Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera met with Dwayne Haskins this week to make clear the young quarterback understands he must show growth on the football field after a poor performance last week in Cleveland.
Sources told NBC Sports Washington that during the meeting Rivera explained that while Haskins has a lot of talent and showed significant growth this offseason learning the playbook and in training camp, his play through three games has been lacking. What’s worse, last week’s game in Cleveland showed clear regression and one source explained that cannot continue if Haskins wants to stay on the field. Offensive coaches also sat down with Haskins this week to highlight opportunities to make plays and show missed chances that could lead to better results.
While coaches meeting with the quarterback is quite normal, one source explained the tone of the meetings made clear the gravity of the situation: It’s time to play better.
Haskins’ rough rookie season was well documented, but he got a fresh start in 2020 when Rivera took over the Washington organization. Haskins was voted captain and named starter earlier this year but his play thus far has been subpar.
Through three games Haskins ranks next to last in the NFL in completion percentage and 30th in yards-per-attempt. Things got bad last week when he threw three interceptions and his mechanics fell apart in the second half of 34-20 loss to Cleveland.
Earlier this week Rivera explained that he wants Haskins to succeed, but that needs to happen soon.
“Right now, I’m at the position where we have to see the growth,” the coach said. “If we never play him, he never grows, but there is a point where you say, ‘OK, maybe taking a step back and watching is the best thing for you now.’ We will see.”
Sources explained that growth is the biggest key to Haskins staying on the field. Growth, and definitely not more regression.
Washington is in a unique position where even at 1-2, the team is tied for first place in the NFC East. That could mean opportunity.
Last week’s game in Cleveland was a winnable contest. Washington even held a second half lead before Haskins threw his third interception. For a coach looking at the big picture, it might get tough to commit to developing a player when the results aren’t improving and the division is there for the taking.
“I have to look at that and be honest," Rivera said of Haskins earlier this week. "I like a lot of the things I have seen, but there are some things that truly concern me, growth being the biggest one.”
For all of Haskins maturation this offseason, it’s time for the young quarterback to show it on the field. Or his time on the field might be soon taking a break.