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Dwayne Haskins could start in Buffalo; Redskins…

5 min read
Dwayne Haskins could start in Buffalo; Redskins...

ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Redskins would still like to take it slow with rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Even at 1-7. They know he’s the future; they want him more prepared in the present. They also know his development now could — should — help him in the future.

That future could start to take place Sunday in Buffalo (1 p.m. ET, Fox) — not by design, but because of an injury to starter Case Keenum. With Keenum still in the concussion protocol, Haskins is on pace to start for the first time this season. Keenum was limited in practice for a second consecutive day, giving Haskins the bulk of the first-team reps in those workouts. There’s still a chance Keenum could start, but if not it’ll be Haskins’ job.

“If it happens it happens. I’d be excited,” Haskins said.

He also said he has a different mindset. He knew that fired coach Jay Gruden did not want to draft him, but didn’t say if that was the impetus for his different mindset.

“I just think it’s a change in me,” Haskins said. “A lot of stuff. I’m just excited to keep working.”

Thus far, Haskins’ only action has come in relief. He replaced an injured Keenum in a Week 4 loss to the New York Giants. He entered with the Redskins trailing 14-0 and completed 9 of 17 for 108 yards and three interceptions. Then, in last week’s 19-9 loss in Minnesota, he entered with Washinton trailing 13-6 after Keenum suffered a concussion. In one half of action, Haskins completed 3 of 5 for 33 yards and an interception.

The Redskins still have Colt McCoy, but prefer to play Haskins for a simple fact: He was the 15th overall draft pick in 2019 and, even if multiple people in the organization say he still has a lot of work to do, eventually the job will belong to him. Redskins interim coach Bill Callahan said that if healthy, Keenum would start. And he said there’s no set date for when they’d have Haskins start permanently.

“In some respects, I think he needs a little bit more work,” Callahan said. “Time is invaluable where he can sit back and learn from quarterbacks like Case and Colt as well as players like Alex [Smith] who is around the building. It is a fine line. We are trying to win games still.”

But to win in the future, they also know Haskins must start developing now. They’ve worked quite a bit on various aspects, from his body language to how much more work he needs to do and learning the plays properly. There’s also footwork, cadence, play tempo and learning a lot more about being a pocket passer.

A day after the Vikings’ loss, Callahan met with Haskins and discussed areas he wanted him to improve, starting with situational awareness and managing the game better.

“Knowing where we are at on the field,” Callahan said. “Trajectory of throws, fundamental techniques, those rotations and follow through. Getting in and getting out of the huddle. Really working the offense at an upbeat tempo where he can have time at the line of scrimmage.”

Callahan said he liked Haskins’ approach after the Minnesota game.

“He’s shown the willingness and the diligence to improve,” Callahan said. “He’s taken it upon himself to come in and visit and talk and to express himself in terms of what he can do better. He wants to win, he does have that aspect to him, he has that trait that you’d like to see in all of your quarterbacks where they hurt afterwards, but they bounce back.”

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