The Washington Redskins wanted to use spring practices to see if rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins was prepared enough for a true quarterback battle come training camp.
After the end of offseason workouts, the answer is a resounding, Y-E-S.
"Oh, for sure," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of giving Haskins a shot to win the starting gig Week 1, via ESPN. "I’d be silly not to. He’s put enough out there on tape to say he deserves a shot, without a doubt.
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"I don’t know quite what he can do in the NFL in this system because it’s new to him, but his ability warrants the fact that, hey, let’s take a peek at this big son of a b—-."
The Reskins will open training camp in late July with a full-blown QB battle between Haskins, Case Keenum — acquired in a trade with the Denver Broncos — and possibly Colt McCoy, who is recovering from a broken leg but has the most experience (going on six years) in Gruden’s system.
For Haskins, winning the job out of training camp is the goal, but more importantly, the rookie wants to be ready whenever his number is called.
"I’m not worrying about starting Week 1. I just want to be ready to play Week 1 — whether that’s this year or next year," Haskins said. "Whenever the time comes for me to play. I want to make sure that when I do play, I don’t want to look back."
The Redskins made Haskins the No. 15 overall pick envisioning a sturdy pocket-QB who can excel in Gruden’s system by getting the ball out on time and being a point guard distributor capable of explosive plays. Questions about his elusiveness and play under pressure might lead to struggles early for the rookie, but his big-play abilities from the pocket could outshine those negatives.
"You see the ‘wow’ plays and you’re like, ‘Jesus,’" Gruden said. "When he’s on, there’s nobody you’d rather have than Dwayne. Really. It’s pretty. He stands tall; he has a cannon, and he can quicken up his release. He’s got great touch. Strong, powerful arm; strong, powerful body. But sometimes when he’s off, he’s abnormally off. It’s kind of weird."
If Haskins proves during training camp and the preseason that he’s on his way to mastering the mental part of the game, installing him as the Week 1 starter is likely. Regardless, it would be stunning if the first-round pick didn’t get his first start early in the season.
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