Football Team

Tony Dungy thinks another team will take a chance on Haskins

Football Team

Dwayne Haskins' short tenure in Washington was unsuccessful on and off the field, leading to a quick downward spiral that led to his release.

With how things ended for the 2019 first-rounder, it's reasonable to wonder what comes next. Will another team be willing to take a chance on him? 

Hall-of-Fame head coach Tony Dungy believes so. Though Haskins' performance and composure haven't looked great so far, Dungy feels there is still plenty of time for him to turn it around.

“I think he will when you look at it. People are going to say, ‘this is a talented guy.' He obviously had some problems, he wasn’t ready for the limelight or the spotlight there in Washington," Dungy said in a recent interview with NBC Sports Washington's Jordan Giorgio. "But he’s 23 years old and he’s talented, and we’ve seen it.”

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Dungy himself has seen quarterbacks rebound from poor starts to their careers and salvage another opportunity. One name he alluded to was Ryan Leaf, who was never able to live up to his status as the No. 2 draft pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, faltering on and off the field. 

Haskins has been compared to Leaf, following his second COVID-19 protocol violation, and not in a good way. One former coach stated that Haskins was a bigger bust than Leaf, and Leaf even took to Twitter to note that he saw some of his old habits within the young quarterback.

 

Leaf joined Dungy's Tampa Bay Buccaneers team after struggling early in his career, and while he did not blow the head coach away, it was clear that Leaf had learned from past mistakes and worked to improve as a player and a person. 

“He was a different person, and he didn’t make our team but I was glad to have him there," Dungy said. "I had a completely different take on Ryan, having him as a player, than what I had seen in his bio so to speak.”

Dungy now believes Haskins has an opportunity to do the same. Just 23 years old and having the framework to find success as a passer in the NFL, the Super Bowl-winning head coach has a feeling some team will give him another opportunity. 

If the quarterback can correct his past tendencies and work to improve all-around, his career doesn't have to be defined by what transpired in Washington.

“I think someone will [bring him in], and hopefully Dwayne takes advantage of it the second time," Dungy said.