Ron Rivera admits Dwayne Haskins’ work ethic, commitment were issues

USA TODAY Sports

Ron Rivera finally said what everyone always knew: Dwayne Haskins‘ work ethic and commitment were issues. Those issues factored into Haskins being benched and eventually released.

In a podcast interview with Colin Cowherd, the Washington coach addressed Haskins’ troubled tenure with the team. Washington cut the quarterback after only two seasons and 13 starts, and Haskins signed with the Steelers on Jan. 21.

“You know what? I tried to come to terms with him,” Rivera told Cowherd, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post. “He’s a very talented player. He’s got an NFL arm, a legit arm, and there’s a part of him that he wants to, but something keeps getting in the way. I’m not sure what it was, and that was the hard part because he puts in the time, and then he doesn’t. And you’re wondering, ‘Where is he? What’s he doing?’ You see him over there and you go, ‘OK,’ and then you don’t see him. So I think the thing he needs to do is just prioritize. The kid, as I said, he’s talented, and if he ever does get it, he’s going to make an impact.”

When Rivera benched Haskins after the first four games, he said other quarterbacks on the roster with experience in the system gave Washington the best chance to win the NFC East. (He was right: Kyle Allen and then Alex Smith led Washington to the division title.)

When Smith became the starter in Week 10, Rivera alluded to Haskins’ work ethic.

Haskins went 3-10, completing 60.1 percent of his passes for 2,804 yards with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in his time in Washington.

When Washington drafted Haskins with the 15th overall choice in 2019, at the urging of owner Dan Snyder, the team thought it had its franchise quarterback. Instead, Washington is back at the drawing board.

Rivera answered Cowherd’s question about what he looks for in a quarterback by citing toughness, a desire to win for teammates and fearlessness. Rivera said he admired Cam Newton‘s fearlessness and Smith’s toughness.

Washington will explore “all options” at quarterback this offseason after moving on from Haskins and Smith.

Taylor Heinicke and Allen are returning.

60 responses to “Ron Rivera admits Dwayne Haskins’ work ethic, commitment were issues

  1. This is not hyperbole: when I saw his body language when his name called during the NFL draft I knew it was over before it ever began. He was scared, fearful.

    Redskins fans made EVERY EXCUSE IN THE BOOK as to why he was not progressing like Daniel Jones in NY or Kyler Murray in AZ. They were in DENIAL.

    His best game in his NFL career was against Seattle last season.
    Thanks for the memories and best of luck, Dwayne

    This is Heinickes team now.

  2. Haskins might never get another shot. If he does, he better get after it & grow up.

  3. Credit to Rivera for this: they’d already drafted a QB. He gave him a legitimate chance to prove himself more than any other incoming coach would. Haskins failed miserably in less than a year.

    Riverboat Ron is the only ounce of competence in the DC area. Football and politicians included.

  4. Fearless and tough is good for a safety, you still need some talent as a QB. Newton’s fearlessness and toughness got him injured too. And to be honest, Washington’s defense won the NFC East because everyone else wasn’t any good.

  5. Good luck, Steelers, although it cost them next to nothing to take a flyer on him. And, to be fair, it should have been a serious wake-up call for him to get cut so abruptly and peremptorily. Should have been. Time will tell. He’d better get focused and be all business, or he’ll be out of the NFL.

  6. That was no secret. To anyone. Those YouTube workout vids were just social media stunts.

  7. Cam Newton’s fearlessness? The same guy who wouldn’t go after a fumble in the Super Bowl?

  8. Dwayne’s work ethic and commitment to strip clubbing is without question though.

  9. Maybe he just doesn’t love football. It happens much more than you think in the NFL.

  10. He likes Newtons fearlessness? Like when he didn’t dive on a fumble late in the Superbowl?

  11. Haskins simply needs to grow up. Coach Rivera had to cut him loose, he couldn’t afford to wait on if Dwayne will get the hint and try to mature. Ron needed his QB to be mature and Dwayne wasn’t. Hopefully Dwayne can grow up and have a decent career from this point on.

  12. Barely a .500 level coach with a few playoff wins. Maybe washington should ask how much film Rivera needs to put our there to confirm that he is not that good at coaching?

  13. He went home and hooked up with his boys who never made it. Created an entourage without ever accomplishing anything. Look at his childhood videos.
    Now if he flames out in PA, then he’s truly a lost cause. Because Mason Rudolph is not an NFL QB.

  14. “Haskins might never get another shot. If he does, he better get after it & grow up”. – If you would have taken the time to actually read the story you would have known he signed with the Steelers back in January but instead you post this nonsense.

  15. The entire Haskins fiasco is the fault of Dan Snyder. He didn’t “urge” the team to draft Haskins, HE drafted him. Even when the football people told him absolutely not to. This is what you get when you refuse to listen to experts who have devoted their lives to a profession. But of course, Dan knows better.

    As a Washington fan, I hope something comes out in this report that forces him to sell the team. I can’t understand how people here defend him. He’s taken a once-premier NFL franchise and single-handedly ruined it.

