Dwayne Haskins is completing just 55-percent of his attempts as a pro quarterback so far, has thrown three touchdowns against seven interceptions and is averaging only 166 yards per start.
All of those numbers hint at how Haskins must grow as a passer in the NFL. However, those aspects are secondary to the area he needs to improve the most as he continues to see action for the Redskins.
The facet of his game that requires the most work is avoiding sacks. Yes, his accuracy and decision-making and choices in the red zone are all important, but none of those things will get better or reveal themselves if No. 7 is lying on his back and looking at the sky as much as he's doing so far.
The rookie has been dropped 22 times in his five appearances as starter, and 26 times overall. According to The Athletic, if you take the rate which Haskins is being sacked at as the team's primary signal caller and extrapolate it over a full schedule, it'd add up to the third-worst total in league history.
So, yeah, that's extremely troublesome.
On Wednesday, Haskins explained how his desire to be aggressive is partly causing this issue to be such an issue.
"Sometimes when I'm back there, I'm trying to find things deep or down the field instead of just finding the checkdown in the flat," he said.
As for how to remedy that, the 22-year-old told the media it's about being more aware of his immediate options.
"Just knowing where all my quick elements are when things happen fast and when things get on me," Haskins said.
Of course, each sack is its own entity, and not all of them fall on the guy with the ball. There have been instances this year where Haskins will go down and a replay will show an offensive lineman immediately getting beaten, the kind of sequence that will make any QB vulnerable. Not all of the negative plays are happening because of where Haskins is in his development.
However, to compare, Case Keenum was sacked just 12 times in his eight starts behind the same O-line. That's a significantly lower number.
Just like every other part of Haskins' skill set, this is something that should get sharper with experience. Every Sunday, assuming he gets a lot more, will lead to him becoming more adept at reading defenses, more proficient at adjusting protection calls and more prepared to find his outlet options.
Keenum has seen all that there is to see in the NFL, while Haskins is just beginning that arduous process.
And, while Bill Callahan admitted he hates seeing the offense plagued by the sacks, the interim coach also detailed something beyond experience that could help Haskins limit them in the future.
"He's not a repetitive guy, a repetitive-mistake player, where you see continually the small mistakes over and over again," Callahan said. "He makes a mistake, he recognizes it, he moves on and you don't see a repetitive error come back into his game. There's been a lot of growth in that respect."
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