Dwayne Haskins will start for Ron Rivera and Washington.
Ron Rivera and the newly-christened Washington Football Team certainly did a good job of lighting a fire under second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
Not only was former Pro Bowler Alex Smith welcomed back with open arms after his scary leg injury, but Rivera traded for former Carolina panthers backup and spot starter Kyle Allen while adding Senior Bowl standout Steven Montez as an undrafted free agent.
Despite the added competition, Rivera confirmed that Haskins impressed him enough in practice to be named the Week 1 starter against the Philadelphia Eagles. Because of this, Smith and Allen will be relegated to backup roles, while Montez’s best shot at sticking with the team is likely via the practice squad.
Dwayne Haskins is looking to improve after a shaky rookie season
Haskins, who was picked 15th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, completed 59 percent of his passes while throwing seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. While those numbers sound poor, he did post an 85.5 passer rating while tossing just three interceptions in the seven games he started.
Despite arguably the worst collection of skill position players in the league and a lame-duck head coach in Bill Callahan coaching him for most of the seasons, Haskins showed off his insane arm talent, especially during two late-season gamed against the Eagles and Giants.
With Antonio Gibson added via the draft and Terry McLaurin picking up another year of experience, Haskins should be better equipped for success this season. He still needs to improve his decision making, but his arm talent and ability to get players to rally around him can’t be called into question.
The future of Washington is tied to a trio of Ohio State Buckeyes in Haskins, McLaurin, and 2020 No. 2 overall pick Chase Young. If all three of them hit their stride, Washington might rise to the top of the NFC East sooner than most expected.