Steelers’ Mike Tomlin: Dwayne Haskins Was ‘In Command’ vs. Eagles

Dwayne Haskins

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images Dwayne Haskins of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on August 12, 2021.

On Thursday night the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-16 at Lincoln Financial Field, with all of Pittsburgh’s points coming while third-string quarterback Dwayne Haskins was at the controls. All told, Haskins finished with 16 completions in 22 attempts for 161 yards and a touchdown, resulting in a 108.3 passer rating. Most importantly, the Steelers scored points on four of the five drives in which he was the quarterback—three touchdowns and a field goal.

After the game, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked what he thought of Haskins’ performance.

“I really thought he was in command tonight. He did a great job of communicating with people—going through progressions and so forth,” said Tomlin, before giving a more specific example of something Haskins did well.

“He had a third-down play—a third-and-eight—and I saw him go through three or four reads and throw the ball over the middle of the field and convert for us and that was just a snapshot of the type of night he had for us. He was very much in command of his play,” Tomlin concluded.

Tomlin: ‘We Need to See More’

This isn’t to say that Haskins has pulled ahead of Mason Rudolph in the competition to become Ben Roethlisberger’s backup.

“No, we need to see more,” Tomlin added. “We need to see more of him, we need to see more of everybody. We’ve got two more preseason games and we’re going to continue to write our stories. I think we’re going to continue to put the ball out there and let these guys play and try not to come to any quick conclusions….”

But there’s no question Haskins is making things interesting, as many Steelers observers have noted, including Colin Dunlap, host of the Morning Show on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh.

Christopher Carter—host of the Locked on Steelers podcast—says one “can’t be mad at Rudolph” for his preseason performances, it’s just that Haskins has done more with his chances.

Indeed, Rudolph went eight of nine for 77 yards against the Eagles, including this nifty 33-yard hookup with wide receiver Diontae Johnson.

This comes on the heels of Rudolph completing six of nine passes for 84 yards against the Cowboys in last Thursday’s Pro Football Hall of Fame game.

Yet Haskins has done enough to warrant a chance to go against a higher level of competition—and to see some playing time with Pittsburgh’s front-line players.

Ben Roethlisberger Will Start Next Saturday

But that opportunity probably isn’t going to come next weekend, when the Steelers host the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field. At the end of last night’s post-game press conference, Tomlin was asked whether he planned to play Ben Roethlisberger against Detroit.

“I am,” he said. “Surprised you with that answer, didn’t I?” he quipped, before smiling and walking away from the podium.

After hosting the Lions, the Steelers have one more preseason game, that being at the Carolina Panthers on Friday Aug. 27.

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