    I mean, he forces everyone who works for him to call him “Mr. Snyder” and employees cannot look at him directly when in the building. What kind of person does that? I’d rather have Jerruh as the owner.

  16. ill just never understand why these guys put in work…practice hard…and drive themselves to be one of the special ones and hopefully the best on their team so they can start. Then once they get drafted suddenly all that goes away. i mean is it enough for them to finally just make it to the league or what? the get to the league and are no longer hungry maybe?

  17. I heard he came to meeting late, even after he was benched. He seems like a nice kid and I hope this is a wake up call being cut, but unfortunately I doubt it. You have to love the game at the NFL level and he doesn’t seem to love it. I hope he finds a career he loves because very few people get the opportunity he’s been given.

  18. Rivera was probably the first person Haskins encountered that didn’t enable him.

  19. Don’t know what Haskins got in guaranteed money but most people could probably retire on it. If he can’t stick in Pitt w/ Ben gone next yr & competition from Rudolph, he m’as well work at a strip club as a bouncer or at Waffle House.

  20. call me not shocked. Its the Ohio State arrogance syndrome. One of the most overrated, overhyped programs in college football. They are entitled wannabees. They beat up on scrubs in college and think they are way better than they are. The Ohio State players with good attitudes and good heads on their shoulders are few and far between. Chris Spielman is the most notable exception.

  21. nyctraffic says:
    March 13, 2021 at 12:16 am

    Maybe he just doesn’t love football. It happens much more than you think in the NFL.

    ————————————-

    I totally agree. Once the money appears and it becomes a business, some of these young guys just don’t have the desire to do what it takes to be competitive at the NFL level. Some of them lack the maturity and discipline and others just don’t have the passion.

  22. they literally said the same thing about every other osu qb… they got too use to being treated like the kings of columbus and didn’t realize you have to work in the real world…i’m sure ben will be a “great” teacher of ethics…

  23. manderson4150 says:
    March 13, 2021 at 6:23 am
    I can’t imagine he was dedicated at OSU. I wonder what they told Washington and others who inquired?

    ————————————-

    I disagree, respectfully. I believe in life that a lot of people work hard to obtain their “dream” but stop putting the work in when they reach it. I’m all for the kid getting a fresh start to prove that he’s matured. If he doesn’t grow up, he deserves to be released again so someone else can get the opportunity to fulfill their dream.

  24. Is it really Ben Roethlisberger s job to help the kid grow up? Rudolph has put in 3 yrs of work w/o ending up at strip clubs or parties w/o a mask. He’s treating the NFL like a job. Haskins has acted like it is a hobby.

  25. If Ron Rivera takes the WTFers to the Super Bowl, just take never mind win, that should cement his enshrinement to the Hall of Fame.
    Any coach that manages to accomplish that seemingly impossible task with the current ownership should be duly rewarded.

  26. bird33 says:
    March 12, 2021 at 10:02 pm
    Classless of Rivera to go here after he cut Haskins
    —————————————————————————————-
    The truth hurts.

  27. Well I’m sure we’ll hear from plenty of other people, including people on this site, who will say that’s just ridiculous and playing into stereotypes.

    What I really want to know and would like somebody to legitimately look into is what is the deal with Ohio State quarterbacks? Why can’t they go to the next level? Is it coaching or character?

  28. I mean, he forces everyone who works for him to call him “Mr. Snyder” and employees cannot look at him directly when in the building. What kind of person does that? I’d rather have Jerruh as the owner.
    I know for fact that when saban was head coach for the Dolphins a lady in the office an admin asst said good morning to him. Later that day there was a memo that circulated that said do not speak to coach saban unless he speaks to you first. Again, what kind of person does this?

  29. Getting him away from his controlling father and Maryland was a good start. Haskins hasn’t always had the best advice. I hope he learns and grows from this. Otherwise? It’ll be a wrap within the year.

  30. mgmac says:
    March 13, 2021 at 10:05 am
    I mean, he forces everyone who works for him to call him “Mr. Snyder”

    ———

    This isn’t even true. Chris cooley, used to be in that building, and he called *Mr snyder”, Dan. Bruce Allen, (cringe), also called him Dan.

    So I dislike the owner, but falsely throwing stuff at the wall, is exactly why these latest attempts to take him out have failed miserably

  31. Haskins, per Rivera, has all the physical talent he needs to succeed. Going to Pittsburgh while being the 2nd or 3rd option and having to earn his way will either make or break his NFL career. Hopefully he grows up.

  32. Remember, Dwayne Haskins beat out Joe Burrow for the starting job at Ohio State, so the physical attributes and arm talent are there. The thing that Dwayne lacks is the desire, will, and want to be great. It takes extreme dedication to be successful playing the QB position in the NFL. The very best leaders are the ones who set the example in the film room, weight room, locker room, and ultimately onto the field. I remember a time when the great Al Davis deemed JaMarcus Russell to be the next John Elway and drafted him with the 1st overall pick. We all know how that turned out. I think the problem with Dwayne, is he falls into the category of players who just don’t love football and the grind that comes with it. If the Steelers can’t fix him, I’m assuming he’ll probably be playing in the Fan Football League soon.

