Steelers News

Kinkhabwala: Steelers Disappointed In Dwayne Haskins’ Maturation, Lack Of Focus

The Pittsburgh Steelers are doomed, in case you didn’t know. Their franchise quarterback is on his last arthritic legs. Their backup quarterback and apparent bridge in 2022 has not developed in four seasons in any significant way. And their shot-in-the-dark number three is showing all the signs that got him cut from his previous teams after just two seasons as a former first-round pick.

At least, that’s how NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala decided to frame the Steelers’ quarterback room, unprompted, on Twitter earlier this week. It started off as a response to a Tweet by 93.7 The Fan’s Andrew Fillipponi saying that the Steelers would have been up over the Detroit Lions if Roethlisberger played on Sunday. Kinkhabwala’s response was essentially that Roethlisberger is only starting by default:

Mason Rudolph has had 4 years to show who he is. Dwayne Haskins, ostensibly one play from his 1st game action yesterday, spent warm-ups throwing lousy passes & checking his phone. Ben Roethlisberger may not be who he once was, but there’s a reason he’s your QB, #Steelers fans.

Numerous people pointed out how silly it was that she automatically assumed that Dwayne Haskins wasn’t using his phone in order to select music as he was warming up, which is extremely common among players; however, she doubled down with a bit more insight as to what prompted that remark from her, responding to Bucky Brooks, also of the NFL Network, pointing out the possible musical use of his phone.

It’s of course possible, Bucky. But it just so happens I was standing next to multiple members of the team’s staff who were pointing out his lack of focus, his sub-par warm-up passes and their disappointment in his maturation. That’s why I tried to illustrate: he’s not the savior

Say what you want about all this, and even the reporter in question, but I do imagine that at the very least the conversations in question did happen. Whether or not they’re exactly as was described, or with anybody whose opinions should actually matter, that might be another discussion.

To his credit, Haskins, drafted 15th overall by the Washington Football Team in 2019, did everything from a professional standpoint that was expected of him during training camp, to the public eye. He was often among the first players on the practice field, and said the right things during interviews.

He was even showing some growth on the field, at least until he had the opportunity to start the final preseason game and generally played rather poorly. He was still retained as the number three quarterback, dressing for the first time this past Sunday due to Ben Roethlisberger being on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

Is there merit to the reporter’s claims? Long term, does it matter? I don’t know about the first, but I doubt there are many left who have been holding out any expectations that Haskins is going to start next season anyway, so from a pragmatic standpoint, I can only care so much what he’s doing on his phone during pre-game warmups when he may not even dress for another game.

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