How should the Redskins handle Dwayne Haskins in his first year as a pro? It's a question that will loom over all of training camp and carry into the regular season.
Do they play him right away? Do they allow him to learn behind one of their other veteran options, then jump in after a few weeks? Do they sit him until he's 32 years old, then let him go once he's niceeee and seasoned?
It'll be on Washington to make sure they take the path that best suits their young passer. Now, if they want an example of one path not to take, they don't have to look back too far.
While on NBC Sports Washington's Countdown to Training Camp show, QB development coach Paul Troth explained how the 2016 Rams botched Jared Goff's rookie campaign.
"They had a coach on the hot seat," Troth, who's worked with signal callers like Haskins, Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson, said. "Goff came in late in the season and it was a disaster."
Like Troth mentioned, heading into 2016, Jeff Fisher wasn't exactly locked in on the sidelines (he eventually was fired in December). That's the situation Jay Gruden finds himself in now.
Ironically enough, Case Keenum was the one who opened as starter for those Rams as well. Of course, he has a chance to do the same with the Burgundy and Gold in a few months.
As for Goff, he was inserted into the lineup in the team's 10th contest and proceeded to go 0-7 in those seven final matchups. The first overall pick finished with a 54.6-percent completion rate and a 5-to-7 TD-to-INT ratio. Luckily, Sean McVay has since come in and assisted in getting Goff pointed in the right direction, but that stretch could've been more damaging in other circumstances.
The tricky thing in D.C., according to Troth, is that Gruden badly needs victories yet the organization's long-term hope under center may not be the one who can deliver those victories in 2019.
"You've got to win games," he said. "So, how can you win games and develop your young quarterback at the same time? Early on, I think Case Keenum is going to give them the best chance to do that."
Though Keenum wasn't thriving with Los Angeles in 2019, the Rams were 4-5 in his starts. Regardless, Fisher and Co. elected to make the switch and hand things over to Goff, and the entire operation fell apart.
So, what's the lesson for the Redskins?
The team needs to let Haskins play only when he's ready. Not because he's the first-rounder, not because he'll attract attention and crowds, but when he's ready.
If Keenum opens as starter and the record isn't fantastic in September and October, people will be clamoring for Haskins. But the Redskins can't just toss him out there to satisfy that noise if he's not prepared.
Who knows how an initial spiral similar to the one Goff experienced could affect him? After all, it's not like there's a McVay on deck to come clean everything up.
"You can run the risk of putting too much on his plate early on and then you're backtracking later on," Troth said.
Haskins will run into issues like all 22-year-old athletes do. The key for the Redskins is that they don't expose him to severe ones before he's able to handle them. While the Rams got away with that when it came to Goff, the Redskins may not be as fortunate.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS