During Dwayne Haskins' arduous rookie season with the Redskins, questions emerged about his commitment. One wouldn't know that, though, by watching and listening to the quarterback in the Zoom call he held with reporters on Wednesday.
The Haskins that appeared on camera sounded a lot different from the one who experienced some ups but many more downs in 2019. In fact, he literally looked different, too, having cut weight over the past few months when most people are putting pounds on.
Both of those things are the result of a major self-transformation Haskins consciously initiated as he heads into his second year as a pro.
"I won't necessarily say it's about football, it's with everything in life: I just wanted to be a man about my business and that's on and off the field," he said. "Now that I've turned 23, still being young, still growing, I just wanted to — whatever there were, questions about immaturity or lack of whatever it was — I was going to change that."
Just a few hours earlier, Ron Rivera also held a presser with the media. There, the coach explained how he's appreciated the way Haskins is handling the challenge that Rivera put in front of the passer when he took over the team.
"It shows maturity," Rivera said.
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Physically, Haskins is in fantastic shape. According to him, he weighed in around 235 pounds when he initially joined the Burgundy and Gold last April. Now, he's down to 218.
While the former first-round pick didn't exactly set out to slim down this spring and summer — that's something that just sort of happened with all that he's been doing — he does expect it to help quite a bit.
"I'll be more of a dynamic football player," he said.
Perhaps even more vital than that change, however, is the one that's happening with his mind set. On Wednesday, he came across very aware, thoughtful and, most importantly, supremely focused on improving as a QB, which are all qualities that'll serve him well as he enters a campaign that very well could decide how the rest of his career unfolds.
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Yet in his mind, there is no doubt about what's going to take place in 2020. Plenty of others will wonder what his fate will be and how he'll perform, but he's not going to waste time worrying.
"I'm going to deliver," Haskins said. "It's never a question of that."
Thanks to his newfound approach, it's getting easier and easier to believe him.
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