Can Dwayne Haskins Create a Redskins QB Competition?

Dwayne Haskins Redskins

Getty Washington Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins

Over the past two weeks of training camp, the Washington Redskins and coach Jay Gruden have talked about the need for competition at every position. Bad teams become good and good teams become great when there is ample competition littered all over the field.

The Redskins are now entering a point where they have talent throughout their roster and there will be some tough decisions made when the final 53 man roster is announced at the end of the month.

One position of note is at quarterback. Washington has talked up a three-way battle at the position starting with veterans Colt McCoy and Case Keenum. The Redskins also selected in the first round of the NFL Draft big-armed slinger, Dwayne Haskins out of Ohio State.

All three signal callers have rotated in drills as well as reps in practice sessions.

At times all three has looked good and then uncomfortable in other moments.

After watching OTAs, minicamp, training camp and a preseason outing last Thursday against the Cleveland Browns, it’s apparent that Keenum should and more than likely already is the ‘real’ starting quarterback for the Redskins.

The seven-year veteran from Houston looks poised and polished in the pocket when he has time to throw the ball. The Redskins offensive line has been in flux especially on the left side where seven-time All-Pro, Trent Williams continues his holdout.

In Thursday’s game, Keenum did several things well despite constantly being under heavy pressure from the Browns first-team defense. The Redskins offensive line mainly consisted of backups and for most of the night, it showed.

Despite being in the line of fire for most of his time on the field, Keenum’s performance was solid. He was four of nine passes for 60 yards. He threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to wideout Robert Davis and also rushed for 10 yards. His 10-yard run produced a first down when the offensive line had pressure being applied by the Browns defensive front.

Although Keenum got the starting nod in place of the injured McCoy, he impressed Gruden with his play.

“Yeah, Case I was impressed,” Gruden said before Day 12 of training camp practice. “He had a big third-down scramble for a first down, which was good. He kept the drive going against their one defense. We were first-and-10 at midfield and we had that unfortunate holding call which was or wasn’t a holding call. But, I thought he moved the ball pretty well; had a big third down-and-15 touchdown pass, saw the field, stepped up and threw a nice touchdown. Good things by Case as well.”

It’s too early for Gruden to tip his hand in the QB race even though at this point others have already mentioned who looks the best at this stage of training camp. With three preseason games left there really is only two contest that the trio can earn major points by performing well in. The third preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons will be a dress rehearsal for the Redskins and it will be interesting who will be under center to start the game.

“I don’t want to make any – come to any conclusions right now,” Gruden said. “It’s silly too, so there’s still a lot of ball left to be played, a lot of passes, a lot of things, lot of situational work we still have to do, a couple more games left, three games left. There’s more work to be had.

“I feel – I feel the same,” Gruden went on. “I’m hoping that somebody takes it over. That’s what we’re hoping for, but all three of these guys are good players and they’re going to make their share of great throws and great plays. We just have to continue to monitor them and figure out who gives us the best chance at winning against Philly.”

As of now, Keenum looks to be the odds on favorite to start Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Unless he plays poorly or sustains an injury, all bets should be on No. 8 leading the Burgundy and Gold to start the season.

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