“I don’t want to talk about it,” Haskins continued. “It’s done with.”
A lot has happened since that forgettable afternoon in New Jersey. Haskins has been sent back to the bench, thrown back on the field, finally been handed the starting job and has completed enough passes and led enough comebacks for the New York game to be a distant memory. Now, with the Giants coming to FedEx Field on Sunday, Haskins can look back and not want to look back.
“It isn’t that I don’t like the tape. It’s just I’m a whole different player than I was back then,” he said. “I feel watching that tape is not me and it wasn’t me out there. You want to look at it and be like, ‘That’s what I messed up on,’ and move on from it. I don’t mind watching it. I just prefer to watch something else.”
Back in September, the stories were about Haskins and Daniel Jones, the Giants rookie quarterback chosen nine spots before him in April’s NFL Draft. Jay Gruden, the Redskins’ coach at the time, had preferred Jones — a three-year starter at Duke — to Haskins, who had just 14 starts at Ohio State, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Ever since, the two have been connected, the way first-round quarterbacks from the same draft often are, with each game standing as a metaphorical measuring stick on each other’s progress.
Sunday appears poised to be another moment of judgment, with Jones looking more and more likely to play after missing the previous two games with an ankle injury. On the surface, Jones’s statistics look better. He has completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 2,374 yards, with 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, compared with Haskins, who has completed 56.9 percent of his throws in three fewer games for 1,232 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions.
But Haskins’s season has been on a steady rise, with his passer rating jumping significantly in his past three games from 69.9 in a victory at Carolina to 121.3 in Sunday’s late loss to Philadelphia. Jones’s games have been more uneven. He twice threw four touchdown passes in the past month and yet looked dreadful with three interceptions in his most recent game, a 31-13 loss at Green Bay.
In the end, there’s probably little to say about the matchup between the two except to agree with Haskins’s assessment that he is far better now than he was in that first Giants game.
“I think the way to learn how to play this game is by playing,” New York Coach Pat Shurmur said on a conference call with Washington reporters Wednesday.
Later, he added: “For Daniel and Dwayne, they’ve had a chance to play and play a lot. I think that’ll help them in their development.”
Haskins, whose comments in news conferences can be short, has never welcomed the comparisons to Jones. When asked Wednesday what meaning he takes from playing against Jones again, Haskins was curt.
“Absolutely none,” he said.
The film that seemed to interest him (and probably the Redskins) more was Sunday’s game against the Eagles. Playing without two starting tight ends — as he has for most of the season — and without starting wide receivers Paul Richardson Jr. and Trey Quinn, Haskins had his best game, completing 19 of 28 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Washington interim coach Bill Callahan said Monday that the coaches had simplified the offense to basic West Coast principles, which gave Haskins a chance to fire off several quick throws to neutralize Philadelphia’s pass rush.
It was a good adjustment for a quarterback who is quickly making more and more of them in his brief time as a starter, and it was probably the game that makes many around the team hopeful his growth will continue to move upward.
“Probably [my] best game statistically,” Haskins said. “But [also] probably the best game as far as putting everything on tape, I would say. I mean, we were doing that all week in practice and just trying to translate it to the game, and I felt like that game was the game that we capitalized [upon] the most.”
And something that would keep him from having to watch the film of his first game — the one that makes him sick.
Callahan said guard Brandon Scherff, who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, will have labrum surgery on Friday. … Safety Landon Collins (Achilles) and cornerback Fabian Moreau (hamstring) missed Wednesday’s practice. Defensive tackle Jonathan Allen (toe), cornerback Quinton Dunbar (hamstring), safety Montae Nicholson (ankle) and tackle Donald Penn (knee) were limited.
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