In the NFL, very rarely does a two-quarterback system work. There's a clear starter, and then there's a clear backup.
The Redskins have a quarterback competition on their hands between veteran Case Keenum and rookie Dwayne Haskins. As head coach Jay Gruden will use training camp and the preseason to determine his Week 1 starter, NBC Sports Washington's Trevor Matich offered his opinion on what the Redskins should do, and it's a lot different from a traditional QB competition.
Matich thinks the Redskins should play Haskins in spurts throughout the first couple weeks of the season until he proves he's ready mentally for the starting job.
"The best thing the Redskins could do with Dwayne Haskins is not start him Week 1, even if they think he might be ready," Matich said. "The better call is to give him meaningful snaps in Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, let him prove that he is ready for the mental load."
The Redskins selected Haskins with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, intending on the 22-year-old being their franchise quarterback of the future. But that does not mean he has to start Week 1, especially if he's not the best option to win.
Matich feels that if the Redskins rush Haskins into the starting role in Week 1, they risk having a rookie quarterback who could lose all his confidence rather quickly.
"The problem with starting a rookie quarterback in Week 1 is if he struggles and you have to bench him, his confidence is destroyed," he said.
Matich isn't the only one who feels that way. Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann said starting Haskins Week 1 would be "a formula for disaster."
If Haskins is thrown into the job when he's not ready, he'll begin to form a lot of bad habits, according to Matich. The Redskins expect to be their franchise quarterback for the next several years, and Haskins forming bad habits early on is the last thing they want to happen with their rookie quarterback.
"He will develop bad habits if he's not ready," Matich said. "He will drop back to pass and not be sure what he sees, his eyes in the wrong places. He starts to look at the pass rush and run around when he should be staying in the pocket throwing downfield. Those are habits he will need to break later, once he is ready [for the starting job]."
By playing Haskins in spurts at the beginning of the season, he will get his first taste of what being an NFL quarterback is like, yet won't feel the pressure of having to be the starter right away. That way, Haskins will be able to grow as a quarterback, and when he begins to show the Redskins he is capable of being the starter, it's his.
"You're much better off having go in for a series or two early in games, early in the season and then show that he is ready," Matich said. "At that point, you don't have to take the risk that you might have to bench him, which would be the worst thing to do with a young quarterback."
Training camp begins July 25 for the Redskins.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- 'Dwayne Decision': How should the Redskins handle Haskins?
- Gruden: Paul Richardson still has "wow" factor
- Big Impact?: Rookie WR Terry McLaurin could have instant impact