Washington Football

Quick Links

Redskins fans should worry about Dwayne Haskins' accuracy, not his selfies

Redskins fans should worry about Dwayne Haskins' accuracy, not his selfies

Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan needs to hold two distinct conversations with rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins. The first one will be simple, the second much more complex. 

To begin, Callahan needs to address Haskins missing the final play of the Redskins win over Detroit on Sunday. The head coach could not find Haskins for the final snap because the rookie already thought the game was over, and may or may not have been taking a picture with fans (see above video). That conversation should go something like this:

Callahan: Dwayne, missing the final snap was dumb. You must be more aware of game situations. Don't do that again, ever.

Haskins: I understand coach. Sorry. It was a mistake and won't happen again.

Callahan: Good. 

That's it. That's all the conversation needs to be. Haskins made a bonehead mistake, but it's not the end of the world. It can't happen again, and odds are, it never will. 

There is a much bigger issue that needs to be solved: Haskins' inaccuracy. 

The quarterback missed a number of open receivers on Sunday, twice for touchdowns to wideout Terry McLaurin, and the misses are starting to become a consistent problem. In Minnesota, Haskins sailed a ball to McLaurin, the result was an interception and it killed the Redskins chances at a comeback win. In Buffalo, Haskins missed Trey Quinn, again sailing the ball, and costing Washington one of the few big play opportunities that existed in that game. 

Last week, in a home loss to the Jets, Haskins sprayed the ball a bit, but it wasn't nearly as bad as things were against Detroit. The rookie was long, and short, high, and wide. At times it was quite ugly, and what makes the accuracy issues even more puzzling is that Haskins looks sharp on deep throws. He struggles in the intermediate area, and he's downright bad on out patterns when he's throwing to the sidelines. 

The issue isn't arm strength. He's got a cannon. 

The issue isn't knowing the playbook or practice reps either. Haskins has been throwing basic out patterns for at least a decade, and probably much longer. 

The challenge for Callahan, and Haskins, and offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, is figuring out what the issue is. 

After the Redskins 19-16 win over the Lions, Haskins said he hurt his wrist during the game and that impacted his accuracy. Asked for details about how bad the injury was or when he hurt it, Haskins said simply, "I'm good." The information wasn't useful, but if the wrist was hurt, maybe that explains some of the struggles. 

Bill Callahan did his best to explain some of Haskins's struggles, who was had just seven completions deep into the fourth quarter and finished just 13 of 29.

"I believe it's a part of the growing experience of a young quarterback – whether he pulls the trigger too quick, too fast or puts too much on it or trusts too much and doesn't calculate well enough at times," the coach said Sunday.

The coach also pointed out that many of Haskins' misses were long, so that defenders couldn't get to the football. Haskins said that was by design. 

"My philosophy going into that game was to never underthrow Terry because of how good the corner was," Haskins said. "Placed the ball pretty good so if I was going to miss, I was going to miss deep and out wide so he wouldn’t have the opportunity to put his hands on the ball. Talked about it. I missed him."

Like in golf, sometimes in football, knowing where to miss is almost as important as hitting the perfect shot. And it's a sign of Haskins' intellectual process that he's even considering all of the different possibilities that can unfold on deep throws. 

There was also the final drive, the series of plays that resulted in the go-ahead field goal. The drive that won the game. On that drive, Haskins completed his final two passes, none bigger than the last throw he made all day. On 3rd-and-5 with just 26 seconds remaining in the game, Haskins found McLaurin for a 21-yard gain. That gave the Redskins strong field position for the field goal, and it was the most important pass thrown all day. 

When it mattered most, Haskins made plays, and that matters a lot. 

It doesn't change the misses. It doesn't change that he completed fewer than 45 percent of his passes for the game. It doesn't change the bad interception on the out route. 

The win, however, make the misses much more tolerable. Haskins wasn't great Sunday. He wasn't even good. He was good when it mattered most though.

Haskins missing the final play was a stupid error. It's easily correctable and will be handled, if it hasn't already. 

Haskins missing open receivers, repeatedly, is a problem. It needs to be fixed, but it might not be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

 

Quick Links

Reuben Foster, finally, addresses his past as well as what's ahead with Washington

Reuben Foster, finally, addresses his past as well as what's ahead with Washington

One year and eight months after he was first claimed by the Washington Football Team, Reuben Foster finally addressed the local media in a formal press conference on Friday. As far as mid-August, mid-training camp Zoom sessions go, it was quite compelling.

