For some, deciding whether or not to start Dwayne Haskins comes down to a simple principle. If he looks the best and shows he can give the Redskins the best chance to win games, the job is his. Just ask JP Finlay, Pete Hailey, Brian Mitchell and Mike Florio. In one explanation or another, they've all expressed that way of thinking.
Yet much like their name, NBC Sports Washington's The Outsiders Nick Ashooh and Wes Hall are not a part of that crowd. They both believe that sending Haskins out there from the get-go is not what's best for the rookie, though they have different reasons as to why.
For Ashooh, part of his reasoning stems from who the Redskins will face in the opening weeks. A daunting schedule that features the Eagles, Cowboys, Bears, Giants and Patriots through the first weeks is a tough stretch for any quarterback to handle, much less one that has never played in a regular season game before.
"I send out Case Keenum as the sacrificial lamb for that gauntlet of a start to the schedule. I wait till after the bye week, I wait for the Dolphins maybe," Ashooh said. "Then if Haskins looks ready, that's when he goes."
It is important to take into account the fact that the schedule on paper isn't everything, which Ashooh did. Just because it looks to be challenging based on preconceived notions and past results, things could potentially be a lot different by the time the teams hit the field. But, if it proves to be as rough as many predict, he is worried that early struggles could negatively impact how Haskins' mentality.
While the physical improvements can be made, battling back mentally from a poor start is something he'd like to see Haskins avoid.
"I just don't want him out there right away and then playing poorly the first couple of games at the beginning of the season and then he loses all of his confidence," Ashooh said. "Confidence, the mental side of sports, is very important."
Wes Hall agrees that starting Haskins Week 1is not what he would do. However, he doesn't see the teams in front of Haskins as the main problem since the entire Redskins schedule is challenging throughout all 16 weeks. Instead, he doesn't want Haskins on the field because of what lies immediately in front of him on every single snap.
"Solve the other problems that need to be addressed first, like the offensive line. Just starting there alone. I figure if you put the kid out there too soon with holes in the offensive line, you're only setting him up for disaster," Hall said. "Take your time with him, he's your quarterback of the future, right? Drafted for the future, you got Case Keenum now."
Even if Haskins looks to be the guy heading into Week 1 The Outsiders are fine with continuing to let him sit, as Hall would be content with Haskins not playing a single snap this regular season. Whether it be because of the competition or the holes surrounding him, both don't see the need to rush the rookie into a potentially bad situation when there is a veteran quarterback capable of wading through those waters.
"You don't have to rush these rookie quarterbacks," Ashooh said. "Even if he looks better in training camp than everybody else, you don't have to rush this kid out Week 1."
"If I don't have to, there's no reason to rush him," Hall said. "There are too many other things that need to be worked on."
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