- The Washington Times - Monday, November 18, 2019

ASHBURN — Sometime after Sunday’s 34-17 loss against the New York Jets, tackle Morgan Moses called Dwayne Haskins. The two discussed a moment from the defeat that had gone viral, in which a camera captured the quarterback pleading to his offensive line on the sidelines over what he could do to help them.

In the clip, which has more than two million views, Haskins is seen waving off a comment from Moses and yelling: “What do I have to do to help you?” Center Tony Bergstrom mumbled something under his breath and then looked away momentarily, as well.

But recalling the phone call the next day, Moses said it was “all good vibes” between the two.

“It wasn’t him coming to us saying, ‘Hey you guys need to block better,’” said Moses, who noted he has a strong relationship with Haskins. “It was him trying to figure out, he knows we’re a veteran group and we’ve seen a lot of things. The things that he can’t see, maybe we can see.”

In Haskins’ first home start, the 22-year-old was sacked six times. He was under pressure all afternoon as the Jets recorded 10 quarterback hits. The Redskins particularly couldn’t stop Pro-Bowl safety Jamal Adams, who had a career-high three sacks.

The problem, Moses said, was that the Jets often sent seven defenders off the line of scrimmage when Washington was in a five-man protection.

“You’re asking him to stand in the pocket and throw the ball down the field, which is kind of hard when you’ve got free people running through,” Moses said.

As a veteran, Moses said he tries to help Haskins to help him “block the noise out.” Sunday’s clip, in particular, sparked a debate on social media — some viewed it as Haskins chewing out his offensive line, while others defended the quarterback’s passion for winning. Others argued about how seriously the offensive line was taking the quarterback.

Interim coach Bill Callahan, too, defended the conversation — calling it a routine interaction on the sidelines.

“There’s so many things that go into it that when you have a sideline conversation,” Callahan said. “What the main focus of that is protection-oriented, what he can do … how he can help the line. That was the gist of the conversation. I make no more, no less of it.”

Callahan, though, acknowledged there will often be times in an NFL game when the defense will have man-advantage when sending players after the quarterback. He said it was crucial for the offense to recognize those looks and change protection schemes.

So far, Haskins and his linemen haven’t been able to anticipate the blitzes. The Ohio State product threw only 214 yards against a team ranked 24th in passing defense efficiency. At times, Haskins complicated matters by holding the ball too long, helping the Jets create pressure.

Speaking to reporters after the loss, Haskins said he was “trying to figure out the urgency” when meeting with the offensive line.

“You have to play with some passion,” he said.

When Callahan reviewed the film of Haskins’ performance on Monday, the coach said he saw good and bad. He liked some of the quarterback’s throws down the field, but added it’s still a learning process.

Moses, though, said he sees the right traits in Haskins.

“He wants to be great and he understands things that are going on,” Moses said. “He understands the situation that he’s in, it’s not ideal. You lost your head coach, missing key weapons on the offense Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis who are safety valves for a young quarterback. He wants to learn and get better.”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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