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One play by Dwayne Haskins a sign of progress Redskins hope to see – NFL Nation


ASHBURN, Va. — One play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday revealed Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins‘ growth as a starter, from before the snap to after.

He checked to a different protection to handle a blitz; he slid from the pressure and climbed the pocket. He went through his progressions, finding his third target — with his feet and eyes aligned.

It’s everything the Redskins want to see from their rookie quarterback. And it resulted in a 20-yard pass.

“When he does it right, it’s really good,” Redskins quarterbacks coach Tim Rattay said.

Haskins, who will make his fourth start Sunday when the Redskins play at Green Bay (1 p.m. ET, Fox), remains a work in progress — like any young quarterback. He has thrown two TD passes and six interceptions and the Redskins know he must become more consistent with his accuracy (he’s completing 54.1% of his passes) and much better in the red zone (4-of-17, 19 yards, one touchdown, five sacks). He’s far from a finished product, good or bad. In his four starts, he ranks last in total QBR (18.3) and 29th in passer rating (70.2).

But the Redskins, on a two-game winning streak, have seen incremental progress. Two weeks ago against Detroit, after a rough first three quarters, he led two fourth-quarter drives that resulted in field goals to win the game. Against Carolina, he managed the game well, was more accurate than the week before and made throws he hadn’t been making previously.

And the 20-yard pass to Kelvin Harmon provided a snapshot of that progress. Here’s why:

Protection calls

Three weeks ago, the New York Jets confused the Redskins’ protection with different looks — sometimes sending extra rushers and sometimes creating openings for only four. The issues weren’t on Haskins alone, but he didn’t always handle it well and it resulted in constant pressure.

On Sunday, late in the play clock, two Panthers’ linemen switched sides with urgency. As soon as they did, Haskins stepped up and called out a new protection. Based on film study, he said he knew an overload blitz was coming to the right — so he had the line slide protection accordingly. They picked up the overload and running back Chris Thompson was then responsible for the other side; he, too, picked up the blitz.

“It has progressed a lot,” Redskins center Chase Roullier said. “It’s a process. It’s something he’s gotten a lot more comfortable with, switching us around. … On that play, he was able to flip the protection and make a big play.”

One week does not mean he has become an expert. Every week will present a new challenge based on the defenses and the various blitzes.

“That’s the thing he has to keep studying,” Rattay said.

Progressions

After Sunday’s game, Haskins said his favorite plays were the ones in which he was able to move through his progressions while moving around in the pocket. That’s what he did on the pass to Harmon.



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Movies

The Rise Of Skywalker’s Billy Dee Williams Really Never Thought He’d Play Lando Again



The last Star Wars trilogy of the Skywalker Saga has been packed full of exciting returns from the original cast, and the last installment will be no exception. Rise of Skywalker will mark Billy Dee Williams’ first time reprising his iconic role of Lando Calrissian since The Return of the Jedi. For the returning actor, he never thought he’d see the day. In Williams’ words:

In the words of his fan-favorite character, Billy Dee Williams likely thought as he grew older the deal would be “getting worse all the time.” Reprising a beloved character is not an opportunity every actor gets decades later. But, here he is donning the cape and turning on Lando’s charm again for the conclusion to the long-running saga.

As Billy Dee Williams told Variety, putting on the blue and yellow costume was an amusing experience for him to go back to. His original appearances as the character only really added up to 15 minutes of screen time, but Lando has since become so much larger than just a supporting character in a Star Wars movie.

Lando was the first black character in the franchise, before Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu, John Boyega’s Finn or upcoming newbie Naomi Ackie’s Jannah joining the universe. Billy Dee Williams gets to share the screen with the crew of new characters fans have been following for the past four years, along with injecting some nostalgia into the runtime.

Additionally, the late Carrie Fisher will reprise her role in the Rise of Skywalker in a “profound” way, as J.J. Abrams recently told CinemaBlend. Even though the Princess Leia actress died before she could see 2017’s The Last Jedi premiere, the filmmakers found a way to add unused footage from The Force Awakens into the scenes of the final film.

But, just how will Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian fit into Rise of Skywalker? He may be pining over not having the Millenium Falcon back in his hands. Per an early image, it looks like Poe Dameron is having a ball test flying Han Solo’s famous ship!



