Dwayne Haskins dominated on the college level, throwing for 50 touchdowns in one season as the starter at Ohio State.
In nine games as the starting quarterback in Washington over the last two years, the results have not been near dominant. There's been some good, some awful and plenty of average, so maybe it would make sense for Washington to bring in some concepts from Haskins' success with the Buckeyes.
Washington head coach Ron Rivera found tremendous success in Carolina working with Cam Newton. That duo went to a Super Bowl together in 2015, the same year Newton won MVP and Rivera won Coach of the Year.
Before the Super Bowl and the awards, however, Newton found some of the same pitfalls that most young quarterbacks experience, similar to Haskins now, and Rivera tried to find ways to make Newton feel more comfortable.
"One thing that really seemed to meld well for Cam was to be back there and orchestrating things like they did in college," Rivera said. "Maybe that’s something potentially we need to take a look at and say, ‘Hey, maybe that’s the best thing for Dwayne.’"
Rivera's comments came in a conversation on the Washington Football Talk podcast, and it's important to point out that Newton is unlike almost any other QB. His power running ability is unique, but both the Auburn offense Newton ran and Haskins' Buckeyes offense relied on playing out of the shotgun with quick decisions after the snap.
At times this season, Haskins has looked more comfortable when Washington has gone with an up-tempo offense, but Rivera wasn't so sure the cause.
"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. The hurry-up pace when things become probably a little tenser, maybe there is something to that," the coach said.
That's the problem in evaluating Haskins in the up-tempo package.
In both games this year, Washington has gotten down to big deficits, 17-0 early in Week 1 and 20-0 at halftime in Week 2. Those types of deficits force the offense to go fast, and they also allow opposing defenses to back off the attack at times. It's quite the "Catch-22".
Regardless, Rivera knows that Haskins isn't playing his best early in games.
"We’re putting a lot on the quarterback I will say that. But, he did some good things yesterday. He made some good decisions. The last couple of drives he had, he really put it together. But we’ve got to get him going sooner. We’ve got to put him in a better position to have success earlier too as well."
It's unclear if the Washington offense will change things significantly for Haskins, but it is clear that Rivera will exhaust his options trying to make the young QB more comfortable.