Football Team

Tomlin praises Haskins after his strong outing vs. Eagles

Football Team

Dwayne Haskins' tenure in Pittsburgh is off to a strong start.

After a serviceable performance in the Hall of Fame game against Dallas last week, Haskins followed it up with a strong outing in the Steelers' second preseason game on Thursday night against the Eagles. 

Haskins' solid play got the attention of Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who praised the former Ohio State standout for his command of the offense.

"I really thought he was in command tonight. He did a great job communicating with people, going through progressions," Tomlin said postgame. "He had a third-down play, third-and-8 or so, and I saw him go through three or four reads and throw the ball over the middle of the field and convert for us. That was a snapshot of the night he had. I thought he was very much in command of his play."

For the evening, Haskins finished 16-of-22 for 161 yards and a touchdown pass. He also led the Steelers on two additional drives that ended in six-pointers, courtesy of running backs Anthony McFarland and Jaylen Samuels.

After the game, Haskins attributed his strong performance to quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan, who told him to play like "a jazz player."

"Coach Sullivan came up to me and said 'be like a jazz player.' That [means] pretty much be smooth," Haskins said. "That's what I was trying to do today, just be smooth, allow the plays to come to me and trust what I saw and let my eyes and feet tell me where to go with the ball."

 

Haskins seemed upbeat following the game and said Thursday night was arguably the most fun he's had since he entered the NFL in 2019.

"It was great. It was probably the most fun I've had since I came here, probably since I came into the league, really," Haskins said. "The energy, the fans in the stadium, guys gravitate towards me. It was a lot of fun to be out there and put some points on the board and get a win."

The performance from the 2019 first-rounder also caught the attention of former NFL wideout Dez Bryant, who tweeted at Haskins that he has "a chance to be great."

"You got a chance to be great…God gave you the ability to be a leader but you have to recognize that…take this exciting moment and sit your love ones down and tell them how much you need their support and build your legacy… great game brotha," Bryant tweeted.

Through two preseason games, Haskins has significantly outperformed current No. 2 quarterback Mason Rudolph. If nothing more, the former Washington signal-caller is making a serious run at Pittsburgh's backup job behind Ben Roethlisberger.

While Tomlin is pleased with what he's seen with Haskins thus far, he said Thursday night he still needs to see more from the passer.

"We need to see more. We need to see more of him," Tomlin said. "We have to see more of everyone."