The Pittsburgh Steelers have a full quarterback room this offseason, all of whom have some level of experience. That includes newcomer Dwayne Haskins, a former first-round pick of the Washington Football Team, who has the most starting experience in the room behind Ben Roethlisberger, and by whom he is motivated, both as a teammate and a fan.
“I remember when I was seven years old, Ben won his first Super Bowl. I joke all the time about how old he is”, Haskins told reporters about Roethlisberger earlier today. “It’s just funny that he’s still playing at a high level. The compliment that he gave me is something that motivates me in my third year, that he believes in me and sees my hard work coming through, and I’m just thankful that he said something like that”.
He is referring to remarks that Roethlisberger made about Haskins earlier this month during OTAs. Asked about the young quarterback, he talked about how he was envious of Haskins’ release and throwing mechanics, calling it “some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen”.
He also said Haskins could probably throw a ball through a car wash and it wouldn’t get wet. The third-year arm said he thought he might have to try that—joking, of course—though his focus right now is just acclimating himself to his new team and showing everybody that he’s here for the right reasons.
Yet he is just one of several young quarterbacks in the room, all looking to feed off of that relationship with Roethlisberger as he approaches the end of his career. Both Mason Rudolph and Joshua Dobbs have spent three years with him, and are obviously already familiar with him.
Rudolph is the presumed backup, to the point where it would be a surprise if that were not the case, but Dobbs and Haskins are competing for the third quarterback spot, at least for the time being. I’m sure if either really showed significantly better this Summer, that a move up could be made.
They all, of course, want what Roethlisberger has had. Haskins had a chance to be a starter, but it didn’t work out in Washington. He knows that he is working back from the start, and has a long road ahead of him to get that opportunity under center back.
So far, the environment in Pittsburgh seems to have been a positive force for him, driven by his interactions with Roethlisberger, head coach Mike Tomlin, and on down the list. I suppose if he is able to turn things around, this is as good a place as any.