Training Camp Preview - Quarterbacks
The Washington Football Team received some big news last Friday when it was announced veteran quarterback Alex Smith had been fully cleared to participate for football activities by his medical team.
While this is amazing news on so many levels, it doesn’t affect Washington in the short term with training camp because Smith was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, along with Reuben Foster on Monday evening.
Second-year passer Dwayne Haskins enters training camp as the clear frontrunner to start for Washington. New head coach Ron Rivera recently had this to say about Haskins in an interview with Julie Donaldson on the Washington Football Team’s official website.
"Dwayne has transformed who he is, so far, as a person. He's done a great job with that. And, the way he's built his body up."
Joining Haskins and Smith on Washington’s roster at quarterback for training camp are Kyle Allen and Steven Montez.
Allen is entering season No. 3 in the NFL after a standout college career at Houston. A former five-star recruit who began his college career at Texas A&M, Allen appeared in 15 games over the last two seasons for the Carolina Panthers.
An undrafted free agent in 2018, Allen started the final game at quarterback that season for Carolina. He would go on to start 12 games for the Panthers in 2019 and has a career record of 6-7 as a starting quarterback.
He was acquired in the offseason in exchange for a fifth-round pick.
For his career, Allen has completed 62 percent of his passes, with 19 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
Montez, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound undrafted free agent from the University of Colorado, was a three-year starter in college. He passed for 9,710 yards with 63 touchdowns and 33 interceptions.
This will be Smith’s third season in Washington. Whether or not he actually takes snaps in training camp is likely still being determined. A former No. 1 overall pick, Smith was traded to Washington in January 2018 for Kendall Fuller and a third-round draft choice.
Smith had a record of 6-4 in 2018 before a gruesome leg injury sent him on a long road to recovery.
It is important to note that Smith was cleared by his doctors and he will still have to be cleared by Washington’s team doctors and pass a physical to return fully.
Haskins, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, appeared in nine games as a rookie, making seven starts.
He became the full-time starting quarterback in Week 9.
While Haskins initially struggled under center, he showed signs of improvement each week. He picked up his first victory as a starting quarterback in Week 11, leading a two-minute drill to secure a last-second win over the Detroit Lions. His numbers weren’t great but the poise he displayed impressed Rivera, per Peter Hailey of NBC Sports Washington.
"The thing that excited me about the Detroit game was the fourth quarter, the two drives where he had to score," Rivera told reporters at the Combine in February. "He was very calm, he was very calculated, he showed his poise, he showed his leadership. And he put them in position to win a football game."
Haskins finished the season on a strong note with big performances against division opponents New York and Philadelphia before missing the season finale due to an ankle injury.
The biggest situation to monitor in training camp is Haskins’ progression in new offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s offense. Allen has experience with the offense, but it’s clear the job belongs to Haskins.
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Bryan Manning writes about the Washington Football Team for 'Washington Football' and contributes to "All Hokies" on SI.com. He has covered the NFL, MLB, NBA, college football and college basketball for almost 10 years for various outlets such as Bleacher Report, SB Nation, FanSided, USA Today SMG, and others. For his day job, Bryan works in engineering for a major communications company.