  33. Please don’t call 7-9 a division title (it’s a stupid rule that needs to go away when an 11-5 team can’t make the playoffs and less than mediocre gets rewarded). Also, don’t call it “winning” when a team finishes 7-9. Jeez

  34. I really respect Ron Rivera because he’s an honest man. I have no doubt what he said about Haskins is true.

  35. If Haskins’s work ethic was so bad why was Haskins the starter for games? What does that say about Rivera’s judgment? Yes, Haskins did some dumb stuff, but the OC and HC put Haskins in an offensive system that didn’t fit his skillset. The Football Team will fail because there is no imagination on offense. The defense will eventually break down because of a three-and-out offense that will be lead by 2 3rd string QBs. Good luck with that!

  36. Just watch the tape at Ohio State. He just didn’t show anything close to an NFL QB prospect. I don’t know about work ethic or anything else. I could see all I needed to see on his tape. Even if he was the hardest worker in the world, he wasn’t a good QB. The tape doesn’t lie. Ron Rivera was hired by Dan Snyder to turn the franchise around. Out of respect to Snyder, Rivera wanted to give this kid every chance, and then some. That’s what Ron did. But he also told Snyder that even though Haskins was the owner’s pick, he wasn’t going to keep putting him out there if he wasn’t capable of leading the team to where Rivera wants to take them. Now that page has been turned, and we go to chapter two. I think Snyder is on board with allowing Rivera to take the reigns. Hopefully he doesn’t change his mind.

  37. “Just watch the tape at Ohio State. He just didn’t show anything close to an NFL QB prospect. I don’t know about work ethic or anything else. I could see all I needed to see on his tape. ”
    ==============

    Wow, you must be a super duper evaluator of talent who can look at old games and see things that every scout, GM, and other draft experts couldn’t see and miraculously all had him as a first rounder!

  38. bringbackdayswithoutanarrest says:
    March 12, 2021 at 9:40 pm
    This is not hyperbole: when I saw his body language when his name called during the NFL draft I knew it was over before it ever began
    ——————-
    Agreed. All my Washington fans I was sitting with was thinking the same thing.

  39. Plus he had one of the great QB mentors in Alex Smith in the QB room with him. What a waste.

  40. You don’t just suddenly wake up with a work ethic. The talent is obvious when it comes to Haskins arm. I like articles written in Haskins because it doubles down on the fact that he has to put in the time or leave. If he doesn’t want to work, that’s ok the Steelers invested next to nothing.

  41. Some dudes can’t properly juggle the work, fame and money. He could still be great down the line, if he sees what truly matters and makes the commitment.

  42. Note to NFL: Do not draft Ohio State QBs!
    When Mike Tomczak is the best you have to offer, put a fork in’er!

  43. I’m not going to bash the man,we all have made mistakes,most got a do over and he is getting his do over and I’m pulling for the young man.

  44. When one of the best college coaches in history says a player is not mature enough to be an NFL QB. it’s smart to listen to him. Urban Meyer said in an interview that Haskins needed another year of college and wasn’t ready for the pressure of being an NFL QB, and clearly nobody from in the WFT front office listened. Meyer doesn’t say things like that to get a sound byte. If he says something like that, teams should really listen.

  45. melikefootball says:
    March 13, 2021 at 11:54 am
    Yea and Tomlin ran to this type player.

    14 4 Rate This

    The Steelers signed him about a month after he was cut.

  46. Based on the history of failure for Buckeye QBs in the NFL not surprised . Going to be interesting to see if Fields can change that narrative .

  47. Haskins is like a lot of top talent in college: he’s better than 99% of the people around him just by his physical attributes alone. Surround him with talent that matches his and you have an unrealistic case. A lot of these guys have never really had to work at the game to dominate against lesser competition. But when they get to the next level…everyone is that talented and you have to go above and beyond to stand out or even keep up. A lot of these kids either don’t know how to do that, don’t believe that they need to (because they never had to before), or simply don’t want to put in the time.

    I’m reminded of Peyton Manning’s quote about Eli, “When I got to Tennessee, I knew every QB at every SEC school going back 5 years. When Eli got to Ole Miss, we taught him what teams were in the SEC.”

  48. “This is not hyperbole: when I saw his body language when his name called during the NFL draft I knew it was over before it ever began. He was scared, fearful.”
    _____________

    Somebody scared would have worked hard to try to be as prepared as possible. His issue was the exact opposite: He thought he was better than anybody else so he never had to listen or put in any time.

  49. I remember when he was unavailable to enter the game after a surprise turnover because he was busy taking a ‘selfie’ with the crowd as a backdrop near the corner of the end zone. That’s when I knew he didn’t have what it takes…

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