- - Sunday, October 27, 2019

In the Robert Griffin III era, at least Washington Redskins fans had the glory and excitement of 2012 — the shock and awe that led to an NFC East division title — before the dysfunction, destruction and delusion set in.

Before Griffin was caught up in the aura of self-destruction that surrounds this franchise, he played like no rookie quarterback we had ever seen. He ran and threw and scored, until he was broken physically on the field and shattered emotionally by the politics of Redskins Park.

What do Redskins fans have so far from the presence of the newest prized rookie quarterback, Dwayne Haskins? Two games, 12 completions in 22 attempts, four interceptions.

Is the poison that flows from the top — Redskins owner Dan Snyder and his Prince of Darkness, team president Bruce Allen — down through the veins of this woeful organization so strong that it has already contaminated another top pick?

Sadly, there is no antidote, save for escape from Redskins Park.



Questions are swirling around the team’s reluctance to put Haskins on the field. Typically, quarterbacks who are first-round picks are ready to at least try to compete on an NFL field, particularly those selected at No. 15. The Redskins appear afraid to put Haskins on the field.

Why? Because they figured out he can’t play? Because he isn’t practicing hard enough? Because he doesn’t know the playbook? Any playbook?

All these questions are on the table because of the red flags that keep popping up about Haskins — circumstantial evidence, yes, but enough to raise reasonable doubt.

Here’s what interim head coach Bill Callahan said about Haskins and his development last week. “You’re going to have some growing pains with young quarterbacks, and we get that,” Callahan said. “We’re doing everything in our power to generate a positive result for Dwayne, whether it’s in the classroom or on the field. We’ve done extra work with him, and he’s done extra work. We’re doing everything possible to generate some better execution out of his game that will translate into a win.”

In other words, he is not ready to see the field for a 1-7 team. That’s troublesome.

This is the owner’s quarterback, remember. Snyder was the one who insisted they draft Haskins — a classmate of Snyder’s son at The Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland — over the objections of his football people, including departed head coach Jay Gruden.

Snyder was the one who met with Haskins at the NFL combine last winter — the only prospect Snyder met with. Haskins was the only draft pick who got a phone call from Snyder the night of the draft.

So here we are.

Gruden’s out of the way. There’s only an interim head coach between Snyder and orders to play his quarterback. Apparently, that order hasn’t come yet, which means either Snyder believes that this is a good development path for Haskins, or else he has come to the frightening conclusion that his quarterback can’t play.

It can’t be because Callahan is refusing to listen to Snyder. I mean, he’s the INTERIM head coach. Can you fire the INTERIM head coach? That should be easier than firing the permanent head coach.

From Haskins, what we aren’t getting is the impression that he is following these words: “Hard work pays off. Hard work beats talent any day, but if you’re talented and work hard, it’s hard to be beat.”

That’s out of Book of RGIII, by the way. Two weeks ago, offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell set off some alarms when he said Haskins was showing more of a sense of urgency in his preparation — “not wasting a minute in his preparation…his daily routine, his practice habits.”

Then there was the report from the NFL network that after the 19-9 loss to Minnesota last Thursday, Peterson had told Haskins to “get your nose in the playbook. Learn those plays. Everybody thinks you don’t know them. You’re proving them right. It is time to study the playbook.”

Peterson responded to the report with a video posted on Twitter where he said, “If you didn’t hear something from me, please don’t attribute it to me. I believe in Dwayne and his potential. With more time, support & commitment, he can grow like any other rookie player.”

I believe that would be called a non-denial denial.

Haskins, who has already raised some eyebrows with his use of social media, came back and admonished Peterson for his post, saying “Please don’t involve me in this bs media narrative.”

To which I would suggest this: “Give thanks for those who have done you wrong. They have unknowingly made you stronger in the long run.”

That’s from the Book of RGIII as well. Dwayne Haskins should study that book. It may be the blueprint for his future with this organization.

⦁ Hear Thom Loverro on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings and on the Kevin Sheehan Show podcast.

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