The expectations for Dwayne Haskins in Pittsburgh are far different than the ones that awaited him in Washington. There, Haskins was the 15th overall pick, expected to take over as franchise quarterback and lead the team to success down the road. In Pittsburgh, Haskins is quarterback No. 3, expected to develop and improve himself on and off the field with no guaranteed opportunities awaiting him. Even his roster spot isn’t guaranteed. Haskins has to beat out Joshua Dobbs to make the team as the third QB.
Getting to work on himself, instead of the weight of a franchise sitting on his shoulders, is a different setting and expectation for Haskins as he begins his Pittsburgh career this season. The expectations are more reasonable than the ones handed to a then-rookie with one year of college starting experience. Haskins spoke about that at minicamp on Thursday.
“My expectations here is make everyone who decided to take a chance on me look good, and just work as hard as I possibly can and let my work speak for itself. And of course I’m going to be able to take after Big Ben and stuff like that, but that comes with due time. And just being able to do everything I need to do on a day-to-day basis,” Haskins said.
An advantage Pittsburgh can provide Haskins that Washington couldn’t is a future Hall of Famer like Ben Roethlisberger to study under as a backup. While a longer shot than Mason Rudolph or a future first-round pick to ascend to the role, Haskins’ name is one of the options the team can consider to replace Roethlisberger as early as next season.
For that to happen, Haskins has to improve his decision-making after throwing nearly an interception a start in Washington, and making mistakes off the field that led in part to his early release from the franchise just two years after they spent a first round pick on him.
“They expect a lot out of me as far as being prepared and being the best version of myself. That’s what they pretty much want for me, and allowing that to speak for itself,” Haskins said.
So far, Haskins has done all the things he needs to to earn some kind of spot in Pittsburgh’s future. That work is speaking for itself, too. His on-field performance at OTAs and in minicamp has drawn high praise from Roethlisberger himself, as well as new QBs coach Mike Sullivan.