Dwayne Haskins’ preseason debut validates Redskins’ hesitation with rookie QB

first_imgThe Redskins saw all their reasons for listing Haskins third on their initial depth chart behind Keenum and Colt McCoy become vindicated, and Keenum didn’t exactly set the world on fire. He was 4 of 9 and averaged only 6.7 yards per attempt. And that included one of the easiest pitch-and-catch deep touchdowns to completely uncovered wide receiver Robert Davis, accounting for 46 of Keenum’s passing yards and inflating his rating to a misleading 103.9.Keenum has served as the poster man for bridge QBs with his consecutive stints in Minnesota and Denver. In those situations, he kept his job mostly because there weren’t any other healthy, viable options, veteran or rookie.There should still be an expectation that Keenum will lose his starting gig to Haskins at some point in 2019. For now, it’s looking like that will happen in November or December rather than September or October. Haskins didn’t waste time with his first career pass attempt in the second quarter. Backed up inside Washington’s 10-yard line, he showed off his underrated mobility on a designed roll to the right outside the pocket, delivering a strike to streaking wide receiver Darvin Kidsy. Haskins was drafted No. 15 overall for his headline arm strength, and he made the 27-yard pass look like an easy lob.2019 NFL PREDICTIONS:Standings, playoff projections, Super Bowl pickRookie showing off early.Dwayne Haskins’ first throw in the NFL 🎯 @dh_simba7 #WASvsCLE pic.twitter.com/vS9U7EevX7— NFL (@NFL) August 9, 2019Haskins also has been touted as intelligent. But that part of his game was far from starter-worthy on the two worst passes of his debut. Jay Gruden and the Redskins’ offensive coaches had to be disappointed to see Haskins struggle so much to read his first live NFL coverage.Based on the way Haskins shredded defenses at Ohio State, it was shocking to see him back in the state of Ohio missing badly on underthrow and overthrow interceptions.On the first, an outlet pass intended for running back Byron Marshall, Haskins failed to see linebacker Mack Wilson flashing across the field. Wilson returned the ball 40 yards, finally eluding a shocked Haskins to make it a pick-six.The rookie out of @AlabamaFTBL…@5mackwilson1 40-yard PICK-6! 🚨 #WASvsCLE pic.twitter.com/PqBBEgjAxB— NFL (@NFL) August 9, 2019The second, an errant downfield shot to tight end Matt Flanagan went way high, looking like it was actually intended for the “wide open” intercepting cornerback, Greedy Williams.Gettin’ @Greedy 💯#WASvsCLE pic.twitter.com/gWWsCbCOFh— NFL (@NFL) August 9, 2019In both cases, Haskins faced no pressure, working with a clean pocket out of the shotgun. In both cases, rookies on the other side were in the right position to make their big-play takeaways. When pressure did get to Haskins on Thursday, he was sacked twice.Although Haskins was facing better young defenders while playing with the lesser of the Redskins’ shaky pass-catchers, the fact that he complicated two rather simple reads and made critical mistakes in Cleveland was confirmation that he needs more polish coming from the ace, pro-style offensive coaching he got in Columbus.​MORE: Daniel Jones shines in debut for GiantsHaskins’ final line was very rookie-like: 8 of 14, 117 yards, 44.9 rating. The takeaway, though, is his still-healthy 8.3 yards per attempt. There’s a good baseline to be converted into efficiency, just not soon. The Redskins gave first-round pick Dwayne Haskins a golden chance in their preseason opener to prove why the rookie should get more consideration as their No. 1 quarterback in 2019.Coming into the game as the No. 2 QB behind Case Keenum on Thursday night in Cleveland, Haskins did a lot more harm than anything after an initial highlight.last_img

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