NFL

NFL: Ron Rivera Just Sent Dwayne Haskins an Important Message of Support

There is a common saying in the NFL that if a team has two quarterbacks, then it has none. That indicates if you have a competition going between two quarterbacks for the starting job, that means you don’t have a good quarterback. That may be a bit harsh, but it’s something many people believe.

The Washington Football Team entered training camp with three possibilities for starting quarterback, with one option being veteran Alex Smith, who is coming off a brutal leg injury he suffered in 2018. New head coach Ron Rivera has named his starter, and looks to be in full support of second-year passer Dwayne Haskins.

Dwayne Haskins rookie stats

Dwayne Haskins smiles on the sideline
Dwayne Haskins smiling on the sideline during a game | Nicole Fridling/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 15th overall pick in the 2019 draft, Haskins started the season as the backup to veteran journeyman Case Keenum. Haskins saw his first game action in Week 4, then took over for Keenum in Week 8 and started 17 straight games beginning with Week 9.

His numbers weren’t overwhelmingly positive in the approximately half-season that he played, which is to be expected from a rookie. He went 119-for-203, throwing for 1,365 yards, He had an even touchdown-to-interception ratio, throwing seven of each.

The team went 2-5 in Haskins’ seven starts, but with a 3-13 overall record that’s not as bad as it seems with Haskins getting two-thirds of the team’s wins.

Dwayne Haskins named the starter for 2020

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Haskins was expected to get the starting job, with Kyle Allen and Smith his competition, so it’s not surprising that Rivera named him the starter entering the season (per FanSided).

Also not surprising is the support that Rivera is throwing behind Haskins as his quarterback. Especially with a young passer, the coach needs to make sure the player knows he has the full support of the team and coaching staff. And his quotes on the Huddle & Flow podcast, reported by NFL.com, prove that.

In an interview on the program, Rivera said Haskins “is our guy” and who he is “supporting 100%.” Rivera promises that he is going to give Haskins “every opportunity to be our quarterback and to help him succeed.” Rivera revealed early in camp that he would give Haskins all the primary reps with the ones, and that was what happened.

Rivera also says he has challenged Haskins. He says he liked things that he saw from the Ohio State alum, but “there were also some things I felt he had to improve on,” so he challenged Haskins all the way back in January. Rivera acknowledges that Haskins grew a lot during camp and he learned a lot about the quarterback’s competitive spirit. Rivera calls Haskins’ progression “exciting” and says it showed him that Haskins “wants to be the guy.”

Importance to the team

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Any team needs to have a franchise quarterback it can rely on in order to have success in the NFL, and Washington needs Dwayne Haskins to be that guy. It’s more important to this franchise than it is to most teams because of the tumultuous time the team is going through right now off the field, with sexual harassment scandals leading the firing of several team executives and owner Daniel Snyder finally giving in to public pressure and ridding the team of the name the Redskins.

With all of that going on in the mainstream news, Snyder and the team need to make a massive improvement on the field to ensure fans stick with the team and continue to support the franchise. If Haskins can lead the team to the postseason, which would probably be at least a year away, it would do wonders for the fan base to see improvement with the team.

Rivera is hoping Haskins is the long-term solution for Washington, saying he hopes to ride Haskins as long as he rode Cam Newton, who he coached for several years with the Panthers.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference