Fresh off of his first-ever NFL start, Dwayne Haskins will have to wait, at least publicly, to be named the Washington Redskins entrenched signal-caller. The Redskins (1-8) are entertaining their bye week before they play at FedExField against the also struggling New York Jets (1-7) next Sunday.
Haskins had a nice performance this past weekend against a stingy Buffalo Bills defense that secured praise from his teammates and opponent. On the day Haskins completed 15 of 22 passes for 144 yards in the 24-9 loss.
That was not enough, however, to make Redskins interim coach Bill Callahan commit to Haskins as the immediate starter going forward.
“He and I haven’t decided anything at this juncture yet, so I’m going to take my time on that and look at a lot of different things because we’ve got some time,” Callahan said. “We’ve got time this bye week to go back and look at a lot of different things, so that’s the posture this week.”
When asked again why he wouldn’t name Haskins the starter after a solid performance against the Bills in which the young QB didn’t turn over the football Callahan responded.
“Well again, we haven’t determined anything yet, so I’m just going to take my time and make a decision here and I’ll announce it next week.”
“I think we have some time here, we have a bye week — we don’t play for two weeks — so I just want to gather all the information, I want to look at a lot of things on film, go back into the self-scout and I just want to take my time and decide where we’re going to go, the direction that we’re going to go,” Callahan said. “I appreciate the question, I do. I just want to be real clear that I want to take time this week. We have some time in the bye to go back and look and evaluate and look at ourselves – self-scout evaluation – look at personnel evaluations. Again, like I said, I’m just going to go back to my original statement and take my time and make the decision next Monday.”
The issue at hand is why the Redskins are still operating under secrecy at Redskins Park?
For an organization that has been dousing itself in kerosene and lighting the match, this saga with the handling of Haskins can’t be helpful for the never-ending public perceptions of ineptness.
Haskins was unfairly starting to develop the bust label by some fans as well as some in the media even though he hadn’t had his first professional start.
Then after a steady performance befitting of a rookie making his first NFL start, Callahan himself gave the former Ohio State standouts outing a nice review.
“I think relative to [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.’s] performance like I mentioned last night, I thought he did a lot of positive, a lot of good things from a decision-making standpoint,” the interim coach said. “I’m sure there are plays in there from a protection aspect that we can straighten out, get into a better call, a better scheme. I think the reads were really good. I thought he focused on getting the ball on the outside lanes really well. Just building that confidence with him, progressing into fuller field reads, things of that nature will add to the development of his game.”
Callahan went on to talk about what stood out in the first round draft picks first start.
“I thought he played with really good poise,” Callahan said. “I thought he was very calm. I thought that he executed the system well. I thought his decision making was good and he just had a poise about him that I really liked. I thought that transferred into the players. I thought the players picked up on that and I thought there was a vibe there. That was a real positive. Of course, running a pro offense and handling the verbiage and handling the reads and doing everything in the pre-snap was pretty good. They threw some unfamiliar looks at him yesterday that we hadn’t seen on film. We had expected that and those are looks unprepared for and he each and every game when you have a young quarterback, he’s going to be exposed to a variety of new things. Now how much, how little is game-to-game, but I can tell you yesterday there were about four or five fronts, pressure that we have to adjust to and that’s the nature of our business is making those adjustments and getting up to par so we can recognize them and handle them throughout the course of the game. That’s one of the facets I thought he was pretty good as yesterday.”
All of these compliments should have been enough for Callahan and the Redskins to come out immediately and name Haskins the starter for the remainder of the season. At this point what harm would that be doing to a young man that wasn’t handed anything and earned his playing time?
Haskins has had to watch and listen to pundits and fans speak negatively about his development. He has had to endure seeing other quarterbacks drafted ahead of him or after play before he got his shot. The irony in that is some of those young signal-callers are playing for teams that still have not been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
The Redskins owe it to a loyal but win deprived fanbase that things are moving forward in a positive direction. The organization has almost put a damper on the last bit of hope and excitement supporters could have for the remainder of the season.
If the team would come out and say Haskins is ‘our guy’ going forward it would allow fans time to be patient with the rookie should he struggle at times. Redskins fans are smart enough to know that scenario will happen during his learning process as a starter and inherent leader as the QB.
There were reports that Callahan was given more roster control than former coach Jay Gruden who was fired last month. There also were reports that the front office has told Haskins that he would be the starter going forward.
Neither one of the two “reports” seems functional and shows another disconnect within the organization. The Redskins should have come out in unison from the coaches to the front office and made it known that the time for Haskins to get on the field and stay is at hand.
It will be interesting to see how the Redskins play this storyline out coming back from their bye week and preparing for the Jets.
It’s obvious Haskins is going to be the starter against the Jets, but to drag things out and stall on making that known publicly is a bad look. No need to think about gamesmanship in not naming a starter to give the Jets coaching staff something else to prepare for. Both teams have two wins among themselves so whatever mind games need to be played it’s apparent those haven’t worked in the past.
Washington owes it to Haskins, his teammates, and Redskins Nation an upfront and honest approach because continuing to be secretive has proven nothing but losses and chaos up to this point.