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Technology

The PlayStation 4’s Share button changed the way we play together


Nobody games alone anymore. That’s never been strictly the case, anyway. Video games have always been relatively social, despite the old basement-dwelling, Cheeto-stained stereotypes. It’s 2019: we’re all gamers now. Part of that is because video games are more accessible now than they ever have been — smartphones are just tiny consoles! — but another part of it is also that games are more visible now. They go viral just like everything else does. (Honk!) That second bit, however, is relatively new. Games are more visible because the way we share them with each other has changed. And a big reason for that is the PlayStation 4.

It all started with the console’s design. Back in 2010, according to our friends over at Polygon, its designers decided to make sharing a key part of the system’s architecture. In a 2018 interview, designer Toshi Aoki said that a button dedicated to sharing was just an obvious, easy thing to understand. “But more than that, it’s a message for the PlayStation side of things, that users can share out, connect, show other players their epic moments. It just matched up,” he said. And at the time, that wasn’t easy to do without a lot of expensive technology. Aoki and the rest of the team settled on redesigning the PlayStation’s signature DualShock controller as the best way to accommodate the console’s new sharing features. They got rid of the Start and Select buttons and turned them into “Options” and “Share,” respectively. It was a quiet revolution. (“The joke is that Start never starts the game, and Select doesn’t select anything,” Aoki told Polygon.)

Here’s what the button does: when you press Share on the controller, it brings up a menu that allows you to upload screenshots or video clips from the game directly to your favorite platform, share your screen / play virtually with another person on a different PS4 with Share Play, or stream your gameplay directly to sites like Twitch. All of these features (which were absolutely ahead of their time) have since come to be thought of as standard and will almost certainly appear in the next generation of consoles, which are due out next fall.

Even Nintendo, a company typically behind the curve when it comes to the internet, included a similar share button on the Switch. (You have to remember that 2010 was before Minecraft, before Fortnite, before, in other words, the rise of truly social gaming.) At the same time, live-streaming was in its infancy: Justin.tv wouldn’t become Twitch for another year, and YouTube Live was only a few years old.

And now, games are made specifically to be shared. Some of the biggest first-party Sony games — Marvel’s Spider-Man, Horizon Zero Dawn, and God of War, among others — feature robust photos modes designed explicitly to get players sharing. It’s much easier to build attention around your game if it finds its way to memehood.


More than anything else, the act of sharing has defined Web 2.0. Its promise is what’s gotten all of us onto the ostensibly free services the internet giants maintain, and it’s what has given those same corporations their inordinate power over our lives. Sharing thoughts and ideas used to be solidly in the province of IRL. Now, it’s different: the world is being constructed and optimized for sharing — think the now ubiquitous Instagram pop up experience, or, less frivolously, the way mass movements select for visibility through pictures and videos and hashtags. For me, it’s gotten to the point where it sometimes feels like sharing is really just the act of bearing witness in a way. Even though we know “retweets ≠ endorsements,” it does feel like taking a position publicly, one way or another, is engaging with something in a way that’s productive. That has also meant that not sharing something has become a signal.

Performing your tastes in public has also become a large part of the discourse around video games, at least online. It’s a way for people to find each other. (Gamergate is the most obvious, horrifying, and relevant example.) That’s partially because of the deeply human tendency to sort into groups, but it also happens more frequently now because it’s so much easier to find people like you online.

The promise of the internet was that we wouldn’t have to be so lonely. And for the most part, it has borne that out. The PlayStation 4’s Share button is a reminder of how the internet has shaped the world in its image.



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Basketball

Michigan-Kentucky to play next 3 years, including in London next year


Kentucky and Michigan will play three games against each other over the next three years, starting in London in December 2020, the schools announced Thursday.

In addition, Kentucky will travel to Michigan on Dec. 4, 2021, and Michigan will travel to Kentucky on Dec. 3, 2022.

“This series with Michigan checks off a lot of boxes when we’re looking at teams to schedule,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said in a statement. “The first thing is, to add an opponent like Michigan and to do so at a point in the schedule where we’re beginning to find out who we are as a team will be important in our development.

“And then to be able to do something different — to be first, which our fans know we love to do — and play this first game is London will be an unforgettable experience for our players and for our fans. I imagine the home-and-home games the following seasons will be as good as any nonconference games in the country.”

