“I think I made tremendous strides since I’ve been here,” Haskins said when asked how he is handling the challenge of addressing players who are older and far more experienced.
“It’s a never-ending process for me, and with learning my voice and learning the role I have on this team, it’s going to come sometimes where you’re going to have to take some humble pie and speak up, and that’s something that I’m learning from in certain situations, when to and when not to,” he added.
Now that Haskins has been named Washington’s starting quarterback for the rest of the season, every game is a chance for him to grow. With the Redskins 1-9 and the season going nowhere, much of the remaining six games becomes about seeing what Haskins can do, allowing the team’s executives — and future head coach — a chance to decide how long it will take for Haskins to be the player around which the organization is building.
Interim coach Bill Callahan was asked Wednesday when he thinks the time will come when the Redskins will know for certain that Haskins is their quarterback of the future. Like everyone else around the team, he didn’t know.
“I don’t have the real exact answer,” Callahan said. “I can’t pinpoint it for you. I believe that it’s one that takes time and maturation and experience and being more involved in more situations so they see the game, and when they do see it, it slows down for them so they can execute in a better manner.”
Haskins’s two NFL starts have been a mix of good and bad. He has completed 34 of 57 passes for 358 yards and two touchdowns (both of which came late in the Jets game) with only one interception. Numerically, this is a definite improvement over his two previous appearances, replacing Case Keenum in New York and Minnesota. He only completed 12 passes and had four interceptions in those games.
But there are so many more nuances he has to grasp — such as recognizing defenses and calling out pass protections and finding ways to get the players to believe he can lead them. It’s a lot for a 22-year-old who started just 14 games in college to absorb, something Haskins admits.
Still, he likes to say he is a positive person, and as he talked Wednesday he said that after watching tape of the Jets game, he sees the mistakes that he has made and didn’t appear bothered about them.
“The biggest thing with watching film is that I see things that I know I can correct,” Haskins said. “There isn’t anything on film that I think isn’t correctable, and from this point I’m trying to figure out what needs to be corrected and executing at a high level every time I get that opportunity and not make the same mistake twice.”
Asked what he learned from this past weekend, Haskins said, “I found myself trying to press to make plays because of situations that we were in, and as a young quarterback you have to let the game come to you.
“You can’t try to be explosive and make the plays that you see on Sunday every day that you get the opportunity to be out there. Those plays will come as the game continues to flow and as I continue to play in those situations and know the scenarios in the game and … know when to take shots and when to extend plays and when not to and when to take a sack and throw the ball away and just learn from it.”
Notes: Running back Chris Thompson returned to practice Wednesday after missing all of the past month’s workouts with a toe injury. Thompson, who last played in the Oct. 13 win at Miami, did not take part in all of Wednesday’s practice.
Defensive tackles Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen and running back Adrian Peterson were the three players who did not practice Wednesday, but only Payne, with an ankle injury, was out with anything significant. Peterson (toe) and Allen (ankle and knee) were more taking rest days.
Tight end Vernon Davis remains in the concussion protocol and was limited in practice. Also limited were safety Montae Nicholson (ankle), wide receiver Paul Richardson Jr. (hamstring) and defensive lineman Tim Settle (hamstring).
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