Dwayne Haskins has an enormous offseason ahead of him, and that's something Dwayne Haskins is absolutely aware of.
Now, as for how the second-year quarterback should approach that offseason? Doug Williams, while speaking to reporters on Friday at a Redskins community event in D.C., gave his thoughts.
"The most important thing is to show people you deserve to be that guy, and keep doing it over and over, and I think that's what Dwayne has to do to let them know that I'm here, I'm the leader, this is my team," Williams said. "I'm going to be the starter and I'll show you why I should be starting."
The "you" that Williams is referring to applies to the coaching staff and franchise as a whole, but it really boils down to Ron Rivera. Washington's new coach, who's very clearly in charge these days, hasn't promised Haskins anything when it comes to his place on the depth chart.
And while Williams understands Rivera and Co. aren't "married" to the 2019 first-round pick and could decide to not roll with him, he does believe Haskins is at least in a better spot with this group than last season's.
"He didn't have the opportunity last year where the coaches put their arms around him," Williams said. "I think he's got to know that we want you to be good. I think now, with the new staff coming in, and what he did towards the end of the year, he's going to give this new staff an opportunity to say, 'Hey, we need to work with this kid to get the best out of him.' That's the positive thing that Dwayne has on his side."
Another positive thing that appears to be on the 22-year-old's side is that his future is completely in his own hands.
If he's willing to accept Rivera's challenge and "stay at the facility until they run him out of the building," as Williams put it Friday, then the 2020 starting job likely will be his. As much as the new coach likes to remind people about Alex Smith or another veteran passer possibly coming to Washington, Haskins will have the most upside of any option and he still remains the favorite to be under center in Week 1.
He finished his rookie campaign on an encouraging note, teasing what he one day could become. It's now up to him to ensure his arrow continues to point upward.
"Dwayne has a long way to go but like I told him, his last game before he got hurt, he was doing what we expected him to do," Williams said. "He was ascending. Hopefully, the way he goes now is he keeps going up, and he's up for the task."
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