Former Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall made a bold statement last week when he questioned if quarterback Dwayne Haskins was mentally ready to compete with Kyle Allen for Washington's starting QB job.
Hall was asked about his comments on Haskins on Redskins Nation, and the former Burgundy and Gold star backtracked on his criticism of the Redskins second-year passer, stating he's a fan of Haskins and hopes he succeeds. But Hall also emphasized he still doesn't think Haskins will be Washington's starting QB in Week 1, but for a reason Haskins simply cannot control.
"I've always been a Dwayne Haskins guy. I'm rooting for the kid, I want him to win the job," Hall said. "I just don't know if he has a fair opportunity to win the job because of the pandemic and the way it looks this offseason is going to unfold."
The Redskins traded for Allen in March, and he's expected to compete with Haskins for the starting gig. But with an unusual offseason due to the coronavirus pandemic, Allen may have a leg up on Haskins due to his comfort in new offensive coordinator Scott Turner's system.
The NFL announced on Monday that all offseason programs will be fully virtual, and no on-field work can begin for any team until all 32 clubs are able to reopen their facilities. The lack of offseason reps certainly hurts Haskins and helps Allen when determining who the team's starter will be.
Haskins is the more naturally talented of the two, but he's also entering his third offensive system in as many years. The reps he would be getting during normal OTAs and minicamp would have been vital for the second-year passer. But with team facilities closed for the foreseeable future due to the pandemic, it's likely Haskins won't be able to get any real reps until training camp, if that even starts on time.
"Dwayne Haskins is going to have to bring his 'A' game," Hall said.
Allen has experience in Turner's system, as the two have spent the past couple of years together in Carolina. During a conference call with local media earlier this month, Allen expressed that it took him nearly six weeks to fully understand and feel confident running Turner's system.
"Is it a great situation for the team? Absolutely," he said. "Coach Rivera is a genius. He now has a guy who's played in his system."
In Carolina last season, Allen found success early on. After taking over for an injured Cam Newton in Week 3, the Panthers went on to win Allen's first four starts.
"Kyle Allen pushed Cam Newton essentially out the door," Hall said. "He played well enough to where it opened up the possibility of, 'Hey, maybe this isn't Cam's team.' I remember watching Kyle Allen highlights and saying 'This offense looks better with Kyle Allen.' They were able to do more things than they could with Cam Newton."
Newton missed the remainder of the season, as Allen started 12 of the team's final 14 games. Although Allen struggled towards the end of his tenure with the Panthers, he's shown he's more than capable of being a starter in the NFL.
When Rivera took over as the Redskins head coach in January, he preached wanting competition for Haskins. Well, he now has that in Allen, and Hall thinks that's a great thing for the Redskins.
"These two young guys are going to get to compete and battle. That's what you want all across the board," Hall said. "You're going to get the best, whether it's from Dwayne Haskins or whether it's from Kyle Allen."
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