The neutral-site game in London will be played at O2 Arena and hosted by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to serve as a fundraiser for the Hall. It will be the first NCAA Division I college basketball game to be played in this particular venue. The date of the game will be announced in January.

The game in London marks Kentucky’s fourth regular-season trip outside the U.S. and the fifth for Michigan, but it’s the first game in Europe for both schools. Kentucky does have some history in London, though. Its 1948 national championship team represented the United States in the 1948 Olympics and won the gold medal. The on-campus visits are the first in the series since 1968 (Kentucky Invitational Tournament) and 1970 (in Ann Arbor).

“When the idea of playing Kentucky came up, we knew it would be an exciting opportunity, not only for ourselves, but for our fans as well,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said in a statement. “What a unique three-game series. First, we get to showcase collegiate basketball overseas in London before playing that traditional home-and-home series in front of two of the nation’s best basketball environments. We cannot wait.”





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Football

Michigan LB Josh Uche entering 2020 NFL draft, plans to play in bowl


ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan linebacker Josh Uche is entering the 2020 NFL draft.

The redshirt junior shared his plans Wednesday night on his social media accounts, adding he will play for the 17th-ranked Wolverines in their bowl game.

Uche is ranked No. 9 among the top outside linebacker prospects for next year’s NFL draft, according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

Uche had a team-high 8 1/2 sacks this season and had three more tackles for losses. He had 34 tackles, forced two fumbles, recovering one, and defended two passes. The Miami native had seven sacks last season. He played in just four games as a freshman in 2016, potentially giving him a fifth season.

Michigan (9-3) will get its bowl bid Sunday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Lifestyle

Watch Dwight Howard Play WWE 2K20 for Xbox Session


If you were to make a list of which current NBA stars could ever make the jump to the WWE, you’d have to put Dwight Howard pretty high on that lineup. (And Russell Westbrook—dude would make a killer heel.) I mean, Howard’s the guy who gave us one of the best-ever Slam Dunk Contest runs, tossing on a Superman cape to deliver an all-time-greatest jam in the history of the event.

Looks like a run in the wrestling ring is actually a possibility for Howard if things don’t work out with the Lakers this season. In this exclusive clip from the latest episode of Xbox Sessions, the center plays WWE 2K20 with host Rukari Austin, who asks him if he would ever consider a WWE career. Howard says, “You know what? I would do it… I would be the funniest, craziest [wrestler]. Then when I get in the ring, it’s go-time.”

In the video, Austin and Howard square off in the virtual ring in a WWE 2K20 match, and Howard, expectedly, gets pretty into it. Austin also asks him about living in Los Angeles (yeah, he hates the traffic, too), his favorite burger spot, and why he thinks big men will make a comeback in the post-Steph Curry, all-threes-everything NBA. Also, it seems like Howard despises e-scooters so much that he could get himself a spot on @birdgraveyard.

And if the NBA ever rolls with a four-point line, you can count on Howard to let it rip from there—he’s even betting that he’d swish one before teammate JaVale McGee. “I heard something about a four-point line—I don’t know how true that is,” he tells Austin. “I think I’m gonna hit it first.”

You can check out the full episode here on Xbox’s Youtube channel and the Xbox channel on Mixer.





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Basketball

Kyrie Irving Lacked the ‘Cojones’ to Play in Boston


You need “major cojones” to thrive in Boston, something Kyrie Irving lacked, according to Celtics great Kevin Garnett.

Garnett appeared to imply that Irving wilted under the passionate fanbase’s intense pressure.

KG adds that Kyrie and Brooklyn Nets teammate Kevin Durant would’ve earned more glory in New York by joining the Knicks instead last summer.

Per The NY Daily News:

Kevin Garnett was quick to answer whether he was surprised Kyrie Irving left Boston.

“No,” he said flatly before pausing for laughs.

“Boston’s a tough town, dawg. You have to have some major cojones to be there. You got to want that. The people want it for you. That’s why Paul (Pierce) is perfect for it. Paul wants the shot every time. Like, ‘You’re 0-for-14.’ And he’s like, ‘I know, but they WANT it.’”

As Garnett experienced n his 1 ½ seasons with the Brooklyn Nets, the Knicks, despite their 20-year run of largely disastrous seasons, drive the city and its attention.

