- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 26, 2019

If rookie Dwayne Haskins starts Week 1 for the Washington Redskins, it won’t be just coach Jay Gruden’s call. 

Redskins senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams told the NFL Network that the team’s starter at quarterback next season will be a group decision.

Haskins, who was drafted 15th overall in April, is competing for the job against veterans Case Keenum and Colt McCoy. 

“I know there’s words out there that (Haskins) might end up starting, and that could happen,” Williams said, “but at the end of the day that’s going to be on Jay, myself and probably Bruce (Allen) and the owner (Dan Snyder), and what he does during preseason and to see where we are as a team to make that decision.”

Fans might scoff at Williams’ comments, particularly at Snyder’s involvement. Any news that Snyder is taking a role in football decisions can put Washington fans on edge, given the owner’s track record. Fans were also alarmed before the draft when rumors swirled about Snyder “taking over the first round,” so the Redskins could grab Haskins. 

But at the same time, group decisions — especially when it comes to the quarterback — are common in the NFL. Every team holds meetings to discuss situations. Management can force a coach’s hand.

The Philadelphia Eagles, for example, preached they were going to take their time with Carson Wentz, the second overall pick in 2016. In July of that year, coach Doug Pederson said Wentz would likely be inactive on game days. But seven weeks later, the Eagles traded veteran Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings — paving the way for Wentz to start right away. 

“Everybody feels like this kid is ready to go,” Pederson told reporters in September 2016. “We drafted him to take on the reins and it’s something now that we’re prepared to do.” 

The Redskins have every intention of letting Haskins compete for the job, but they want him to earn it. 

Haskins started just one season at Ohio State. The 22-year-old is still getting used to the NFL level, adjusting to calling plays and taking snaps under center. Haskins was pleased with the progress he made throughout OTAs, though acknowledged he has plenty of room to grow. 

This week, former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann said it would be a “formula for disaster” if Haskins started Week 1. He cited Washington’s early season schedule as a reason for keeping Haskins on the bench. Of Washington’s first five games, four will be against opponents who made the playoffs last season — including the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in Week 5. 

“To me, the best scenario for Dwayne would this — to sit this year, Case plays, Colt comes back, is healthy enough to be able to be in competition and/or a part of the ballclub … and give Dwayne a chance to process everything, Theismann told 106.7 The Fan. 

After the Redskins’ mandatory minicamp earlier this month, Gruden said it would be “foolish” to determine their starting quarterback this far out from the regular season. 

When Washington gathers for training camp in Richmond next month, the Redskins will ramp up the competition. The Redskins have yet to split first-team reps between Keenum, Haskins and McCoy — the latter of whom is still recovering from a broken leg.

“I promise you I feel good about any of the three playing,” Gruden said. 

Williams, though, said there was “room to have a lot of hope” with Haskins.

“I don’t want to say that he’s going to start Game 1 today, but it’s been a pleasant and enjoyable scene to see what Dwayne Haskins has done over the last few weeks,” Williams said.



Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide