The NFL intends to cut the preseason by two games this year, meaning the Redskins will play just two exhibition contests instead of four.
For many players, particularly undrafted guys or fringe roster candidates, losing preseason games is a big deal.
For Dwayne Haskins, it’s not.
The reality is starting quarterbacks don’t play much in the preseason, especially in the first and last weeks of the preseason. Well, those are the exact games the NFL cut out of the August schedule.
In the first preseason game, Haskins likely would have played the first series. Maybe two series. Maybe.
In the fourth preseason game, Haskins wouldn’t have played. Undrafted rookie QB Steven Montez likely would have started that game and gotten the chance to play all four quarters, fully showcasing his skills for coaches to make a decision about if should get a practice squad spot.
Each coach handles preseason differently, but a normal plan for Haskins would be to start and play the first quarter of the second preseason game and start and play the first half of the third preseason game. That can still happen.
In fact, the Redskins could give Haskins more snaps in either the second or third preseason game to make up for the lost action in the first preseason game.
Whatever the amount of preseason work Ron Rivera wanted to give Haskins, he can still get it.
What will be interesting is how much work Kyle Allen gets. Washington traded for Allen this offseason, and the former Panthers quarterback already knows new offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s offense from their time in Carolina.
If Haskins underwhelms in training camp and there is an actual QB battle, maybe the lack of preseason games could become an issue. That scenario seems unlikely though.
Training camp will be vital for Haskins as he hasn’t had any organized practices with the new Redskins coaching staff. He needs that work and he needs to impress the new coaches. Coronavirus canceled nearly the entire NFL offseason.
But training camp is very different than preseason action. For Haskins, this training camp is about installing the offensive gameplan and figuring out the new scheme. Preseason games are usually haphazard without full rosters on the field and lots of penalties. The attempt is to simulate regular season football, but regular-season football just cannot be simulated.
The reality is if the Redskins had their full preseason schedule, Haskins would probably play about three quarters in four games.
Now, there are only two preseason games, but still plenty of time to get three quarters of action.
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