Any time a first-round pick is made available within the span of their rookie contract, they are going to come with some baggage in one form or another. Even through regime change, you don’t just walk away from a premium investment without giving it a fair shake unless it’s clearly in the team’s best interests.
Depending on the cost, you have to do some digging about what happened. The Pittsburgh Steelers were fortunate to get 2019 first-round quarterback Dwayne Haskins for the minimum with no guarantees after the Washington Football Team let him go, though.
That is perhaps one of the reasons that they are operating under a clean slate. While head coach Mike Tomlin talked about being more interested in getting to know Haskins the man, his position coach, Mike Sullivan, told reporters that he hasn’t even looked into his background, that it’s not his concern. And Haskins is welcoming the chance to start fresh, leaving the past behind.
“It is what it is. It’s all about perception”, he said about the negative press he got in Washington prior to and following his release. “Of course some of the things were taken the way that they were taken, and not everything is the way it was, or the way it was said, but it is what it is, and I can’t go back and change it”.
“I can’t go back and tell people what really happened or how it was”, he added. “It’s in the past now, and all I can do is make sure I’m doing better moving forward, and that’s my main focus”.
For the moment, his task is to compete for a roster spot behind Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph, contending with Joshua Dobbs for the third quarterback spot. He knows that the first step is to get your foot in the door.
Then he can worry about his long-term future. As you would expect, it is his intention to win a starting job again, and it’s not as though time isn’t on his side. He is only 24 years old as of about a month and a half ago, 15 years younger than Roethlisberger is now, and Ben’s still playing.
Haskins carries with him some baggage from D.C. His portrayal was as somebody who lacks dedication and discipline, personally and especially professionally, he also has work to do on the field in terms of his throwing mechanics, his footwork, his ability to reach defenses, and a number of other issues that are Sullivan’s and Matt Canada’s domain.
For now, though, this is really more about Haskins than it is about the Steelers. As a no-risk investment, anything they get out of him is a bonus. They have Roethlisberger. They have Rudolph. In the event that Haskins is able to turn his career around and be a starter, it would be wonderful. But that’s his concern more than Pittsburgh’s, and the onus is on to prove to them that he is the answer to the question of who their successor is to Big Ben.