Ken Zampese on Haskins: "The ball comes off his hand very quickly."

Chris Russell

Ken Zampese has been around some good, young quarterbacks from the start. 

Baker Mayfield and Andy Dalton in Cincinnati are two recent examples in his journey around the NFL.

Now - he's the Washington Football Team Quarterbacks position coach and he has an interesting bunch to work with and help develop. 

Alex Smith is the wise, mature veteran who is in the process of trying to turn tragedy into a modern day miracle. 

Kyle Allen is young, unpolished and maybe short on consistency but he seems smart and has gone from undrafted to a fringe starter with a total knowledge of the system and language. 

Steven Montez is a big raw kid that was undrafted out of Colorado that will study Scott Turner's offense and be tutored by Zampese with the hopes of becoming something one day. 

Then there's that Dwayne Haskins guy. The presumed starter for the Washington Football Team in week one against the Philadelphia Eagles. 

That is far from a guarantee but if September 13th was today, he would be under center. 

An up-and-down rookie year for Haskins created plenty of questions, such as the ones I was able to ask Zampese on Thursday. 

Was Haskins in a spot to succeed in 2019 and what did he like about what he saw from No. 7? 

"He's very, very efficient and I love that part about him," Zampese said. "He throws with touch and accuracy. I just think there's a lot of meat on that bone." 

Zampese, the son of longtime NFL coach Ernie Zampese, has worked with quarterbacks his whole life. 

One thing that Zampese did not mention is throwing with anticipation. That's a criticism NFL personnel people have wondered about with Haskins. 

It's certainly something that can improve. Can it become great? Probably not. 

He's going to have to get better at it to protect himself. Haskins was hurt in two-of -the-last three games he played in last year and missed the final game of the season in Dallas as a precaution. 

Zampese doesn't inherit a pure rookie in Haskins but because last year was such a complete debacle, he has an opportunity to take a young lion into his den and teach him the tricks of the trade. 

I am still not convinced that this is going to be as easy as fans and media that are all hyped about Haskins' offseason are making it out to be. 

Make no mistake: He's made significant strides but there's a LOT of work to do and a lot of learning. 

He's now in his third new "language" as a starter in three years and that can make your head spin. No practices during the spring and no preseason games create a brutal situation to learn at the rocket speed an NFL quarterback needs to be able to operate at.

I'll be very curious to see how Haskins handles getting in-and-out of the huddle and at the line of scrimmage in full practices (mid-August) and in games early in the season. 

So will Zampese and Scott Turner. 

Washington Football contributor George Carmi assisted in this column. 

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Chris Russell is the Publisher of this site, a part of 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