- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 26, 2019

ASHBURN — Dwayne Haskins made the correct read, but the throw that followed was far from accurate. The Redskins quarterback had a wide-open Terry McLaurin, streaking across the middle to the end zone, and sailed a pass too far for the wide receiver to grab.

Not only did Washington blow a chance to score a touchdown — something the offense didn’t do in Sunday’s 19-16 win against the Detroit Lions — but the moment raised larger questions about the rookie quarterback.

Specifically, does Haskins have an accuracy problem?

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Haskins‘ miss wasn’t the only off-target throw from the 22-year-old on Sunday. He missed McLaurin again in the fourth quarter, overthrowing it in the corner of the end zone. Against Detroit, the quarterback completed just 44.8% of his throws, his worst completion percentage thus far.

In five games, three of which have been starts, Haskins has completed 59 of his 108 attempts (54.6%). After a strong start in Buffalo, where he completed 68% of his throws, Haskins‘ completion percentage has fallen in the two games since.

And of the 51 quarterbacks to start at least one game this season, Haskins has the sixth-lowest completion percentage. He even ranks fourth out of the five rookie quarterbacks to have started from his draft class, ahead of only Cincinnati’s Ryan Finley.

Redskins interim coach Bill Callahan said Haskins‘ troubles are just a matter of him needing more experience.

“I don’t think he was way off,” Callahan said. “I wouldn’t say he was spraying the ball all over a lot. I think he was just missing. There were times where — I mean, you’re talking about maybe a foot here, maybe a little bit more air or trajectory better could have possibly been the difference between the incomplete and the huge, huge explosive play.”

Asked about missing his receivers Sunday, Haskins attributed it to a “banged up” wrist. On Monday, Callahan confirmed Haskins had a “slight” wrist injury, and the team was waiting to find out the severity of the bruise.

Callahan, though, said Haskins performed well under pressure against the Lions. The rookie quarterback helped the Redskins come from behind in the fourth, leading two drives that resulted in six points for the win. Looking at the film, Callahan said he saw a “little bit of everything” when examining the cause for Haskins‘ mistakes.

Sometimes the quarterback released the ball too quickly, he said. Other times, Haskins occasionally put too much power into the throw, he added.

Earlier this month, quarterbacks coach Tim Rattay told The Washington Times that when Haskins makes a mistake, it usually is because of a flaw with either his feet or his eyes. His lone interception against the Lions, for instance, was an example of that. For the entire time, Haskins stared down Kelvin Harmon as the play developed, and Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye jumped the route to pick it off.

McLaurin, meanwhile, suggested Haskins‘ “nerves and just excitement” may have also attributed to Haskins‘ overthrows.

“Those things happen,” McLaurin said. “We’re going to work this week and try to get some of that timing down even better. Some of that may be … seeing me open like, ‘I’ve got to get it to him, I’ve got to get it to him.’ But I’m going to constantly try to be as open as I can for him and make the throws as easy as possible.”

At Ohio State, accuracy wasn’t a concern for Haskins. The quarterback completed 70% of his throws, playing in an up-tempo offense.

But the Redskins’ version of the West Coast offense greatly differs from college schemes. Haskins, too, has seen exotic looks and various types of defenses already throughout his rookie season. Against the New York Jets, for example, he saw a team that played primarily in zone while sending all sorts of pressure. The Lions, by comparison, rely on press-man coverage under coach Matt Patricia.

The Redskins, however, insist Haskins‘ flaws are fixable. After all, Haskins doesn’t even have a full season completed and Washington knew the quarterback would have to grow.

They aren’t discouraged.

“There are clearly enough examples on film today as we watched as a staff and as a position, watching his feet,” Callahan said. “When they’re right and his eyes are right and his timing is right, he gets through the progression, his delivery was accurate and he’s making plays. So there are a lot of positives that came out of this game about his performance and there are a lot of things he’s got to learn to get better at as well.”

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