Haskins Should Remain Starter for the Entire Season; but Excuses are Becoming Harder to Validate
In a game where Washington's offensive coordinator Scott Turner, who has been under fire himself, called his best game of this young season, his offense played their worst. Running back Antonio Gibson lost a fumble, and quarterback Dwayne Haskins had four turnovers. Haskins finished the day with 224 pass yards on 37 attempts, three sacks, two touchdowns, three interceptions, and two fumbles (one lost).
As solid of a start Haskins got off too in this game versus Cleveland; it ended up being his worst game as a starter. Mistakes happen, turnovers happen; however, when they begin to accumulate in a way that solely points to Haskins' decision-making and fundamentals, the circumstantial excuses one can make for him will quickly start falling on deaf ears.
There is no question that Haskins should remain the starter for the rest of the season; it's fair to him and fair to the entire organization involved in selecting him to see what type of future Washington has at the quarterback position.
Let's get the facts out of the way about Dwayne's current circumstances:
- He is playing his first season under a new offensive system,
- his supporting cast (especially tight end) is among the worst in the NFL,
- his offensive line is also among the worst in the NFL, and
- Scott Turner (before the Browns game) had not done a good enough job in getting Haskins' off to a quicker start in games.
Is that enough to allow Haskins a pass for the entire season? Arguably so, but that definitely could be said with certainty had Haskins shown flashes of excellence. Most young quarterbacks require patience but never forget that the NFL is still a business, and what buys more time is showing those flashes within their first year of starting.
So which quarterbacks within the past few years have shown those "flashes"?
- Bills QB Josh Allen,
- Cowboys QB Dak Prescott,
- Eagles QB Carson Wentz,
- Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew II
- 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, and
- Cardinals QB Kyler Murray
Those are some, to name a few, and did not include obvious star-studded young quarterbacks that have already re-signed with their respective teams. Regardless of circumstances, these young quarterbacks have shown glimpses that told their coaches that they might have found their franchise quarterback.
There has been a wait and see mode with Haskins' which is undoubtedly necessary for a young quarterback because some require a longer time to develop more than others. Still, that narrative is not sustainable if any semblance of the first three games makes up the remaining 13.
Haskins' took to his Instagram post-game, not even an hour after the game ended, to post "Wi-Fi is free so everybody has an opinion. Stack it up, on to the next. Don't be a fan later."
A subtle reminder that Haskins hears the same noise that we hear regarding his future is not the best thing for a quarterback who has played the way he has played and refuses to hold himself accountable when it applies.
Unfortunately, time is running out on Haskins's chances to prove that he belongs in the NFL, and head coach Ron Rivera acknowledged the same on Monday. Will he earn the right to be part of this Washington rebuild? Or will the team's rebuild continue at the expense of his career as a starter?
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Jamual Forrest has been a freelance sports journalist for four years, covering the Washington Football Team and can be heard as a co-host on The Hog Sty Network's "The Hog Sty" podcast. Additionally, Jamual contributes to The Hog Sty Network and SB Nation's Hogs Haven. You can follow Jamual on Twitter at @LetMualTellit and see his Washington Football Team film breakdowns here.