PITTSBURGH -- Once upon a time, Dwayne Haskins was considered the next franchise quarterback of the Washington Football Team. Now, he's fighting for a spot on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster.
That hasn't changed his plans. The 2018 first-round pick has found himself needed a second chance in the NFL, but he's looking to make the most of it.
"Coming here to Pittsburgh, I just wanted to prove to my coaching staff and my teammates how much I love football," Haskins told reporters during minicamp. "Grateful for the opportunity to be here and just showing that my mind is in the right place and that I'm willing to work to be able to show my talents and be able to work and earn a spot here."
Haskins was released by Washington following multiple off-the-field mishaps. He was fined by the team for violating COVID-19 protocols and eventually cut following a lack of production on the field.
"I wouldn't necessarily say I was surprised, it's just a part of the business," Haskins said on his release. "It wasn't necessarily the people that were brought in by the new coaching staff and understanding that this is a business and realizing as the season went on that things weren't going the way we both wanted it to. Being able to be here now in a spot being able to work hard and figure things out together. I'm grateful for the opportunity Washington gave me."
The motto now is to move on.
"It's kind of like a relationship," Haskins said. "Like your ex, it's in the past, you kind of just want to leave it there and move on and be with a new person and enjoy who you're with and let that past go. Really, the person that Dwayne is, I really didn't feel it wasn't highlighted enough, but I feel like I'm the person that takes the time to learn people and get to be great teammates. Be able to take the time to learn and be around coaches and spend time loving football. That's the main reason why we're here is to play football. That's what I feel Pittsburgh is all about is just football first, and that's the main focus."
The experience, though likely troubling for the young quarterback, left him with a new gratitude for the game of football.
"It was for sure humbling," Haskins said. "I don't want to get into it as far as how everything went down. Even before deadlines and stuff like that during the season. I just wanted to be in a place where I feel like I was wanted, and I feel like I'm wanted here. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be somewhere where I feel like I can be myself and feel like I can play ball and not worry about other obstacles that come along."
Now, Haskins is looking to reach the expectations the NFL once set for him. He'll compete with Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs for one of two roster spots this season.
From there, limits aren't set. Haskins believes finding his footing now could lead to him reaching that franchise quarterback level - just with a different team.
"My expectations here are to make everyone who decided to take a chance on me look good, and work as hard as I possibly can. Let my work speak for itself," Haskins said. "Of course, I want to take over after Big Ben, but that comes with due time. Just doing everything I need to do on a day-to-day basis.
"They expect a lot out of me as far as just being prepared and being the best version of myself."
You May Also Like: