During the Pittsburgh Steelers OTA sessions, starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger praised the arm strength of backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins along with his overall throwing mechanics., Roethlisberger even went as far as to offer up analogy that Haskins could probably throw a football through a carwash without it even getting wet. On Tuesday, new Steelers quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan met the media before the team’s first mandatory minicamp practice of 2021 and during his interview he was asked to comment on what Roethlisberger previously said about Haskins and his overall mechanics.
“I think when it comes to the upper body, I’ve found over the years, for the most part, that’s best left alone,” Sullivan said. “Guys have been throwing footballs a long time. And you go through all the way through youth league and high school and college and into the pros and where a lot of the corrections and adjustments can be made that can help improve accuracy and improve velocity, and so on and so forth, is from the lower body and having that type of balance and rhythm.
“And so, you asked about just the impressions, there is great velocity on his ball, and that’s something you really you can’t get a measure of off of a game tape. And, you know, really, even if you’re on the sideline or the opposing sideline, you to have to stand behind him and be there in the drills and be there close to him. He does have good arm talent and what we’re trying to make sure we’re doing with him, and with all the guys, is trying to make sure that from the bottom up we have that balanced platform and we’re able to transfer our weight and get the most out of every throw.”
Arm strength really hasn’t been an issue with Haskins to date and that includes his play in college at Ohio State. It’s one of several reasons why he likely ended up being selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Washington Football Team. One area where Haskins has come up short so far as a passer at the NFL level is his overall accuracy and especially on his deep throws of more than 15 yards down the field.
Judging by what Sullivan hinted at on Tuesday, Haskins’ accuracy might can be helped some with basic mechanic adjustments such as possessing a more balanced throwing platform and transferring of weight when he throws the football.
With three weeks of OTA practices now in the books, Sullivan, who was hired to be the Steelers new quarterbacks coach earlier in the offseason, should now have a much better understanding of Haskins’ pros and cons. The mandatory minicamp practices should give Haskins a chance to show what he’s learned and what all he’s been able to improve on during OTAs. Instead of throwing on air, Haskins should get a chance to throw in seven-on-seven and eleven-on-eleven situations these next few days during mandatory minicamp.
The Steelers first preseason game of 2021 will take place roughly six and a half weeks from now and in that contest against the Dallas Cowboys, we should get to see quite a bit of Haskins at quarterback. Hopefully the former first round draft pick has a solid showing in training camp ahead of that first preseason game as well. Haskins is expected to battle veteran backup quarterback Joshua Dobbs for the third-string job throughout the summer.