Washington's Dwayne Haskins Trying to Master the Edge Tom Brady, Drew Brees Have

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2020

Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., throws during practice at the team's NFL football training facility, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins is looking to emulate two of the best signal-callers in the history of the game as he enters his second NFL season in 2020.

According to ESPN's John Keim, Haskins specifically mentioned Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees: "I've been just trying to master that same edge that a Tom Brady or Drew Brees has, [that] when he steps into a building you know he's there. Our offense needs a guy who's going to take ownership and lead, and why not that be me?"

Brees and Brady are ideal role models for any quarterback, as they are first and second, respectively, on the all-time NFL passing yardage and touchdowns lists. Also, Brady has won six Super Bowls, while Brees has won one.

Haskins also mentioned the importance of becoming a captain this season if possible: "I'm just trying to be a great leader. If I can be a captain this year, that's something I'm going to try to achieve."

After a remarkable 2018 season at Ohio State in which he threw 50 touchdown passes, Haskins was selected 15th overall by Washington in the 2019 NFL draft.

He didn't win the starting job out of camp, but he eventually took over for Case Keenum and went on to appear in nine games, including seven starts, as a rookie.

Haskins went 2-5 as a starter and completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,365 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 101 yards on just 20 carries.

The early returns weren't great for Haskins, but he clearly got better as the season went on. Over his final two starts, Haskins completed 72.1 percent of his attempts with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Washington could have addressed the quarterback position in the draft or signed an established veteran like Cam Newton, who experienced a great deal of success under Washington head coach Ron Rivera while with the Carolina Panthers, but the only move the team made at quarterback was to acquire Kyle Allen, who is a clear backup.

Veteran Alex Smith has been cleared for football activity after a gruesome leg injury forced him to miss the entire 2019 season, but it is difficult to envision him pushing Haskins for the starting job any time soon.

With that in mind, Haskins looks like the starter entering 2020, and it is important for him to show growth in order to keep that job long term.

Haskins has already shown a physical commitment by going from 240 pounds to 218 pounds, per Keim, and if he can make similar progress from a leadership perspective, Washington has a chance to be a surprise team in 2020.