Dwayne Haskins' start to the 2020 season has been pedestrian. With 401 passing yards and two touchdowns, Haskins isn't lighting up the stat sheet, but he has avoided throwing an interception. Still, he's missed on some throws and slow starts have hurt the offense.
With a small body of work that consists of both ups and downs, it's hard to fully decide what the future may hold for the second-year passer. Still, that hasn't stopped some from being critical and even claiming it's time for Washington to move on.
It also hasn't stopped former Washington general manager and current NFL analyst Charley Casserly from stating that Haskins is the right choice to be under center for years to come.
“Like Haskins, thought he’s played well in both games," Casserly said on the Team980's The Kevin Sheehan Show. "The ball is coming out quick, the decisions are there, you see the quick release, you see the poise, you see the toughness. Accuracy is better.”
Haskins has made an effort to get the ball out quicker, and it has made a difference in his success early on. While having extra time in the pocket helps some passers, less has been more for Washington's quarterback.
More than anything, Casserly has been impressed with the competitive nature of Haskins' game. Despite struggles and taking some hard hits when dropping back, he's seen him continue to get back up and try and improve each time he steps on the field. That's a trait all winning quarterbacks need.
As for accuracy, it remains an issue. However, Casserly noted some improvements in his placing of the ball while also adding that dropped passes and a lack of elite talent on the offense feeds into that problem as well. Overall, Haskins has done enough for Casserly to buy-in.
“No question, no, they got a quarterback. I don’t have any question about that," Casserly said. "Yeah, he’ll miss some balls, okay? You can argue some of those should have been caught on Sunday. Maybe he was a little off but some of them should have been caught. He made a lot of positive plays in the game, and he’s reading the things.”
Casserly may appreciate the work so far, but it is also clear that there are still major steps to take if Washington truly wants to have consistency on that side of the ball. Offensive coordinator Scott Turner has explained that the team is evaluating all styles of play, but Casserly has one in mind that he believes will open up the field: Play-action passing.
Moving Haskins out of the shotgun formation and adding a little deception could make things easier for the quarterback, especially when it comes to stretching the field. Casserly believes these types of plays can work without having multiple consistent wideouts, a situation Washington is going through.
“If I’m looking at it, I’d like to see more under center with play-action," Casserly said. "Open up things, give him some shots that way where they can get some chunk play cause they’re not getting enough chunk plays.”
With the season still young, the perception of Haskins will likely fluctuate on a weekly basis. Good games will bring more hype, poor games will garner frustration. That's the standard in a reactionary league.
Yet for Casserly, he's seen the basics of Haskins' game and his core potential, and that has him confident in what is to come.
“I’m impressed with him, I am," Casserly said.