The Pittsburgh Steelers signed quarterback Dwayne Haskins way earlier in the offseason in hopes that the former first-round draft pick out of Ohio State might be able to revive his career with a new team with less pressure on him initially. Haskins’ first step at reviving his NFL career in 2021 after being signed earlier in the offseason by the Steelers was to make it to training camp, and it looks like he’ll accomplish that. With the start of training camp now just three weeks away, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was asked this past week during his interview with Dan Sileo on his podcast to comment on Haskins and what it was about him that sparked the team’s interest in him.
“Dwayne Haskins is a young, talented quarterback,” Colbert said. “He came into the draft the same year we drafted Devin Bush. He was the 14th pick. We loved him coming out of Ohio State. We always felt that he probably wasn’t ready for the NFL level. You know, players make decisions for whatever reason, that’s their decision, and he got put into a situation that didn’t work out for him. He’s a good kid. He’s a talented player. He wanted to be here. He wanted another opportunity, and we were like, ‘sure, why not?’ I mean, it’s a good opportunity for him and it’s a good option for us.”
Haskins has indeed had a rough go of it so far, and he certainly looked overwhelmed in his first two NFL seasons with the Washington Football Team. He had the weight of the Washington franchise on his shoulders those first two seasons, and he failed to handle the corresponding pressure well. He also made a few bad off-the-field decisions in his first two NFL seasons, and it resulted in Washington parting ways with him right after the 2020 season ended.
Colbert talked some about what it means for the Steelers to add another quarterback with playing experience in the form of Haskins to the team’s roster this offseason.
“Again, we have Ben [Roethlisberger], we have Mason Rudolph, we had [Joshua] Dobbs come back to us and now Dwayne will be in the mix as well,” Colbert said. “So, that’s what I mentioned, we have four quarterbacks that have played in NFL games. Three of them have started NFL games. So, when we have some strengths at that position, it was really an easy decision for us, and Dwayne does strengthen the competition at that position.”
When it comes to how the quarterback depth chart will ultimately sort out this summer in training camp, a battle between Haskins and Joshua Dobbs for the third string spot behind Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph appears to be the biggest thing to watch for. The Steelers extended Rudolph’s contract earlier this offseason and he’s almost certain to enter the 2021 regular season as Roethlisberger’s backup.
While Haskins did survive the Steelers’ offseason practices, the media reviews concerning how he looked during them were mixed and all over the place. That’s not shocking, however, as most of the media members who cover the Steelers up close and personal aren’t really qualified to judge what they watch take place during practices. In short, most of them and their opinions aren’t worth reading and paying attention to. It’s a sad reality, but it’s the truth.
Haskins will remain one of the biggest topics of conversation throughout the Steelers’ training camp and preseason game schedule. He figures to play a lot during the teams four preseason games this summer and if he plays well, he should easily land the third-string quarterback job. If he doesn’t play well, his time in Pittsburgh might be short-lived and thus ultimately over with come Week 1 of the regular season.
“Who the heck knows how it will sort out as those three go into training camp behind Ben,” Colbert said of the team’s quarterback depth chart.