Football Team

Locksley says Washington must use Haskins' comfort plays when struggling

Football Team

Dwayne Haskins' start to his 2020 season has been sluggish. Despite avoiding turnovers, accuracy issues and an inability to get the offense rolling early has raised some concerns.

Now, it's up to Ron Rivera, Scott Turner and company to figure out how to put Haskins in the best situation for success moving forward. That has led to discussions about the style of play and tempo of the offense, as many feel a faster setup could allow Haskins to thrive.

University of Maryland head coach Mike Locksley understands that sometimes "faster is better," but he believes that it's not so much about speed, but doing what Haskins feels the most comfortable with.

“It all starts with the trigger, the guy that’s the quarterback on whether or not faster means better," Locksley said on Washington Kickoff Live. “It’s really important that you do the things that they like and they feel they can execute.”

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Locksley recalled a formula he implemented during his time at Alabama when he was an offensive analyst and coordinator that had success with the quarterbacks at the program. Locksley would have his passers  note what their favorite plays in the gameplan were, the ones they felt most comfortable executing.

When the next game came around, Locksley would make sure to have those plays on his sheet. That way if the quarterback was struggling to move the offense, he could quickly put him in formations and tempo that he knew would create better results.

 

"If I felt my quarterback was struggling I went to the things that he had a great comfort with," Locksley said. 

That type of catering is what Locksley believes Washington must do with Haskins. While the game script is important, the coach feels that the offense must be constructed in whatever way allows its quarterback to shake off the early struggles.

For Haskins, that may be the up-tempo style of play. It's something he noted he's enjoyed working in because the quick pace allows for an offense to build off each play without giving the time for the defense to adjust.

RELATED: Dwayne Haskins explains why he likes playing an up-tempo style of offense

"I feel very comfortable in a tempo, no-huddle offense," Haskins told local media Wednesday. "When you’re in a game where you’re trying to get the ball going and moving down the field and trying to create some momentum, sometimes you need to be able to go to that stuff."

If that is truly the case, Locksley explained that it is something Washington must implement immediately. Even if it is not the offensive philosophy for the entire 60 minutes, it better be featured on that portion of the sheet that is reserved for helping Haskins find his groove under center.

“If Dwayne is a guy that feels like he plays better, he’s a lot more comfortable playing with pace. Then I would have that in my 'if he struggles' part of my gameplan and I’d get to it right now to try and get him jump-started," Locksley said. "Get him kicked in, to where he can execute at a high level.”