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Redskins' 'New Staff Knows' Dwayne Haskins Will Be Starting QB in 2020

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2020

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 22: Dwayne Haskins #7 of the Washington Redskins throws a pass in the first half against the New York Giants at FedExField on December 22, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Doug Williams, Washington's senior vice president of player development, believes new head coach Ron Rivera and his staff will give Dwayne Haskins every opportunity to win the starting job ahead of the 2020 season. 

"The new staff knows that Dwayne Haskins is the starting quarterback here," he said, per John Keim of ESPN. "The only thing that can happen is for Dwayne to give it back to them. It's up to him to learn the playbook, wear the coaches out. He's got to stay at the facility until they run him out of the building."

Williams noted that Haskins is far from a finished product, however.

"Dwayne has a long way to go," he said. But like I told him, he was doing what we expected him to do. He was ascending. Hopefully the way he goes now, he keeps going up. All eyes are going to be on him. At the same time you've got a new coaching staff and they're not married to him. ... He's got the ability to do what any coach wants him to do."

Haskins, 22, had an up-and-down rookie season, throwing for 1,365 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed just 58.6 percent of his passes, however, and Washington went 2-5 with him as the starter in the second half of the year. 

Granted, the team won just three games in total, so Haskins fared better than Case Keenum in that regard. And Williams feels Haskins can take the next step with a coaching staff committed to developing him as the starter.

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"Dwayne didn't have the opportunity last year where the coaches put their arms around him," he said. "He's got to know we want you to be good. With the new staff coming in, and what he did towards the end of the year, he's going to give this new staff an opportunity to say, 'Hey, we need to work with this kid to get the best out of him.'"

That wasn't the case last year. As Keim noted, there was division in the building about whether the team should even select him, and "as one source said, it was clear that owner Dan Snyder wanted to draft him."

And with Jay Gruden coaching for his job last year—he was eventually fired midseason—there wasn't much of an incentive for the previous regime to groom Haskins.

This year, Rivera should have more patience and room to work with when it comes to the young quarterback. Williams and the rest of the organization are hoping that makes all the difference. 

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