When the Pittsburgh Steelers selected quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft, the team’s newsiest quarterback Dwyane Haskins was just six years old and close to turning seven. With the two quarterbacks now teammates in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger heaped a lot of praise on his new understudy following Tuesday’s OTA practice.
“I was just telling Coach Sully [Mike Sullivan] the other day that his release and throwing motion mechanics are some of the prettiest I have ever seen,” Roethlisberger said of Haskins. “I told him I wish I had that. I joked that he could throw it through a car wash, and it wouldn’t get wet. He’s learning it. It’s obviously a new system for him, he’s young in the league. It’s fun to have that young energy around. Like I said, when he throws a football, it’s pretty.”
It didn’t take long for Roethlisberger’s Tuesday comments to get back to Haskins and once they did, the Ohio State product and former first round draft pick of the Washington Football Team took to Instagram to give some mutual respect to the Steelers longtime veteran quarterback.
“I forget to tell y’all Ben was one of my favorite qb’s growing up,” Haskins wrote on Instagram. “Him and Mike Vick were the reason I wore 7.”
The Steelers certainly don’t have a lot invested in Haskins right now and quite honestly, the young quarterback couldn’t ask for a belter opportunity than he has now in Pittsburgh. If Haskins can make the Steelers 53 man roster this summer as the team’s third string quarterback, he might just have a chance to be a starter down the road and possibly even as early as 2022.
While Haskins is only currently under contract through the 2021 season, he’s set to be a restricted free agent next March and thus can easily be retained with an original round restricted tender next February.
If things go like we think they will, Haskins should get quite a bit of playing time in the Steelers preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys in the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH. That should be one of the biggest storylines for the Steelers side ahead of that contest.