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Bill Callahan explains exact moment Dwayne Haskins proved ready to be QB1

Bill Callahan explains exact moment Dwayne Haskins proved ready to be QB1

It took 10 weeks, but the Redskins finally turned the franchise over to rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

On Monday, Washington interim head coach Bill Callahan stated that Haskins will be the team's QB for the remainder of the season and that the organization is ready to move forward with the 15th overall pick starting this Sunday against the Jets. It's a major moment for the team and for their future, as well as for Haskins. 

"Let’s face it, let’s give Dwayne an opportunity. We’re at a juncture where we don’t want to be record-wise, so this is a good opportunity for him to take advantage of every rep, practice-wise and game-wise, so we can see growth in his play," Callahan said Monday.

The decision to go with Haskins comes after the rookie appeared in three NFL games, including his first start Week 9 in Buffalo. Against the Bills, Haskins played the best football of his brief NFL career. Though his team lost and he didn't throw any touchdowns, Haskins looked in command of the team's offense and capable of running the team. 

That was big, because it didn't always look like that. And for Callahan, the coach shared a moment with Haskins after a poor performance that set the stage for the rookie's growth. 

"It was interesting, he came in a few weeks ago and wanted to know what he could do better to win. That was after the Minnesota game," Callahan explained via the Redskins Talk podcast.

"He took it to heart. That loss stuck deep into him. He wanted to know exactly what he could do. He came in on a Saturday, on our off day, and we visited for a good hour or so and just talked about what he could do better, how he could perform better, how he could prepare better."

Week 8 the Redskins played the Vikings on Thursday Night Football and got back to Ashburn very early Friday morning. For Haskins to be in the building that Saturday showed that his performance bothered him. It was obvious after that loss too, as the rookie seemed quite upset in the locker room after an ugly performance that included a bad interception in a big spot for his team. 

"I think that resonated," Callahan said. "He came in at 9 o'clock, so he was up early. It meant a lot, it had to be bothering him from the game Thursday night into Saturday morning. It meant a great deal to him."

The Redskins coach explained that it wasn't just the interception that was bothering Haskins, but his overall level of play in the loss.

"He took the loss really, really hard. He's a prideful guy," Callahan said. "But in a nutshell, when you get stung like that, he didn't want to see that happen again. It was a good sign, a real positive sign."

For Redskins fans searching for reasons for optimism in a lost season, Callahan's story might be an important one. Plenty of rookie passers struggle, but what's important is what comes after the struggles. 

Haskins was not good in his first two appearances this season. Neither spot was ideal, coming in off the bench, on the road, and his team trailing. Still, he struggled, throwing four interceptions in just 22 pass attempts. 

In his first start, however, things looked different. There were no interceptions. He completed 68 percent of his passes. 

Haskins wasn't great against Buffalo, but he had improved. He looked like a different player than the upset rookie that lingered at his locker late into the night in Minnesota. 

What happened in between? That meeting with Callahan, not to mention a full week of practice with the first-team offense. 

Going into the Jets game on Sunday, Haskins will have gotten all the first-team work for nearly a month. That should help.

Something else happened too. As Callahan explained it, Haskins got stung, and the rookie quarterback doesn't want to feel that way anymore. 

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Dwayne Haskins named the Redskins starting QB for the rest of the 2019 season

Dwayne Haskins named the Redskins starting QB for the rest of the 2019 season

Dwayne Haskins will be the Redskins' starting quarterback the rest of the 2019 season, head coach Bill Callahan announced on Monday.

The news came one week after Haskins’ first career start in Buffalo. The 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Haskins played decent against the Bills, avoiding any major mistakes and mostly operating the vanilla game plan. 

In the minutes after the 24-9 loss to the Bills, Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan hesitated to name Haskins the starter. The coach said he needed to review the game film and check on the health of former starter Case Keenum. Callahan continued his privacy around the quarterback decision throughout the team’s Week 10 bye before making the announcement.

On Monday, Callahan committed to Haskins, and frankly, it makes sense.

At 1-8, the Redskins season is shot and the team should focus on developing their young passer for the 2020 season and beyond. 

The Jets come in at 2-8, and while they’re coming off a win over the Giants, this game marks a real opportunity for a Washington win. His start Sunday vs. the Jets will be his first-ever start at FedExField in front of a home Redskins crowd.

Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones threw for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns against the Jets in Week 10, and that should be a real reason for optimism with Haskins and the Redskins. 

Additionally, running back Derrius Guice should be back on the field for Washington when the Jets come to town. 

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Bye week and Dolphins surge helps Redskins move up in 2020 draft order

Bye week and Dolphins surge helps Redskins move up in 2020 draft order

It ends up that not playing might be the best move the Redskins could make this season. On Sunday, while Washington rested for their bye week, the Dolphins won their second game in a row and the Jets beat the Giants. 

That leaves the Redskins with the second-worst record in the NFL at 1-8; the lone one-win team in the league. At 0-9, only the Bengals are worse.

While very little of this is good news, there is a silver lining: Washington is now in line for the second overall draft pick. If the season ended today, the draft order would be as follows:

  1. Cincinnati Bengals (0-9)
  2. Washington Redskins (1-8)
  3. New York Giants (2-8)
  4. Miami Dolphins (2-7)
  5. New York Jets (2-7)
  6. Atlanta Falcons (2-7)
  7. Cleveland Browns (3-6)
  8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)
  9. Denver Broncos (3-6)
  10. Arizona Cardinals  (3-6-1)

Plenty can still change as the Redskins have seven games remaining and will face the New York Jets on Sunday. It will be the first time this season the Redskins are favored at home, though that line could shift by the weekend. The Jets dropped 34 points on the Giants in Week 10 and second-year QB Sam Darnold impressed. The Redskins haven't scored a touchdown since October 13th. 

Looking ahead to the 2020 Draft might be the focus for many Redskins fans, but this Sunday could show its own glimpse of the future. Dwayne Haskins and Derrius Guice should be on the field together, and along with Terry McLaurin, that could be the beginning of a young talented offensive trio. 

Still, the second overall pick in the draft should hold tremendous value, either with the pick or via trade. 

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