Football Team

Turner thinks Haskins can 'be as good as he wants to be'

Football Team

When Washington head coach Ron Rivera took over in early January, he inherited second-year passer Dwayne Haskins as his starting quarterback.

In the several months since, Rivera and his staff have had ample opportunities to go a different direction at the position, should they have chosen to. Yet, when the opportunity to sign Cam Newton or draft Tua Tagovailoa came, the team decided against it. And while Rivera has yet to commit to Haskins as the starter, he's praised him multiple times this offseason for his hard work.

In short, the staff certainly seems to have confidence in Haskins. That confidence doesn't only come from the head coach, either.

In an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay, offensive coordinator Scott Turner said he believes Haskins has an unlimited amount of potential.

"He can be as good as he wants to be," Turner said. 

Turner, like Rivera, has never worked with Haskins before. The offensive coordinator spent the past two seasons under Rivera in Carolina, mainly serving as the quarterbacks coach. Ironically, he was only promoted to offensive coordinator for the Panthers late last season once Rivera was fired.

Although his gig in Washington is his first full-time one as a coordinator in the NFL, Turner has spent a decade coaching in the NFL. Over that span, he's worked with a tremendous amount of talent across multiple positions.

His words carry a lot of weight.

As a rookie, Haskins arrived in Washington as a raw prospect. After all, he started just one season at Ohio State before entering the NFL. Haskins' physical tools were never in doubt, but the learning curve with limited college experience was something many scouts worried about.

 

Those worries about whether Haskins would be able to handle the mental aspect of the QB position are not shared by Turner. The offensive coordinator thinks the 23-year-old now understands, after his up-and-down rookie season, what it takes to be a successful passer in the NFL.

"He's very bright. Understands football. He's young," Turner said. "This league is hard. He's realized that, realized what it really takes to be successful. The physical tools are there."

RELATED: HASKINS' PHYSICAL SKILLS AREN'T THE ONLY THING THAT STANDS OUT TO TURNER

Haskins' rookie season in Washington wasn't pretty. His first two appearances were disastrous; he threw four interceptions in his first 22 pass attempts.

However, after he was named the team's starter in Week 9, he slowly started to show promise. Each week, he got better. By the end of the season, Haskins had found a rhythm and was slowly starting to show glimpses of the quarterback he can be.

Turner has seen those flashes of potential. Now, Turner says Haskins' next step in development is becoming more consistent.

"You can pick out plays from last season that really make you say, 'wow.' It's just a matter of playing consistently, making the right decision over and over and over," Turner said. "That's what playing quarterback in this league is about."

Once Haskins is able to do that, Turner believes the quarterback can establish himself as one of the better passers in the NFL.

"Dwayne definitely has the ability to do that. He just has to continue to learn and get better.," Turner said. "He can't be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them moving forward." 

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