In discussing why the Washington Football Team chose to demote Dwayne Haskins to third on the depth chart and give Kyle Allen the chance to start at quarterback, Ron Rivera and Scott Turner kept coming back to three reasons.
Here's a breakdown of those reasons, featuring quotes from Washington's head coach and offensive coordinator.
1) How the NFC East looks
Normally, when a franchise gets out to a 1-3 start to open their schedule, they're in trouble, and in some cases, they're already starting to put some names up on the draft board.
In the 2020 NFC East, however, a 1-3 record isn't a discouraging mark; it's borderline strong.
In listening to Rivera, that sounded like the main justification for making the switch at QB.
"With the division the way is right now, I’d be stupid to not give it a shot and see what happens," Rivera told reporters in a very compelling Zoom.
Rivera even admitted that if a rival like the Cowboys or Eagles were 4-0 or 3-1, he would've been more comfortable with allowing Haskins work through his issues. Those foes, plus the Giants, aren't even close to that kind of level, though. So Rivera is shaking things up.
2) Haskins' lack of progress
Since the Week 1 victory over the Eagles, Haskins and Washington have lost three straight contests. That isn't progress.
More importantly, however, Haskins hasn't individually improved.
In Arizona, he was mediocre. In Cleveland, he was essentially responsible for the defeat. And against Baltimore, he disappointed the staff with a lack of "situational awareness" in a few key spots, even though his numbers were far better than his previous outing.
Turner went as far as to say he had seen "the same things happening over and over again" with Haskins. Coaches will tolerate mistakes, but they won't tolerate repetitive mistakes, especially if they're simpler ones.
"We feel like he's got a ways to go," Turner said.
Haskins will now have to make those strides in practice and hope that, at some point, he'll receive another shot.
3) Allen's familiarity with the offense
Haskins didn't have any OTAs or minicamps this offseason, nor did he get any live, preseason reps. That surely affected his acclimation to Rivera and Turner's system, which impacted his performance up to this point.
In Allen, that pair can turn to someone who has more knowledge of what the offense needs to accomplish.
"I think we can do a few more things," Rivera said about the unit with Allen in charge.
Turner wouldn't declare that he can now finally open up the playbook with Allen. He also wouldn't describe the operation under Haskins as limited.
But the coordinator did acknowledge there should be an uptick in efficiency in some areas thanks to Allen's presence.
"I just think that Kyle maybe has a little more experience running some certain concepts," he said. "If there is a different look than maybe we’ve talked about but Dwayne hasn’t necessarily seen it, we’ll get maybe the reaction or the response that we’re looking for [with Allen]."
"Based on his development and where [Haskins] is, we’re better off putting the ball in the hands of a guy who’s been in our system," Rivera said, summing it up nicely.