- - Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Training camp is upon the Washington Redskins, a perfect time to check off some items on my “TIDU List” – Things I Don’t Understand:

I don’t understand why Trent Williams merits a new deal.

The All-Pro tackle signed a five-year extension in 2015, becoming the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman. He has held up his end as multiple O-linemen passed him in salary, but that’s not the Skins’ fault (unlike their medical care). At 31, with mounting injuries and two years left on his contract, Williams is compensated fairly.

But he knows how leverage works and he’s positioned to apply it.

I don’t understand why Mason Foster’s agent is upset.

Blake Baratz accused Washington of having “zero good faith” because the team cut his client the day before camp opened. “I expect more from @nfl and certain organizations in particular, we can be better,” Baratz wrote on Twitter. Is he high? NFL teams are notoriously ruthless in their personnel decisions, routinely releasing players before, during and after training camp.

July 23 beats Aug. 31 (final cuts) if the axe is coming anyway.

I don’t understand how Adrian Peterson is totally blameless for his loan trouble.

Yes, pro athletes attract financial predators like chum attracts sharks. That’s been the case forever. Peterson undoubtedly trusted some of the wrong people, as his agent attests. But the tailback bears some personal responsibility for his reportedly mountainous debt, too. He likely has ignored credible information and sound advice from sources like the players’ union.

For instance: Resist spending a fortune on extravagant parties featuring a camel.

I don’t understand why Derrius Guice should sacrifice touches.

If the second-year tailback is completely healthy and cleared for a full workload, he should be the primary ballcarrier. Period. That would reduce Peterson to a support role, not the lead back who surprisingly rushed for 1,000 yards last season. Peterson chafed as a reserve in New Orleans two years ago and could do so here, feeling that he deserves to be featured.

But his feelings must be immaterial to the staff.

I don’t understand how Josh Doctson could have expectations any lower.

With no “i” to dot, crossing the “t” is the last step before labeling Doctson a bust. The 2016 first-rounder has one more chance — his contract year — to prove otherwise. Washington needs a breakout season from someone at wideout, but other contenders seem more promising. One is Trey Quinn, who would have to relinquish the title.

Doctson is a threat to be the new “Mr. Irrelevant” in town.

I don’t understand why the coach faces “playoffs-or-bust.”

Jay Gruden might’ve been half-joking when he said in June that missing the postseason would cost his job. But no one can be completely serious and suggest that this is a playoff team. A USA Today projection has Washington at 3-13. Sports Illustrated isn’t much rosier, pegging the mark at 5-11. Gruden could do an excellent job and win just six games.

Reaching .500 would be a stretch for any coach, even Blick Sabalichick.

I don’t understand how Kevin O’Connell will stick around.

The NFL is a copycat league and, right now, Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay is the cat that teams are copying. O’Connell, the Skins’ new offensive coordinator, fits the mold: 30-something with an offensive mind, good looks … and a McVay connection! (O’Connell coached here with now-Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur, who coached here with McVay.)

That, plus a modicum of success, could write O’Connell’s ticket to a new team.

I don’t understand why Dwayne Haskins can’t start Week 1.

How the quarterback ends will be more important than how he begins, and the former should be much greater than the latter. That being said, the two aren’t necessarily connected. Early struggles wouldn’t portend a disastrous long-term outcome. Likewise, a high-flying start wouldn’t ensure lasting success. Consistent improvement is required, regardless.

That’s true whether Haskins sits all season or plays in the opener.

I don’t understand how any story beats Jimmy Moreland’s.

Provided he makes the final roster, the Skins’ seventh-round draft pick will have a tale made for Hollywood. He’s small (5-foot-11, 180 pounds), which people love, and he played locally (James Madison). He had incredible ball-hawk and take-it-the-house ability in college, and showed it during offseason workouts with five interceptions, three in one session.

No matter what happens, he’s “The People’s Cornerback.”

I don’t understand why Richmond agreed to play host.

The typical hustle when cities get hoodwinked is a stadium that’s mostly empty outside a five-month season. But the Skins got Richmond to bite on an $11 million training facility that the team uses for three weeks a year. The deal has been an albatross for the city, which reportedly won’t break even until 2023 – when the Skins are long gone.

Reminder to municipalities: Run if you see Dan and Bruce coming.

Brooklyn-born and Howard-educated, Deron Snyder writes his award-winning column for The Washington Times on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Follow him on Twitter @DeronSnyder.

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