“In all fairness, if we say hey, we are going to put Dwayne in there and see how he does, in some respects, he needs a little bit more work,” Callahan said Friday. “Time is invaluable where he can sit back and learn from quarterbacks like Case and Colt [McCoy] as well as players like Alex [Smith]. It is a fine line. We are trying to win games still. Our dynamic is tough, and it is challenging.”
Callahan said Keenum is going through the concussion protocol and his status remains uncertain. The Redskins are afforded extra time to get ready for the Buffalo Bills next week by virtue of playing Thursday night, so Callahan hadn’t put together a practice plan for Haskins, with Keenum’s availability remaining a question.
Regardless, the coach pointed to several areas in which Haskins needs to improve that were revealed in the loss: situational awareness, fundamentals, play clock management and speed getting in and out of the huddle. Callahan pointed to Hall of Famer Steve Young and Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers as examples of quarterbacks who sat multiple years before being named the starter. He also noted that Troy Aikman and Peyton Manning, two more Hall of Famers, endured struggles early in their careers.
“You’re going to have some growing pains with young quarterbacks, and we get that,” Callahan said. “We’re doing everything in our power to generate a positive result for Dwayne, whether it’s in the classroom or on the field. We’ve done extra work with him, and he’s done extra work. We’re doing everything possible to generate some better execution out of his game that will translate into a win.”
Haskins was visibly sullen following Thursday’s game and spoke softly during his news conference. Callahan, however, isn’t worried about his body language and said that is something that will improve as he matures.
“A lot of people wear their emotions on their sleeves,” Callahan said, “and Dwayne is one of those guys because he takes it to heart. He cares. . . . He doesn’t want to let anybody down.”
Fans have clamored to see more of Haskins as the season continues to spiral. Keenum hasn’t played particularly well in his past four games, and there’s a belief that Haskins needs to develop against other teams rather than watching.
Callahan said Haskins’s development, however, is not the only concern.
“The priority is developing our entire team,” Callahan said. “Not just one player but our entire team. A focal point is to improve the team and make the team better. If Dwayne’s a part of that formula, great. And if he’s not, we have a plan. We definitely want everybody on this team to improve — just not one position but everybody. Everybody’s got to get better. Everybody’s rate of improvement has got to show a different metric than what it’s been and get more production out of a lot of different areas.”
A Williams return?
An NFL Network report surfaced Thursday that tackle Trent Williams is considering ending his holdout for Week 10, but Callahan said he hasn’t been involved with the stalemate between the team and Williams. …
Callahan said he is hopeful that running back Chris Thompson (toe) will return this week and said fellow rusher Derrius Guice (knee) may start practicing. Vernon Davis remains in the concussion protocol, and Callahan didn’t have new information on Quinton Dunbar (hamstring), who was hurt against the Vikings.
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