Football Team

Shawn Springs wants an up-tempo pace to help Dwayne Haskins

Football Team

Through two weeks of the NFL season, the Washington Football Team offense has struggled significantly in the first half of both of its matchups.

In Week 1, Washington began its afternoon with five punts on its first six drives, with a missed field goal sandwiched in between. Fortunately for the Burgundy and Gold, the defense was able to create a few turnovers -- which the offense, to its credit, capitalized on -- and Washington was able to complete the comeback versus Philadelphia.

Last Sunday, Washington wasn't as fortunate. The offense struggled out of the gates once again, punting on five of its first six possessions. To make matters worse, on the team's lone drive that began in Arizona territory, quarterback Dwayne Haskins fumbled inside the red zone.

In both weeks, Washington's offense really only started to click once it moved to an up-tempo style. Former Washington cornerback Shawn Springs thinks the team should operate from that style earlier in games to get Haskins comfortable.

"I would like to see them a little more aggressive, up-tempo from Coach [Scott] Turner earlier in the game to get him going," Springs said on Tuesday on the Kevin Sheehan Show.

Moving to an up-tempo, no-huddle offense was something that Washington head coach Ron Rivera was asked about on Monday during a 1-on-1 with NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay.

Rivera explained that he's not so sure that moving to that quick tempo style -- one Haskins thrived in while he was at Ohio State and has looked the best in during his brief NFL career -- is the answer for Washington's early offensive woes.

 

"I don't know if it's because the offense is moving faster or it's because there’s a sense of urgency that’s created when you get down," Rivera said. "The hurry-up pace when things become probably a little tenser, maybe there is something to that."

In Washington's Week 2 loss against Arizona, Haskins did not start off well. After the game, Rivera was critical, noting missed throws and opportunities early.

Springs agrees with that and admitted Haskins still has "a lot to do" to develop as a passer.

"He still has to get better setting his feet," Springs said. "He still has to get better making sure that he's driving the ball down the field. But he's learning."

The former cornerback also said something that rings true: Haskins can't turn the offense around by himself. The second-year passer needs another weapon to stand out besides Terry McLaurin and needs his offensive line to protect better.

"This game, [Haskins] hung in there, he was getting hit, looked like him and Terry [McLaurin] started to connect towards the end of the game," Springs said. "As he gets comfortable with the guys, as he gets better, understands his weapons and see who he has around him, he'll get better. He needs help. They're going to have to protect for him and figure out how to run the ball."