Haskins Didn't Work Hard Enough?
With Dwayne Haskins benched on Wednesday after just four games, it was a matter of when and not if we got some answers.
Well more than answers than Ron Rivera and Scott Turner were able to give on the record Wednesday.
Now, via The Washington Post's Les Carpenter, perhaps the real story is being told.
Per Carpenter: "Inside the team’s practice facility, momentum for the move had been growing, a person with knowledge of the situation said, in part because Haskins had fallen into poor study and practice habits. The person said Haskins’ lack of preparation was hurting him in games, leading to overthrown passes and missed opportunities to hit open receivers."
Here's the thing about this: NOTHING is new here! This is exactly the same problem that the former coaching staff had last year with Haskins.
Just because you are a Instagram star and lose some weight - it does not mean you are working as hard as you have to work EVERY day as an NFL Quarterback.
Haskins had a very productive offseason, but the test was always going to be when he was in the building every single day.
This is not just a four-game evaluation like many critics and fans want to make it. That's never been true for one second.
I've been down this road before.
Robert Griffin III was often accused by people inside the building (coaches, players, scouts) of working hard, on his body.
Not in the film room. Not in meetings. Not on his playbook.
Haskins appears to have taken a very similar route, assuming this Carpenter source is correct and I have very little doubt that this accusation is completely off base.
Kids and young adults often think they are working hard and they are NOT! Sure, this might be old man, get off my lawn type stuff but trust me, I see it all the time.
I hear and see young athletes talk all the time about how hard they work. Some do. Many don't.
It's the same for teenagers. They think they are working hard enough in school or around the house and trust me, they aren't.
I've covered quarterbacks that reported to the building at 6 AM and often didn't leave until after 6 PM.
Some quarterbacks were showing up at 8 AM and leaving at 4. Donovan McNabb and Griffin were like this for the most part based on what I witnessed and what sources explained to me.
I don't know about Haskins punch-in and punch-out times but I've heard similar issues and just a general lack of understanding that you have to work way harder than everyone else as a quarterback. Period.
Just because you work hard, doesn't guarantee success. I've seen many examples of that.
Here's what it gets you. The benefit of the doubt. When things are going sideways and a coaching staff looks around for why the same lessons are being ignored and the same mistakes are being made - they're often going to look at the quarterback who is putting in the time to fix the issues as opposed to the one who thinks they are doing enough.
It appears that's what happened here. Jay Gruden and his coaching staff tried to scream this message last year and everyone thought they were dumb and stubborn.
They were being honest. Many fans, players and ex-players don't like honesty because it stings.
Chris Russell is the Publisher of this site, a part of SI.com. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Washington Football Team" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621