The Washington Football Team is facing some unique challenges in 2020. At least in 2020, they rose to them.
Coach Ron Rivera is battling a treatable form of lymph node cancer. He has been receiving treatment this week, and it required him to receive an IV at halftime of Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Washington was trailing 17-7 at the half. With Rivera being treated, quarterback Dwayne Haskins stepped in to try to fire up the team for the second half with a speech.
Cornerback Fabian Moreau said Haskins “got everybody riled up and put everyone on his back.”
This situation demonstrates the unusual circumstances the team is facing. There’s even a backup plan in place in the event that Rivera is physically unable to coach. For Haskins, it was an opportunity to grow as a leader and gain more respect from his teammates. He’s a second-year pro trying to prove himself in the NFL, and this can only help. As long as he has more days like he did Sunday, he’ll prove the oddsmakers wrong quite quickly.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was second on the list, followed by Mitchell Trubisky.
Washington drafted Haskins with the No. 15 overall pick last year, but that was under a different coaching regime. Head coach Ron Rivera now has control over the roster, and he wasn’t with the team when Haskins was drafted. That could play a significant role in any potential decision to move on from Haskins.
The positive news surrounding Alex Smith probably contributed to Haskins having the best odds of being benched. While Rivera has named Haskins the starter, the coach recently said he would be comfortable playing Smith in Week 1 if he had to. That would only happen in the event of an injury, but it’s fair to wonder how long Haskins’ leash will be.
The Washington Football Team has put a lot of hope in Dwayne Haskins to be the franchise quarterback. Coach Ron Rivera is putting the work in to ensure that he can help that process along.
Rivera revealed that he spoke to Urban Meyer, Haskins’ coach at Ohio State, to get a better picture of the quarterback’s mentality.
“I had an opportunity to talk to Urban Meyer and he gave me a lot of insight into Dwayne. It was amazing, it really was,” Rivera said, via NFL.com. “He really gave me things that I could use going forward so when I sat down with Dwayne, one of the things that I remember Coach had told me was that you got to challenge the young man. When the young man’s challenged, he bows up and does the things that he needs to do.”
Dwayne Haskins has held onto his starting quarterback job with the Washington Football Team.
Coach Ron Rivera confirmed Wednesday that Haskins will start Week 1, beating Alex Smith and Kyle Allen for the job.
Washington coach Ron Rivera has made the obvious official: Dwayne Haskins is their starting QB. Put him in the category of Tyrod Taylor and the #Chargers and likely Ryan Fitzpatrick and the #Dolphins — QB battles that never really were.
This is no real surprise. Allen always looked like a longshot. Smith, on the other hand, is working his way back from a catastrophic injury. He may be a good option down the road, but camp was mostly about just getting him back on the field.
Washington is still hopeful that Haskins can be the franchise quarterback. The 23-year-old showed little last season, going 2-5 in seven starts with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He’ll need to start showing some improvement in 2020.
Not a bad connection to make, and it makes plenty of sense for a quarterback to pick the brain of one of the game’s all-time great receivers to try to better serve the needs of his own pass catchers.
Haskins had a somewhat underwhelming rookie season, tossing seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in nine appearances. He’s definitely been working very hard this offseason to ensure that year two is significantly better.
Dwayne Haskins is the future of the Washington Redskins, so it is only fitting that he is providing input on what the team’s name should be going forward.
In the wake of the team announcing this week that they would conduct “a thorough review” of their nickname, the Redskins quarterback offered his suggestion on Twitter. Haskins said that he liked the “Redtails.”
For context, the Red Tails was an unofficial nickname for the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of all-black fighter pilots who served in the United States Armed Forces during World War II. They were also recently the focus of the 2012 war film “Red Tails” starring Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has long resisted calls to change the team’s nickname, which is deemed by some to be offensive to Native Americans. Snyder now appears to be relenting however amid the current social climate as well as the likelihood that he will be unable to secure funding for a new stadium without changing the name.
Haskins’ suggestion would work on a couple of different levels in terms of keeping the name fairly similar-sounding to the old one as well as honoring an important and often overlooked part of our nation’s history with the new one.
Dwayne Haskins is getting a vote of confidence from a legendary predecessor.
In an appearance this week on 106.7 The Fan, retired Washington Redskins quarterback Doug Williams had some high praise for the 23-year-old Haskins.
“I don’t care who came out this year, last year, there’s not a quarterback that’s come out in the last two years that has the ability – from an arm strength standpoint and arm talent – that Dwayne Haskins has,” he said, per PFT.
“Dwayne can throw with the best of them,” Williams added. “Now mentally, he has to control the other part, and I think he has aligned himself and realized that’s what he has to do and I think that’s what he’s doing. I think at the end of the day, give him the opportunity to do what everybody is doing, and that is to improve upon his game.”
Haskins, who threw for 1,365 yards, seven touchdowns, and seven picks in seven starts as a rookie last season, was the third quarterback drafted in 2019 behind Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones. For the sake of Williams’ comparison, Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert were some of the QBs who were selected in this year’s class as well.
Haskins was taken No. 15 overall by Washington in the draft last year. He underwhelmed as a rookie, completing 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,365 passing yards, 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions on a bad team.
Washington has a long way to go to improve, and Haskins’ development will be central to that goal.
Tom Brady is widely respected by quarterbacks across the NFL, but Dwayne Haskins is taking it to a new level.
Haskins shared an Instagram video in which we catch a brief glimpse of a giant wall mural depicting Haskins greeting Tom Brady. It’s an essentially perfect reproduction of a photo taken after a 2019 game.