The announcement on Wednesday that Dwayne Haskins would be replaced by Kyle Allen as the starting quarterback in Washington came as a surprise to many.
Immediately following the decision by Ron Rivera and company, many began to ponder why, just four weeks into the young season, Haskins was pulled. Was it strictly because of his play on the field? Or, did other factors such as the division race and a new regime not meshing with a draft pick that wasn't theirs play a role?
Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner believes it's the former. Based on what he's seen strictly from Haskins on each step, he feels there aren't enough positives to prove that he's worthy of being a starter right now.
“When I watch the tape, I am going to look at each play individually and say ‘okay, what is the quarterback supposed to do on this play,’ barring breakdowns or issues other places," Warner said on NFL Network. "I think the bottom line that I come to and the conclusion I come to is just Dwayne Haskins isn’t ready to be a starting quarterback yet in the NFL.
“He’s still learning how to play the position," Warner said.
Notably, Warner explained that Haskins is still struggling to grasp the small intricacies of the professional game. Having a strong arm and mobility helps, but a quarterback is only going to truly succeed if it can find ways to pick apart a defense's scheme and understand where to place the ball.
So far, Warner hasn't seen that. What he has noticed is something that became a topic of debate after Haskins' poor performance in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns: The quarterback has a tendency to stare down receivers when he drops back in the pocket.
“Oftentimes it looks to me like he’s picking a guy and throwing to him," Warner said. "Instead of reading a defense and understanding the concepts and being able to go through his progressions.”
Warner, however, doesn't put all the blame on Haskins for the initial struggles. Coming out of Ohio State with only one year of starting experience, it was known that the quarterback was a work-in-progress. The only way for Haskins to truly come into his own was through a nurturing system that provided him with all the resources for him to learn and grow.
That's something Washington failed to do, according to Warner.
"That doesn’t all fall on Dwayne Haskins. That’s all about coaching. That’s taking a young guy that played one year in college and got thrown in at the end of last year and teaching him how to play the position," Warner said. "How to learn through his reads and how to understand what you’re trying to do on each play.”
"I really just think it was, he was thrown in before he was ready for this," Warner said. "And now this is the ramifications and everybody comes back and looks, ‘well, my gosh he hasn’t played well enough and he’s not good enough to start in the league.’”
While Warner believes Haskins isn't ready to be an NFL starter right now, he made it clear that he doesn't think that will always be his label.
With the right coaching and right environment around him, there's a chance that Haskins' raw potential can transform into consistent play on the field. Warner doesn't think Washington has given him that opportunity since drafting him.
Now, because of that, the young quarterback finds himself on the bench and in the center of a messy situation.
“That’s not the case. I just don’t believe he was ready to be the starter quite yet. He was thrown in there and now we’re seeing that," Warner said. "It’s unfortunate for a young man that he was thrown into a situation he wasn’t quite ready for yet.”