But in a larger sense, the Washington rookie is happy to accept the wisdom he’s getting from one, who may not be former just quite yet.
Via John Keim of ESPN.com, Haskins is embracing injured teammate Alex Smith, and leaning on the former No. 1 overall pick to advice through his turbulent first season.
“The biggest thing with Alex is just how to be a quarterback,” Haskins said. “Everyone says I know how to, I’ve been playing quarterback since I was 10 years old. But no one has all the tricks of the trade and the keys to everything.
“It’s good to hear from someone I respect, someone I watched growing up and he’s willing to extend himself to me. Why not use him as a resource?”
Depending on what direction the franchise takes this offseason, Smith may never get his old job back. Of course, the badly broken leg made his future far from a certainty anyway. But instead of going into a shell, he’s been open to helping Haskins.
While there’s a generation gap, the similarities in their stories and the pressure they have to endure give them some common ground, and Haskins says Smith has been relatable.
“As a young kid, with the pressure and stress, it can be overwhelming at times,” Smith said. “I haven’t sensed that with Dwayne, but I know that’s what it was like for me. It wasn’t until I could move past that and enjoy the process and welcome it and bring it on and it flipped that mentality. . . .
“When I was young I carried a lot of weight and it was burdensome because it’s hard. It’s a tough position to play as a young kid. You have to flip the mentality and enjoy the challenge. There’s a time to grind and a time to compete and have fun, so for me . . . finding that balance was critical for me. I think I’m helping him with that.”
That means showing up earlier than normal for Haskins, changing his workout routine to allow for more time studying the game plan — the kind of things that will actually matter to his future as a player.