Football Team

Dwayne Haskins' athletic ability surprised Eagles during 2019 matchup

Football Team

As a rookie, Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins had his first real 'breakout game' during the team's Week 15 clash against its NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles.

The Burgundy and Gold didn't win that matchup, but it was the first game that Haskins truly impressed and showed potential of the quarterback he can become. No. 7 finished 19-of-28 for 261 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers in the loss.

With the two teams slated to face one another Sunday to begin the 2020 season, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was asked on Tuesday what the Philadelphia defense can learn from its matchup versus Haskins last year.

In his response, Schwartz pointed to a specific aspect of the second-year QB's game that is often not talked about.

"[He] was even a little more mobile than we expected coming into that game," Schwartz said. "Ran the option on us a couple times. Made a couple plays there and did have some scrambling.

"He didn't run a great 40 time, but we have learned to respect his athletic ability. We already knew to respect his arm."

During his rookie season, Haskins weighed close to 230 pounds -- the heaviest he had ever been. This offseason, the passer slimmed down substantially, dropping close to 20 pounds and significantly lowering his body fat percentage. Haskins has repeatedly said he feels as if he's in the best shape of his life.

While Haskins is by no means a running quarterback, he's plenty athletic to extend plays and make throws on the move. 

 

As a prospect, Haskins was lauded for his big arm, not his mobility. After all, he threw 50 touchdowns his lone year as a starter at Ohio State, smashing almost every Big Ten single-season passing record in the process.

Yet, Haskins' strong arm didn't translate to early NFL success. Haskins' first two professional appearances came in relief and the then-rookie threw four interceptions over his first 22 pass attempts.

But that Week 15 contest against Philadelphia last season served as a turning point for Haskins, as he truly started to blossom from that game onward until an ankle injury prematurely ended his season.

"He's got some really good arm talent," Schwartz said. "Made some throws in that game. He fit some really tight windows. ... He was improving as he was getting more experience. Some of the mistakes he made in the games before he played us, he came and corrected some of those mistakes."

As the Eagles get ready to face Washington on Sunday, they're not taking Haskins -- or any of his teammates -- lightly. 

"A lot of times, particularly at the quarterback position, you'll see players make a big jump from year one to year two," Schwartz said. "We certainly expect him to improve over last year."