While their interactions are happening through a screen instead of face-to-face in a meeting room, new Redskins offensive coordinator Scott Turner can feel how Dwayne Haskins is soaking up the offense he'll be asked to run in 2020.
That, along with the quarterback's imposing size and natural arm strength, has Turner confident about what Haskins can do in his second season in the league.
Those aren't the only reasons why Turner is optimistic, though. Aside from Haskins' mental progress and obvious-to-everyone-on-the-planet physical traits, there's something far less pronounced about the 23-year-old's game that Turner really likes.
During a Zoom call with reporters earlier this week, the coach had a chance to identify that skill.
"You look at him stand in the pocket, he doesn’t need a lot of space to operate," Turner told the media. "That was one of the first things that I looked at when I got the job. Looking at Dwayne’s pass reps and how he operated in those tight pockets. His eyes stayed downfield. He was able to push the ball down the field in those 20, 30, 40-yard throws with velocity."
A lot of times with college passers, Turner explained, they have acres of grass between them and the closest pass rusher. With the way Haskins dominated at Ohio State, that was certainly true at times for him.
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However, while some of those signal callers have trouble adjusting to the increased traffic around them as a pro, Haskins actually handled it quite well. In fact, Turner's evaluation of the former first-rounder in that area was one of the more complimentary reviews the new regime has offered up about him in the last few months.
"You are going to make money in this league by standing in there and making throws down the field when it is tough," Turner said. "He has shown enough of that. His eyes aren’t going to go down, and he is not going to look at the defensive line. He is going to hang in there and execute the throws down the field.”
With Haskins, his raw numbers as a rookie aren't the most promising. But the raw numbers also don't necessarily account for the coaching change he had to deal with, the weak group of targets he had to throw to and the slew of other issues that made his job difficult.
So, instead of projecting what he can be in the future for the Redskins based on those stats, it's important to look closer at some of the smaller tools he exhibited. That's what Turner's doing when it comes to the QB's presence in the pocket. And if Turner's that pleased with what he's seeing, that's very encouraging.
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