Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera is reflecting on what went wrong last season. And really, what went wrong with Dwayne Haskins, the team’s failed first round pick released just two years in with the team (drafted under a different head coach, to be clear).
In a recent article by ESPN’s John Keim, Rivera says he regrets not creating more of a competition for the starting quarterback gig out of training camp. Haskins ran with the starters from beginning to end but was benched after Week 4.
Here’s what Rivera had to say via Keim.
“The mistake I made was that my approach was wrong,” Rivera said. “I should have made as big a competition as possible, and that’s on me. I wanted to try and find a guy. I thought [Haskins] was ready to take a step and take every opportunity.”
In his first four starts, Haskins completed barely more than 60% of his passes, a low number by modern standards, and threw just one more touchdown (4) than he did interception (3). After winning their opener, Washington dropped their next three games, forcing the team to bench Haskins in favor of Kyle Allen.
The team would play QB roulette the rest of the season. Alex Smith played well but three different QBs – Haskins, Allen, and Smith – started at least four games.
Pittsburgh signed Haskins to a futures contract in the offseason. Of course, competition won’t be an issue this year. Haskins will battle Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs for the backup pecking order. Rudolph is likely to be the team’s #2 behind Ben Roethlisberger, leaving Haskins and Dobbs to fight for the third and likely final spot on the 53 man roster.
It is possible, however, the loser lands on the practice squad. Especially knowing the league is likely to have an expanded roster the way they did last season. Haskins may enter camp as the slight favorite, but his spot is far from guaranteed. If he struggles with accuracy and processing, especially against zone, he won’t make the team.
There’s no question Haskins has talent. But there’s been questions about his work ethic and preparation. Now fighting for a roster spot and maybe his NFL career, if he’s not properly motivated now, he never will be.
— Steelers Depot ✌️❤️✌️❤️ (@Steelersdepot) June 14, 2021