It's no secret that Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins did not have the rookie season he wanted in 2019.
For the first seven games, the Ohio State passer served as the backup to veteran Case Keenum, minus one start from Colt McCoy. He came on in relief twice due to injury, and looked lost and confused both times.
His numbers weren't pretty. He threw four interceptions in his first 22 NFL passes, including three in his NFL debut against the Giants. For all the stans that said Haskins was a 'raw product' and 'needed a year to sit,' Haskins was proving them right.
The rookie made his first start Week 9 in Buffalo, and didn't look bad, but didn't look anything special. He put a full, solid game together until Week 15. But the rookie continued to work hard and improved each week - something several of his teammates noticed.
"I think he kind of got a taste of what it's like having some success," Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin told the Redskins Talk podcast in Miami at the Super Bowl. "He had a string of games where he was playing really, really well. That's a testament to the hard work he was putting in."
In Haskins' final two games of the 2019 season, he threw for 394 yards, completing 72 percent of his passes. Over that span, he threw for four touchdowns and didn't turn the ball over once, a big jump from his first few times in action.
Besides being a raw product -- he only started 14 games in college -- one of the bigger concerns about Haskins during the draft process was his maturity and leadership qualities.
Haskins still has a ways to go in that department, new head coach Ron Rivera said as much during his introductory press conference. But McLaurin feels that Haskins made a tremendous stride in that department toward the end of the 2019 season.
"At quarterback, I feel like it's very important to have that as one of your leaders of the team," McLaurin said. "But the biggest thing I've noticed in the NFL is it's all about action. He showed that action towards the end of the season. He really started to gain the respect from a lot of our vets and a lot of our coaches as well."
Haskins' confidence towards the end of the season grew. He started playing more loosely and he was rewarded by the results. Haskins only tasted the slightest piece of success in 2019, and his best games didn't come in Washington victories.
The Redskins have made many changes during the offseason, hoping to establish a winning culture and changing the outlook on the organization. But right now, Washington's success as a whole largely depends on Haskins' individual improvement and growth.
"I think [Haskins is] hungry and he has a chip on his shoulder," McLaurin said. "He's a guy we're really excited about for the future."
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