Dwayne Haskins

NFC East Notes: Baker, Redskins, Jeffery

DeAndre Baker‘s future with the Giants is up in the air after his arrest on eight charges stemming from an alleged armed robbery earlier this month. The Giants have told the cornerback to stay away from their offseason activities, but since they are unfolding in a virtual capacity, such a stance has a less noticeable effect. And Baker scored a victory this week. A judge approved a request by Baker’s attorney that will allow the second-year cornerback to leave the state, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. This would allow Baker to travel from Florida to New Jersey for Giants training camp. The Giants have kept Baker away from their voluntary virtual offseason since the incident but banning him from mandatory training camp would be a suspension. The team has not crossed that bridge yet.

Here is the latest from the NFC East, moving first to some of the happenings involving Washington’s offense:

  • Ron Rivera has said a shortened training camp would work in Kyle Allen‘s favor due to the recently acquired quarterback’s knowledge of Redskins OC Scott Turner‘s system. On Wednesday, however, Turner praised Dwayne Haskins‘ work during the team’s virtual program. “When we’re talking to him [on Zoom sessions], he’s speaking the language,” Turner said, via ESPN’s John Keim. “It’s pretty easy to tell if they get it or not. Dwayne’s doing a great job. You can tell he’s putting the work in away from the meeting time.” Being drafted by a different regime and having finished with Football Outsiders’ worst QBR figure last season, Haskins is already facing a critical season as he begins work under Rivera and Turner.
  • The Redskins signed Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic and drafted hybrid-type player Antonio Gibson in Round 3. They also employ Derrius Guice and Bryce Love, both of whom coming off injuries. Adrian Peterson‘s spot in Washington is not a given, despite the future Hall of Famer leading the Redskins in rushing the past two years. But Turner said (via NBC Sports Washington’s J.P. Finlay, on Twitter) he has “a ton” of respect for Peterson and that there is a role in his offense for “that type of back.” Peterson has never offered too much in the passing game, having not exceeded 300 receiving yards in a season since 2010. But the 35-year-old back surpassed four yards per carry in each of his two Washington seasons.
  • Coming off a Lisfranc injury, Eagles wideout Alshon Jeffery may not be ready for the season. Both Zach Berman and Bo Wulf of The Athletic (subscription required) expect the ninth-year wideout to start the year on the PUP list. This would shelve Jeffery for at least six weeks to start the season. The Eagles have shopped Jeffery in trades since last season and made several moves to add wideouts last month. But Jeffery’s contract makes a trade hard to envision.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Eagles, Haskins

Barring a major surprise or trade, the NFL Draft should kick off with the Bengals selecting LSU quarterback Joe Burrow at No. 1 overall and the Redskins taking Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the second pick. Then, at No. 3, many expect the Lions to tap Buckeyes cornerback Jeff Okudah as a replacement for Darius Slay.

When the Giants pick at No. 4, however, things could get interesting. The Giants could be a prime position to trade down and load up in the later rounds. If they stand pat, GM Dave Gettleman could be tempted by one of his beloved “Hog Mollies,” an imposing tackle to help fortify their offensive line.

However, in his latest mock draft, ESPN.com’s Todd McShay predicts that the G-Men will take Clemson outside linebacker Isaiah Simmons. The versatile defender could help slow down the run, put pressure on opposing QBs, and help turn around a defense that allowed more than 28 points per game in 2019.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Further down in the mock draft, McShay anticipates the Cowboys selecting a cornerback at No. 17 to help replace Byron Jones. In this scenario, he has them going with Florida’s C.J. Henderson, a player who is getting more and more buzz for his reported sub-4.4 40-yard-dash time. At No. 21 overall, he has the Eagles taking LSU inside linebacker Patrick Queen, even though many see the Birds targeting wide receivers, including Queen’s teammate Justin Jefferson.
  • Count ESPN.com’s Tim McManus among those that see PHI going WR. The Eagles watched big-name receivers fly off the board in March, even as Nelson Agholor moved on from the Raiders. With Alshon Jeffery still working his way back from Lisfranc surgery, the Eagles have to at least consider one of this year’s many talented targets. Jefferson is one possibility; Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims, Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk, and Clemson’s Tee Higgins could also be available when the Eagles select at No. 21.
  • The Redskins haven’t ruled out a return for Alex Smith or a significant role for the newly acquired Kyle Allen. Still, head coach Ron Rivera expects rising sophomore Dwayne Haskins to be the team’s starter in 2020. “That’s what we’re going into camp believing, but they’re going to compete,” Rivera told WFNZ (via Peter King of NBC Sports). “We really like what we have in terms of our young quarterbacks. Kyle is a young guy who has a live arm, understands the game, understands how we do things, so I’m excited about what the potential could be.”

Redskins Not Expected To Pursue Cam Newton, Jameis Winston

While Dwayne Haskins‘ status is murkier than it would have been had the Redskins retained Bruce Allen, the Ron Rivera regime’s plan does not include giving Cam Newton a chance to reignite his career.

The Redskins have been linked to Tua Tagovailoa at No. 2 overall, but they will not add a high-profile veteran quarterback. Even if the Panthers cut Newton, the Redskins are not expected to be interested, John Keim of ESPN.com notes. The same goes for Jameis Winston, who is now in search of a new team after the Buccaneers landed Tom Brady.

Washington does not want to put Haskins in a position where he would be the clear backup, Keim adds. That would be the case if Newton and Rivera reunited. Each of Newton’s 124 starts came when Rivera was Carolina’s coach.

The Panthers are having trouble finding a trade partner for Newton, which makes sense given the COVID-19 pandemic preventing teams from having their medical personnel examine players with injury concerns. The Panthers are likely to release the former MVP soon. Winston has not been linked to any teams since the Bucs signed Brady.

Haskins finished with by far the worst QBR figure among qualified passers last season. Daniel Snyder, however, pushed for the Ohio State prospect going into the draft. Although Rivera mentioned Alex Smith as a candidate to start in 2020, the odds may still be against the former No. 1 overall pick playing again. Unless the Redskins draft Tagovailoa over Chase Young, Haskins remains the best bet to take the snaps in Week 1.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Haskins, Giants

New Redskins coach Ron Rivera has insisted he wants to have a quarterback competition, and that nothing will be handed to second-year incumbent Dwayne Haskins. Haskins doesn’t have any problem with that, and he said as much to reporters during a recent community event. “That’s cool,” Haskins said of Rivera’s remarks, via Peter Hailey of NBC Sports. “I’m just going to have to work hard and eventually take it over. Just do your best to be accountable for what you have to do and be ready to go.” That’s obviously the type of attitude that his new coaching staff will like to hear.

Rivera specifically shouted out Alex Smith recently and indicated he could even be back with the team in 2020, although that still seems pretty unlikely. By all accounts, Haskins will almost certainly be under center for the Redskins in Week 1 even though the staff plans to make him earn it. Haskins took over for Case Keenum midway through last season, and was up and down like most rookies. The Ohio State product struggled early on, but started to play a lot better in his last couple of games.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • The Giants traded for Leonard Williams at the deadline even though they weren’t headed to the playoffs and he was set to be a free agent, putting a lot of pressure on them to extend him. To that end, the team is “intent” on re-signing him this offseason, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. However, he isn’t going to come cheaply. Vacchiano thinks the defensive lineman will be seeking a contract worth around $15MM annually. The sixth overall pick back in 2015, Williams has always been high on talent but a bit underwhelming on the field. He made the Pro Bowl in 2016, but has been more up and down since then. Still only 25, he should still be entering the prime of his career. New York gave up third and fifth round picks for him.
  • Speaking of the Giants, new head coach Joe Judge put together an interesting inaugural staff with some notable hires. Speaking recently, Judge dished on his thought process when bringing his staff together, via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “To me, it’s a big trust factor with the guys I have on the staff,’’ Judge said. “I have a personal relationship with a lot of these guys, professional relationships with nearly all of them.” There are a number of high profile coaches on the staff, including recently fired Browns and Cowboys head coaches Freddie Kitchens and Jason Garrett. Despite that, the rookie head coach insisted that he didn’t hire them because of their experience leading teams. “I didn’t set out to hire anyone with former head coaching experience,’’ Judge said. “That ended up being a plus of what different guys brought to their area.” On Kitchens specifically he said “what I love about Freddie is he brings an element of toughness and discipline to his room. He brings outside-the-box thinking a lot of times to how he approaches the game from a game-plan perspective.’’

NFC Coaching Turner, Peetz, Linguist, Harris,Whitted

Norv Turner will not be returning to the Panthers coaching staff, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. Turner had served as a special assistant to former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. Rivera, of course, was recently replaced by Matt Rhule and has since taken over in Washington. While nothing has been reported, it would not be a surprise to see Turner follow Rivera to the nation’s capital to work with young quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

At the same time, Carolina blocked running backs coach Jake Peetz from interviewing for other positions, per Albert Breer of SI.com. Breer adds that Rivera wanted to take Peetz with him, but Carolina general manager Marty Hurney valued Peetz and the team decided to reward him with a promotion to quarterbacks coach.

Here’s some more notes from coaching staff’s around the NFC:

  • The Cowboys hired Texas A&M cornerbacks coach Maurice Linguist to serve as the team’s defensive backs coach alongside Al Harris. Linguist did not have a history with either head coach Mike McCarthy or defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, but his personality impressed the pair so much that they offered him the job on the same day of his interview, according to Dallas Cowboys reporter Lindsay Cash Draper. Harris had been an assistant with Kansas City, but more notably, played under McCarthy during his tenure in Green Bay at cornerback.
  • Harris’ former team will be making a change at wide receivers coach. According Rob Demovsky of ESPN, the Packers have let Alvis Whitted go and have begun the process of searching for his replacement. Whitted was hired just a year ago to join Matt LaFleur’s staff, but it appears LaFleur will be going in a different direction.

Redskins Rumors: Snyder, Rivera, Kerrigan

Although since-fired team president Bruce Allen took most of the heat for the Redskins’ personnel decisions during the 2010s, Dan Snyder has continued to play a role in the franchise’s football operations. Allen was also believed to be on the side of drafting Dwayne Haskins, but John Keim and Jason Reid of ESPN.com write Snyder appeared to lead that charge — even though the owner once criticized for his big-ticket moves has contributed less input on that front in recent years. Some in Washington’s building placed a third-round grade on Haskins, per Keim and Reid. Haskins was viewed as a first-round pick for most of the pre-draft process. While Ron Rivera is expected to have more control over Redskins personnel matters than Jay Gruden, sources informed the ESPN duo they still expect Snyder to be involved.

Here is the latest out of Washington:

  • New defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio confirmed the Redskins will shift back to a 4-3 base defense, Les Carpenter of the Washington Post notes. Both Rivera and Del Rio have used 4-3 bases for most of their respective careers, so this should come as no surprise. However, Snyder is believed to have made this a point of emphasis, per Keim and Reid. The Redskins have not deployed a 4-3 base defense in 11 seasons, though with teams’ increased nickel usage, transitions in front-seven schemes are not as significant as they once were. This will make Washington’s starting lineup interesting, however, with the team having three talented interior defenders — Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and 2019 sack leader Matt Ioannidis — up front.
  • Ryan Kerrigan just completed a down year, registering a career-low 5.5 sacks and missing the first two games of his career. The productive Redskins edge defender is going into a contract year, but Keim tweets Kerrigan and previous Redskins management had engaged in extension talks in 2019. Kerrigan, 31, would like to stay with Washington on a third contract.
  • Rather than retirement, Alex Smith will continue his efforts to return to the field. The Redskins quarterback has missed the past 22 games because of a gruesome leg injury that required numerous surgeries. “I still have dreams of getting back to where I was and getting back out there,” Smith said, via NBC Sports Washington’s Ethan Cadeaux. “This has been a crazy ride with a lot of unforeseen turns, but without a doubt, that’s still my goal.” Smith, 35, is set to count $21.4MM against Washington’s cap this season. No cap savings can come of a Smith release until 2021.

Dwayne Haskins Done For The Year

Dwayne Haskins‘ rookie year is in the books. The Redskins have ruled out their young quarterback for Week 17 as he deals with an ankle injury, interim head coach Bill Callahan announced Monday.

Haskins went down with the ankle injury late in Washington’s loss to the Giants this past week. He apparently lobbied to come back into the game, but Redskins owner Dan Snyder personally intervened and told him not to go back into the game. That was certainly an unusual development, and one that signaled the franchise would be extremely cautious with their young signal-caller. With Haskins inactive, Case Keenum will presumably draw the start in the finale against the Cowboys, while Colt McCoy will back him up.

After setting records during his one year as Ohio State’s starter, Haskins was drafted 15th overall back in April. After starting the year off on the bench behind Keenum, Haskins took over around the midpoint of the season, not too long after Jay Gruden was fired. He initially struggled mightily with a depleted offense around him, but had started to come on strong the last couple of weeks.

He had his best game as a pro two weeks ago in a near-upset win over the Eagles, completing 19 of 28 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns. He was also playing quite well before going down against New York. He’ll finish his rookie year having completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,365 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions, while averaging 6.7 yards per attempt. Washington is headed for a crucial offseason, as they must pick a new head coach while also dramatically upgrading their weapons. Barring something crazy happening, Haskins will be under center in Week 1 come 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Ingram, Haskins, Murray

Here are the key injuries which we’ve seen some reporting on:

  • The Ravens officially clinched the top seed in the AFC with their win over the Browns on Sunday, but Baltimore fans were left holding their breath when running back Mark Ingram went down with a calf injury. Head coach John Harbaugh told reporters after the game there’s no structural damage, but a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com that Ingram suffered a calf strain (Twitter link). Ingram was wearing a walking boot after a game, via a tweet from Josina Anderson of ESPN. Harbaugh was trying to sound optimistic, but calf strains can linger. Fortunately for Baltimore, he’ll have Week 17 and a first-round bye to rest.
  • Dwayne Haskins has been getting a lot better recently, so it was unfortunate to see him go down with an ankle injury during the Redskins’ loss to the Giants. Interestingly, Haskins said after the game that he lobbied to return, but owner Dan Snyder personally told him not to go back in, per John Keim of ESPN.com. Normally it’d be unusual for an owner to be consulting directly with a player during a game, but this is the Redskins we’re talking about. Washington is in line for the second overall pick right now, and they could opt to be conservative and sit Haskins in Week 17.
  • Speaking of rookie quarterbacks, Kyler Murray was also knocked out on Sunday with a hamstring injury. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters after the game he wasn’t sure if Murray would be able to play in Week 17 against the Rams. Murray had a large wrap on his hamstring and if it was bad enough to knock him out immediately he could be up against it to play next week. Brett Hundley, who finished off Arizona’s upset win over the Seahawks, would start next week if he isn’t ready.
  • One last quarterback update, as Mason Rudolph was sidelined with a shoulder injury shortly after being reinserted for a benched Devlin Hodges. The Steelers’ quarterback situation is an absolute mess right now as they prepare for a must-win game against the Ravens. Hodges came back in for Rudolph, and resumed struggling. Rudolph provided an instant spark after relieving Hodges, so he’ll almost certainly start against Baltimore if he’s healthy. Rudolph was seen leaving the stadium with his arm in a sling, per Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link).
  • The Titans can clinch a playoff berth with a Week 17 win over the Texans, and fortunately they’ll be getting a boost to their offense. Running back Derrick Henry was inactive for their loss to the Saints on Sunday, but he is expected to play against Houston, a source told Schefter (Twitter link). Henry has been dealing with a hamstring issue.
  • The winner of the Week 17 game between the 49ers and Seahawks will determine who wins the NFC West and in turn hosts a playoff game, and both sides are banged up. San Francisco pass-rusher Dee Ford has missed most of the last month with a hamstring injury and he’s not expected to play against Seattle, a source told Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. They gave up a second-round pick to land Ford this offseason, then signed him to a massive extension, and he’s been a bit of a disappointment. Fortunately for the 49ers, the Seahawks are dealing with even more significant health issues.

Redskins Name Dwayne Haskins Starter For Rest Of 2019

Interim Redskins coach Bill Callahan announced the Dwayne Haskins era will begin in full. The team named its first-round quarterback the starter for the rest of this season.

Haskins has made one start thus far and played in three games. He was the third Redskins quarterback summoned to action this season, following Case Keenum and Colt McCoy. But the two veterans will play behind the rookie going forward.

With the Redskins exiting their bye at 1-8, devoting some time to developing Haskins makes sense. The rookie has faced scrutiny early and has yet to throw his first touchdown pass. He’s completed 27 of 44 passes for 284 yards and four interceptions thus far. Haskins threw a Big Ten-record 50 touchdown passes in his lone season as the Buckeyes’ starter.

Washington still has Alex Smith under contract, but the 14-year veteran has undergone 17 surgeries over the past year to repair his severe leg injury. Smith is not a lock to resume his career, though he is interested in doing so. This led the Redskins to Haskins at No. 15 overall. And the plan is to give him this season’s final seven games to develop.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dwayne Haskins Will Make First Start Against Bills

Washington head coach Bill Callahan announced today after practice that rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins will make his first career start on Sunday against the Bills, according to JP Finlay of NBC Sports. Haskins has appeared in two games on the season, but has completed only 12 of 22 pass attempts with four interceptions and no touchdowns. Callahan will hope getting a chance to start will put Haskins in a better situation to succeed.

Haskins was expected to be one of the top two quarterbacks selected in the draft, but after the Giants surprised many by selecting Daniel Jones out of Duke, Haskins fell to Washington with the 15th overall pick. Since reports have emerged that there was a strong divide in the organization on Haskins as a prospect with ownership favoring the selection.

Many in and around the organization consistently tried to tamper expectations, reiterating a belief that Haskins wasn’t ready for NFL action. However, the two quarterbacks above Haskins, Case Keenum and Colt McCoy, have both dealt with their share of struggles and injuries. Currently at 1-7 and clearly one of the three worst teams in the league, it appears Washington has decided to give their young prospect a chance to prove himself.