overall pick Chase Young and what Redskins nation should expect this upcoming season.

"Fans should be excited about guys like Chase [Young]. Hell, if I had the No. 2 pick I would have done the same thing," Kerrigan said. "We've got other guys coming in, too. I think our fans and everyone should be excited about our young guys and new coaches we're bringing in."

June 10: Ron Rivera, Dwayne Haskins Address The Media

Not only did Redskins head coach Ron Rivera speak to the local media Wednesday, but so did second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr.

Both media sessions certainly included football questions, but a lot of the conversation centered around the death of George Floyd, the nationwide protests and the organization's plans to fight social injustice. The initiative includes a town hall program, the Redskins' Black Engagement Network and $250,000 from team owner Dan Snyder to start the programs the organization comes up with.

"I want to make sure that people understand that we, that I support the Black Lives Matter movement, that I want to listen to our players and listen to our employees and coaches and make sure we get this right," Rivera said. "This was very important and because of how long the peaceful protests have gone on, real change is within our grasp. We've seen it with some of the governmental moves in cities like Minnesota. I just think that there is a chance to do good right now."

Haskins agrees with Rivera that actions speak louder than words, so he showed his support by being a part of the protests in Washington D.C.

"I feel like a lot of things in life, we talk about it for a minute then we let it go a couple of minutes later." Haskins said. "Personally, for me, it has been Black Lives Matter my whole life, my whole parents lives and their parents lives. ...We need to get a plan of action and bring unity to this country. That's all I want. I just want to be able to feel as though we all care. Now I feel like everybody does. It shouldn't have to be somebody being killed in order to stop racism. That's just my perspective on that. One of the biggest things is just trying to stay united, especially with all of this chaos going on."

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