Dwayne Haskins hasn’t actually played for Ron Rivera yet, and still, the quarterback believes in his new coach.
Before the Coronavirus sank the NFL’s pre-draft process two months ago, rumors ran wild about the Redskins having interest in Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the second overall pick in April’s draft. Considering the Redskins drafted Haskins 15th overall last year, that clearly would have created a problem.
Despite the speculation, that pick never happened, and according to multiple sources, was never even close to happening. Washington wanted Ohio State defensive end Chase Young all along, and took Young.
So a few weeks after the draft, Haskins explained that he was never worried about Tagovailoa coming to the Redskins.
“Throughout the whole process Ron was just telling me to trust him," Haskins said via the Redskins Talk podcast. "I did so it worked out."
In the interview Haskins seemed more comfortable in his role as the Redskins quarterback than at most points in 2019, his rookie season. That year was filled with tumult, as Haskins was put into tough spots with coaches that didn’t seem thrilled about the front office’s decision to draft him.
In 2020 that vibe seems different.
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW
“I feel really confident having guys that believe in me,” Haskins said. “I think I’m going to have a good year this year.”
Rivera did not give a glowing endorsement of Haskins when he first took the Redskins job in January, but in subsequent months, the coach has seemed much more encouraged with the second-year passer.
“We just feel about the things we saw from Dwayne,” Rivera said last week on The Sports Junkies. “I feel good enough about him that I’m willing to take that chance, that opportunity.”
The coach also recently talked about Haskins improvement as the 2019 season went on, and focused on the passer's performance in a late November win against Detroit.
"He was very calm. He was very calculated. He showed his poise. He showed his leadership and put them in a position to win a football game," Rivera said of Haskins' first-ever comeback win. "And that's what you want from your quarterback, a guy that gives you a chance to win, a guy that can help you win because of him and you can win with him. That's what's exciting."
Washington did trade for Kyle Allen earlier in the offseason. He’s a passer that started for Rivera last season and already knows new Redskins offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s scheme, but Haskins did not seem concerned with that.
In fact, he seemed excited about the new quarterback room, and excited about the 2020 season.
“I have the urgency right now. I’m itching.”
Trust. Belief. Urgency.
Simple concepts, but nothing was simple for Haskins in 2019. 2020 is a new year and a new beginning for Haskins and for Rivera, and so far, the simple stuff is working.
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