The 26-year-old — who was recently removed from the PUP list, which signaled a major step in his recovery from last May's disastrous knee injury — came across as somewhat nervous to be doing an interview again. But even through those apparent jitters, he was able to describe what his life has been like since joining the organization.

"I've learned a lot," Foster said. "Just being humble, vulnerable. Understanding for a lot of things, of life. A real understanding of life. It's stuff that I can't really explain. It's hard to explain. I just know that my drive to get back on the field was insane."

Foster's devotion to the sport was a theme that popped up numerous times when he was speaking.

It's what he's thought about as he's been involved in multiple domestic violence allegations and seen his reputation plummet. Foster's former girlfriend recanted her testimony in the first case and the charges were dropped in the second, but even so, many will forever view him differently.

The desire to play again is also what's been at the top of his mind throughout an arduous rehab process that stems from going down on the third snap of OTAs in 2019. The damage on Foster's knee was more severe than a typical tear and had, up until this past January, caused him to lose feeling in his toes.

There is still plenty of work remaining on both fronts — Foster's character will be closely judged and any sort of future legal trouble likely will cost him his spot in the NFL, and he openly admitted he's not where he wants to be mentally when it comes to believing in his lower body — but right now, he's as comfortable as he's been in some time. 

"I feel like God just put me here, just dropped me here, like, 'This the football child,'" he said.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TALK PODCAST

His road back, however, is still far from its final destination.

As mentioned, Foster was very candid about how practices have gone since coming off PUP on Sunday. He was obviously relieved to be a part of the action again, yet he noticed he was more timid than he'd prefer.

"I was happy about it, but I was focusing on my leg, like, 'Dang, am I the same again? Will I ever be the same again?' he said. "But I don't think to the point that it would stop my play style or whatever. I just got to get the confidence out there."

Not many pro athletes would acknowledge that uneasy mindset. 

One thing Foster is confident in is his new head coach. Ron Rivera told the media that Foster has been "excellent" since Rivera became Washington's leader, and Foster was even more complimentary when discussing how Rivera's helped him of late.

"I trust him a lot," Foster said. "He's got my trust and dedication, and I think he's just a real stand-up guy, a trustworthy guy."

As a whole, Foster's Friday chat acted as a much-needed reset. It was necessary to hear his take on the drama he's been implicated in and the obstacles he's faced since leaving the 49ers. 

Now, though, he's prepared to move forward, and perhaps the conversation surrounding him can as well. After having him address the controversial issues, the Foster-related discussions can largely shift to how he's fitting into the defense and what he'll be able to add to that unit.

Speaking of which, after months packed with uncertainty, that's one group Foster has no doubts about.

"Even me with a bad wheel," he said, "we've got this."

Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM NEWS:

Quick Links

Unhappy with ‘Scary Terry,’ teammates think fast for Terry McLaurin’s new nickname

Unhappy with ‘Scary Terry,’ teammates think fast for Terry McLaurin’s new nickname

During an impressive rookie campaign that saw him exceed all expectations as a third-round pick, Terry McLaurin earned the nickname “Scary Terry.” That’s what EVERYONE called him. The only problem is, he didn’t really like it.

McLaurin wanted something more original, not a retread nickname that was originally given to Charlotte Hornets point guard Terry Rozier a few years prior. He wanted a unique nickname, maybe one that had to do with his speed on the field, or perhaps no nickname at all?

“I don’t even look at myself like I necessarily need to have a nickname,” McLaurin told reporters during an availability last season. “I just go out there and play ball, honestly. I’m just that simple of a person.”

Right, like a guy who caught seven touchdowns in his rookie year isn’t going to get a nickname.

RELATED: MCLAURIN EXPECTS INCREASED TEMPO IN SCOTT TURNER'S OFFENSE

NBC Sports Washington's Pete Hailey polled the Washington fanbase last year and came back with several options, including “Terry McScorin" and “Run TMC.” But Terry’s quarterback may have the final say when it comes to a nickname for his fellow Buckeye.

Dwayne Haskins targeted McLaurin 47 times in seven games after taking over as starter in Week 9 against the Bills, connecting 30 times for 461 yards and two touchdowns. He knows how “scary” Terry can be on the field, but it remains to be seen if “Turbo” sticks as McLaurin’s nickname moving forward.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM NEWS: