Storyline No. 29 on the list of 2019 stories we’re watching at PFT focuses on when, and if, new Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins will play this year. Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann’s suggestion is this: Don’t play Haskins at all.
“To me, the best scenario for Dwayne would be . . . to sit this year, Case [Keenum] plays, Colt [McCoy] comes back, is healthy enough to be able to be in competition and/or a part of the ball club . . . and give Dwayne a chance to process everything,” Theismann told 106.7 the Fan in D.C., via the Washington Times.
Theismann definitely wouldn’t start Haskins from Week One, given an early-season schedule that includes games against the Eagles, Cowboys, Bears, Giants, and Patriots.
“To put him out there early against those teams, it’s just a formula for disaster for the team, for Jay [Gruden], for the fans and everybody else,” Theismann said. “I think the young man is our future, and let’s protect the future, instead of throwing it out there right now and saying, ‘Okay, go get ’em.’ The schedule we’re playing is not a ‘go get ’em’ schedule.”
Another factor in the analysis, as previously mentioned, is Gruden’s desire to remain employed beyond 2019. Starting the season with Haskins under center could make it hard for Gruden to achieve enough to survive. Starting with Keenum or McCoy could trigger better results — especially in light of that “go get ’em” schedule.
Also, it would (will) be easier to bench Keenum or McCoy for Haskins than to bench Haskins for Keenum or McCoy. Once Haskins is playing, the team needs to let him keep playing. And if Keenum-or-McCoy approach results in Washington fading from playoff contention, Gruden can hope that Haskins shows enough late in the year to persuade the organization to choose continuity for 2020.