Dwayne Haskins had an up-and-down rookie season with the Washington Redskins, raising some questions regarding whether Haskins is the team’s franchise quarterback. Washington used a first-round pick on Haskins, placing a huge investment on him as the face of the franchise.
Heading into Year 2, the Redskins have a new head coach (Ron Rivera) and are in the process of searching for a new general manager. Most new head coaches prefer to pick their quarterback, which brings up whether Haskins will have to compete for the starting job in Washington.
Doug Williams, the Redskins’ new senior vice president of player development, isn’t putting Haskins’ future in question.
“The new staff knows that Dwayne Haskins is the starting quarterback here,” Williams said, via John Keim of ESPN. “The only thing that can happen is for Dwayne to give it back to them. It’s up to him to learn the playbook, wear the coaches out. He’s got to stay at the facility until they run him out of the building. …
“Dwayne has a long way to go. But like I told him, he was doing what we expected him to do. He was ascending. Hopefully the way he goes now, he keeps going up. All eyes are going to be on him. At the same time you’ve got a new coaching staff and they’re not married to him.”
Quite the different tone than what Rivera said regarding Haskins a month ago.
“He’s going to have to step up and become a leader,” Rivera said. “All the great ones have become leaders and they’ve become leaders whether they’re rookies or they’re 10,12-year vets.
“We’re going to have an interesting set of circumstances that we’ll go through as we go through the OTAs and into minicamp and then training camp. But one thing that I will do … once we feel comfortable, is to go ahead and make that decision so we can go forward and give these guys the opportunity to develop.”
The Redskins have two quarterbacks set to hit free agency in Case Keenum and Colt McCoy, and are uncertain if either of them will be back to challenge Haskins for the job. Rivera may want his own guy to bring in via free agency, or the Redskins could give Alex Smith an opportunity to get his starting quarterback job back, if his health allows it (Smith missed the entire 2019 season with a leg injury).
Haskins improved as the Redskins season went on, but struggled for the majority of his rookie season. He completed 58.6% of his passes for 1,365 yards, seven touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 76.1 rating. The Redskins’ pass offense was one of the worst in the NFL, averaging 175.8 yards a game (last) and 5.9 yards per pass (29th). Washington was last in points per game (16.6) and 31st in yards (274.7), an indictment of Haskins’s struggles early in the year.
In Haskins’ final two starts, he completed 72.1% of his passes for 394 yards and four touchdowns for a 131.4 passer rating.
Right now, the job is Haskins’s to lose … which is how the Redskins want it to play out this offseason.