Certain franchises just don’t inspire confidence. The Washington Redskins are, unfortunately, one of those. From their name and logo to unbelievably poor handling of medical issues, it seems like the club simply can’t get out of their own way. That trend will continue today, as they throw rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins into the lion’s den.
It’s never easy for a quarterback to make his first NFL start, but the Redskins are making today’s game as tough as possible for Haskins.
Dwayne Haskins’ season so far
After posting a historic season with the Ohio State Buckeyes, Dwayne Haskins made the jump to the pros. The Washington Redskins selected him 15th overall but didn’t promise him the starting role. The rookie started the season as the number two quarterback, sitting behind Case Keenum on the depth chart.
Head coach Jay Gruden, who was fired after Washington’s 0-5 start, preached patience. He repeatedly said Keenum was the starter, and Haskins wasn’t ready to play at the NFL level. Even when Bill Callahan took over, the messaging remained the same. Haskins needed more time.
The rookie has struggled during his two relief appearances this season, but things will be different on Sunday. Keenum is still in concussion protocol, meaning Haskins will get his first NFL start.
The Washington Redskins’ lack of confidence
Understandably, Washington doesn’t want to create a quarterback controversy; the team is in enough of a mess without creating any additional problems. Callahan’s statements about Dwayne Haskins, this week, though haven’t inspired any confidence.
While Haskins is starting, the organization has gone out of its way to specifically say that he is not the long term starter. He’s simply the best quarterback who can play this weekend.
“Case is our quarterback and that’s where we’re rolling right now,” Callahan said this week. “I really believe at the beginning of the year, Case earned the starting quarterback position. He was voted captain by his teammates, certainly deserving, certainly our starting quarterback. So, we’re not confusing the issue here: Case is our starter and if he’s healthy and ready to play this Sunday, he will be going forward.”
While it would be insulting to Dwayne Haskins’ skill set to suggest that he needs a public pep talk to play well, he can’t be feeling confident going into his first start. His team has publically said he isn’t ready to play. He’s struggled during his two previous appearances. Now, his coach is talking about how Keenum would be starting if he could. It’s not a recipe to help a young quarterback feel confident when facing a difficult situation.
Dwayne Haskins vs. the Buffalo Bills defense
Beyond the psychological side of things, the Redskins aren’t doing Dwayne Haskins a favor by throwing him into action against the Buffalo Bills.
Despite their recent struggles, the Bills are putting together a strong season. Their defense, in particular, has shown this year, allowing the third-fewest yards per game in the NFL.
Haskins will be facing that defense without a great deal of help. Washington’s running attack is led by Adrian Peterson, which, given the fact that it’s 2019, should tell you all you need to know. The wideouts aren’t much better, with only one player averaging more than 50 receiving yards per game.
Breaking into the NFL is never easy. The Washington Redskins, however, have helped make Dwayne Haskins’ first career start as hard as possible.