The Most Important Thing Scott Turner Said

Chris Russell

Scott Turner met via teleconference with the media this week for the first time since taking his new post. Just as Jack Del Rio did. 

Rick Snider wrote about Turner returning home. I wanted to focus on the most crucial item each coordinator addressed. 

For Del Rio, it was simple. He knows a huge problem when he sees it. If we all could see it, there was no chance that he wasn't going to jump all over it.

As for Turner, clearly the most important subject was going to be Dwayne Haskins. 

Honestly, I couldn't pick just one thing - so I'll present two. The good and the potential message that was sent. 

"Obviously I looked at Dwayne coming out a year ago. I was a really big fan of his coming out of Ohio State, had him rated pretty high," Turner told reporters. "Looking at him, I felt like he got better as the year went on. He was a little bit more comfortable playing in the NFL, it is a big step."

OK that's great. Assuming Turner is telling the truth and I have no reason to believe that he's not, you have a offensive coordinator who apparently had a favorable view of Haskins. 

Why is that important? Jay Gruden didn't or at least short term. It's believed that neither did Kevin O'Connell, at least at first. That could be one of the reasons O'Connell chose to leave for the Rams which ultimately led to Turner being hired as the play caller. 

"All of the physical tools that you want are there and I think he [Haskins] needs to keep getting experience and will be a really good player."


Now - as I pointed out the other night on 106.7 The FAN - was this next quote and the message pointed specifically at Haskins or just in general?

“I think the No. 1 thing is the commitment level. Taking away obviously the physical skills needed to play the game, but as far as just the approach you've got to be the most committed guy in the building, your teammates have to see that, the coaches have to see that because that is how you develop trust and that is how you develop leadership," Turner said.

"If you're the last guy in, the first guy to leave, you don't have a mastery of the offense as a quarterback and you try to tell somebody else what to do or try to step into a leadership-type role it is not going to work and no one is going to listen to you. It starts No. 1 that the quarterback has to spend their time so he knows the offense better than anybody," Turner continued correctly.

"He has to know it like a coach and he has to be able to present that on the field and present that confidence when he is running the show and that takes work, that takes work to get to that and guys see it. Guys see when it is there and guys see when it is not. I think that some of the guys that I've been able to be around, they have all done that. We had Cam [Newton] obviously as a rookie, I wasn't the quarterback coach but I was part of that process. Then Teddy Bridgewater when we drafted him in Minnesota, he came in and owned the system and that is what anybody is going to do and obviously Dwayne and we will challenge him to do that."

Remember that quote. Remember the message that was sent, regardless of whether it was sent in general or specifically at Haskins. 

There were major questions in the building and certainly outside of Redskins Park last year about this very subject. Certainly, it appeared to get better as Haskins became the starter but that is a very small sample size. 

Also, remember that Bridgewater is a free agent and the Redskins are in need of a veteran to push and legitimately challenge Haskins. 

It's unlikely a seismic shift would happen at that position for many reasons, but I am a firm believer that some coaches motivate and pass messages through the media. No conclusions were made or should be made, but keep everything on your radar screen. 

Chris Russell is the Publisher of Maven & Sports Illustrated's Washington Redskins channel. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621. 


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