Dwayne Haskins threw three interceptions in Cleveland in what seemed like the worst performance of his NFL career.
After the game Haskins insisted he wasn’t starting receivers down, though head coach Ron Rivera said the opposite in the days after the game. So did a bunch of analysts.
In a way, however, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says about Haskins staring down his wideouts unless Haskins recognizes it too.
It’s one thing for Haskins just to not publicly admit he was in fact staring at his receivers, but it’s a far greater problem if after tossing three INTs, the young quarterback doesn’t actually realize the problem.
Here’s a bit of good news then: After watching the film and looking back on his performance, Haskins acknowledged he was locking onto guys and making it obvious to defenders where the ball was going.
“Definitely there were some plays where I looked in the area, looked at the stare-down or part of the read more than I should’ve,” Haskins said Wednesday.
Through the first two games of the 2020 season Haskins had not thrown any picks. Obviously that changed against the Browns, but it doesn’t negate that he largely protected the football the first two weeks.
He’s a young player with a lot of learning to do. Haskins admits that and so does Rivera. What can’t happen is regression on the field, and both player and coach know that.
Looking ahead to the Baltimore game this weekend, Haskins cannot repeat the same mistakes.
“So just understanding that and understanding that these guys are good too and you can’t get caught up in staring at a receiver or zone coverage,” Haskins said. “Especially when you’re playing zone, they’re looking at your eyes.”
No problem gets corrected without first admitting there’s a problem. Haskins knows he messed up last week, now it’s up to him to use that experience and be a better player moving forward.