“If they did the Nets, I thought they should have done the Knicks, if I’m being honest.” Garnett said. “I’m not a Knick fan by far. But if they come to the city and dominate, man. …The first superstar to hit New York and be vibing is going to be bigger than life. Remember I said that. Any piece of hope in this city is going to skyrocket. People are waiting.”

Related Kyrie Irving Responds to Angry Taunts from Celtics Fans





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Movies

Danny Devito earns over 50,000 signatures on petition to play Wolverine


It’s the end of the current phase of the Avengers, and since Disney merged with Fox, the fate of many superheroes seems uncertain – including Wolverine. Could Danny DeVito help?

The gruff anti-hero, most famously played by Hugh Jackman in the original X-Men films as well as the 2017 standalone title Logan, will likely need to be recast. Disney, who own the Marvel Cinematic Universe, also own Fox – who previously had the rights to the X-Men characters.

Fans have taken this matter into their own hands: several months ago, a Change.org petition put Danny DeVito’s name forward to take over the role. What started as a small initiative has now reached over 50,000 signatures, and counting.

Making a case for the new casting choice, the creators of the petition write, “Danny DeVito’s height is a lot closer to the comic books portrayal of Wolverine. With Danny being 4’10” and Wolverine 5’3″.”

Continuing this logic, now that the 6’1″ Hugh Jackman is out of the picture, the second point reads, “We all saw Danny’s portrayal of the Trashman. So, we know he is fully capable of fighting, and that he is not afraid when things get dirty!”

DeVito has seldom left the public eye over the past few years, always putting in surprising performances and leaving few genres untouched.

Danny DeVito
Danny DeVito (Photo by Jerod Harris/WireImage). Credit: Getty

From Pulp Fiction to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Danny DeVito has kept busy and constantly tries new genres. Earlier this year, the actor played a ringmaster in Tim Burton’s Dumbo remake, and voiced the title character in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax in 2012.



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Football

Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos to enter draft, plans to play in bowl


Penn State junior defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos announced Tuesday that he will enter the 2020 NFL draft.

Gross-Matos, a first-team selection for the All-Big Ten defensive team, led the Nittany Lions with 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss this season. He is ranked third on ESPN draft insider Mel Kiper’s list of defensive ends for the 2020 draft.

Gross-Matos made the announcement in a tweet Tuesday and said he plans to play for No. 10-ranked Penn State in a bowl game.

Two other Nittany Lions, center Michal Menet and tight end Pat Freiermuth, announced they will return next season.



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Baseball

Ryan Zimmerman plans to play again for Nationals or ‘play more golf’


WASHINGTON — Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman figures he’ll either find himself back with the World Series champions next season — or out of baseball.

“I think I’ve made my intentions pretty clear,” Zimmerman said Monday night, when he attended the premiere of a documentary about last season’s title. “It’s either play some more here or play more golf.”

The 35-year-old Zimmerman is the only player who has appeared for the Nationals in all 15 of their seasons since the franchise moved to the nation’s capital from Montreal in 2005. He was the team’s first pick in the amateur draft that year.

The club declined its $18 million option for next season on Zimmerman, who received a $2 million buyout and became a free agent. But he expects to return to Washington.

“Both sides want something to happen. So it’s just a matter of getting something done,” he said. “We’ll see what happens, but I’m not too worried about it.”

Zimmerman, who has earned more than $125 million in his big league career, joked that his friends “tell me I should go claim unemployment.”

He dealt with injuries in 2019 and appeared in only 52 regular season games, batting .257 with six homers and 27 RBI. But he moved into the lineup during the postseason, starting Washington’s last 13 games as they wound up beating the Houston Astros in the World Series for the city’s first championship since 1924.

“We’re riding high on a lot of emotions and a lot of Bud Light,” general manager Mike Rizzo said at the documentary premiere.

Rizzo, who said he got married in Jamaica in November, said he didn’t want to discuss “2020 updates right now.”

He said that while he’s spoken to representatives for key free agents Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon, he hasn’t seen those two players face-to-face to talk about possible offers.

“We’ve been meeting for about 10 years, so there’s no need to have a personal meeting,” Rizzo said. “They know where our heart lies, and we know where their heart lies.”



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