Dwayne Haskins' final 11-on-11 throw during the Washington Football Team's Monday practice at FedEx Field ended up in the arms of a player wearing Burgundy. Problem was, the offense was dressed in white.
The interception was an unfortunate end to that drive and that day for the second-year quarterback, but it also represented an opportunity to learn, as all turnovers do. And as it turns out, NBC Sports Washington had Haskins mic'd up for the session, which allowed for the many conversations he had following the pick to be heard.
As the second unit took the field for their reps, Haskins stood next to Alex Smith to rehash what happened.
"I felt like it floated out there a little for me," Haskins said, as captured by Mitch Tischler. "It died at the end."
Smith told Haskins that on that type of throw — which was intermediate in length and out toward the numbers — it's on the QB to make sure the ball gets to his intended receiver or nobody. Haskins agreed, responding that the perfect toss would've resulted in a "toe tap on the sideline down there."
"Back of his head, like, hard," Smith answered, referring to the ideal aim point on the route.
Next, No. 7 went up to Ronald Darby, the corner responsible for the thievery.
"What'd you see on that?" he asked the defensive back.
"I kind of chilled, then I kept getting my depth..." Darby said, before pointing out that Ron Rivera wanted to speak to Haskins about the sequence.
"You were asking Ronald what he saw, huh?" Rivera said once his now-starter jogged over to him.
"The problem was, the thing you've got to remember is, you read Cover 2, didn't you?" the coach continued. "So what happened was, from where you threw that ball to where he was —"
"I've got to finish outside," Haskins interjected. "I've got to finish it out there."
"Absolutely," Rivera said.
Lastly, Haskins returned to Darby to continue their exchange.
"I've got enough," he said, referring to his arm strength. "I lofted it out there, though. I didn't finish it. I didn't finish that throw."
"If you finished it," Dontrelle Inman, the intended receiver on the play, added, "it would've been me or nobody."
Rivera had a chance to dive a little deeper into the INT on Monday during his post-practice Zoom.
"He got greedy," Rivera explained to reporters. "He saw Cover 2, he saw the corner sitting there and then he tried to throw the ball from the far left side all the way to the far right side."
“What we talked about was the situation. He still had a timeout left and the whole field open to him. There’s nothing wrong—and I told him at that point, there’s nothing wrong with putting something in the middle because if we catch it, call a timeout. There’s nothing wrong with throwing the ball away. The last thing we can do is turn the ball over and take the sack. That was pretty much the explanation."
Rivera wasn't pleased with the result of that play, of course, but he was very encouraged by Haskins' willingness to grow from the mistake. That desire to improve was quite evident in how he acted in the immediate aftermath of his slip-up, as he went from chat to chat to gather info on what exactly took place.
That's the benefit of throwing an interception in late August; the guy who pulled it down will happily share what led him to do so and the staff will address it with a calming voice as opposed to a cursing one.
So, good on Haskins for being so hungry to break down the misstep. Now, it's on him to apply that new knowledge so he doesn't repeat the error again.