Dwayne Haskins’ time with Washington clearly didn’t work out well. But new Pittsburgh Steelers’ QB coach Mike Sullivan doesn’t care about what happened there. All he’s focused on is what Haskins is doing right now in a Steelers’ uniform. And so far, he’s impressed with what he’s seen. Sullivan spoke to the media during a Tuesday Zoom call and was asked for his initial thoughts on Haskins.
“Since Dwayne has been here, he has shown great focus, great discipline,” Sullivan said. “He’s been committed to doing everything that we’ve asked him to do. He tries to do extra. The past is in the past and I certainly wasn’t in Washington. I don’t know what the issues were that occurred there. And quite frankly, I didn’t take time to evaluate his tape or what he had done.”
Haskins’ reportedly had issues with work ethic and preparation during his time in Washington. He was caught visiting a strip club last season, making himself a COVID risk to teammates, and lost his captaincy and starting job before long. Head coach Ron Rivera recently lamented not creating enough competition for the starting job, awarded to Haskins, last summer. In 16 games for Washington, Haskins completed 60% of his passes and threw two more interceptions than touchdowns. He went 3-10 as their starter.
So far this spring, most reports on Haskins have been positive. Of course, the team isn’t in pads and until today’s minicamp, wasn’t even conducting 11v11 sessions. A QB with the ability like Haskins is predictably looking good in 7 on 7.
As far as Sullivan is concerned, Haskins has a clean slate in Pittsburgh. And his goal is to get the most out of the team’s latest project.
“I know that this is a young man who was drafted in the first round and has great arm talent and is here as a Pittsburgh Steeler. Everything that he’s shown to this point, it’s things you would want out of a young man who has a second chance who is trying to make the most of it and trying to compete.”
Haskins will battle Josh Dobbs to be the No. 3 quarterback on the team. Whoever loses that battle could land on the practice squad, especially with the assumption the league will keep its 16-man unit it had last year.
The winner of the battle could come down to the most accurate QB. Both guys have struggled with their accuracy throughout their careers. Haskins’ completion percentage as a starter has been poor while Dobbs has posted some of the lowest training camp completion percentage numbers we’ve ever tracked. In 2019, he completed just 53% of his throws. Every other QB was in the 60s or 70s. In 2018, Dobbs had just a 55% completion rate and in 2017, that number sat at 57%.