Quarterback Kyle Allen was traded to the Washington Redskins one week ago, but has yet to make an appearance at Redskins Park. He's been training in California since February, and due to the coronavirus pandemic, it doesn't seem like he'll be headed to the nation's capital anytime soon, either.
For many players that are entering their first season with an organization, they likely feel like they have some catching up to do. In most cases, there's a new playbook to learn and new teammates to meet. But for Allen, he likely knows the Redskins offense better than any other player on the roster.
The Redskins cleaned house this offseason, hiring well-respected head coach Ron Rivera as the organization attempts to change its culture. Rivera, who coached Allen the past two seasons in Carolina, hired Scott Turner as the team's offensive coordinator. Scott, the son of former Redskins head coach Norv Turner, also coached in Carolina the past two seasons, and worked directly with Allen as the Panthers QB coach before taking over as offensive coordinator last December.
Although he's with a new team and a new city, Allen's familiarity with Turner and his offensive system is something the quarterback believes will benefit the Redskins significantly.
"I think the continuity of the system is huge for me," Allen told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday. "I think it's going to be good for the team, too. If we don't have a lot of OTAs, or OTAs at all, it at least gives someone on the team experience in the system and to be able to teach it to other guys in the offense and relay what the coaches are saying."
Since Rivera took over as the Redskins head coach in January, he's preached bringing in competition for rising second-year passer Dwayne Haskins. After trading for Allen, the head coach stated in a radio interview last week that he intends to enter training camp with Haskins as the starter. But Haskins certainly have the gig given to him, as Allen will get the opportunity to compete for the job.
"I think the expectation is to come in and compete for the job," Allen said. "I think that's an awesome opportunity."
Allen explained that he has yet to meet Haskins, but is excited to get to know him and compete with the quarterback. The new Redskins signal-caller explained that just because they are fighting for the same job, that doesn't mean they can't have a great relationship with one another.
"We've been doing it our whole lives," Allen said on competition. "We've been doing it since we were in high school, trying to compete against different guys. At the same time, you get to meet a lot of really cool people in the process. In Carolina, Cam [Newton] and Will [Grier], we're all competing for different jobs, but we all came out with great relationships. You spend a lot of time with these people, you might as well have a great relationship."
As a rookie, Haskins started just seven games. The passer displayed flashes of potential, but had plenty of growing pains. Just as Haskins finally seemed to be hitting his stride late last season, an ankle injury prematurely ended his rookie campaign.
The Ohio State product is entering his third system in as many years and would have benefitted significantly from the extra reps that come during OTAs and mini-camp. It's no secret that entering his second season, he needs as many reps as possible.
With those offseason programs in jeopardy, Allen's experience in Turner's system could give him an edge on Haskins come training camp. Allen explained that Turner's offensive system is not easy to pick up on, but once it's learned, there's plenty of potential within it.
"I think [the system] takes a decent amount of time to really learn and grasp on to," Allen said. "I think it's evolved a lot over the years. It took me like a solid month, month and a half before I really felt comfortable out at practice and going through the plays. It's tough to grasp at first, but once you grasp it, it's really fluid. You can really maneuver it in different ways to help the team out. I think it's a really good system and Scott has a good idea for what he wants to do with it."
Allen isn't anywhere close to a finished product, either. He's 24, entering his third season in the NFL, and just 14 months older than Haskins. While he may not be the Redskins first option at quarterback right now, he'll likely get the chance to put his own stamp on the organization, one way or another.
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