Former Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs understands the importance of a superior quarterback for ultimate success in the NFL. Gibbs’ bust proudly sits in Canton, Ohio for not only winning three Super Bowls but achieving the glory with three different starting quarterbacks.
The Redskins hope they’ve found a franchise quarterback in 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins, but the jury is still out. On Tuesday’s Kevin Sheehan Show on The Team 980/95.9 FM, Gibbs broke down the importance of this offseason for Haskins and new Redskins head coach Ron Rivera.
“I think that’s going to be probably the biggest decision,” Gibbs said. “I would say the thing that confronts all of us is the quarterback thing. It’s been awhile since we’ve had ‘the’ quarterback with the Redskins and I think that’s the thing they’ve got to solve. With Haskins I think it was great he a chance to play the last part of that season, I think that was great.”
After receiving his first start of the season in Week 9 in Buffalo, Haskins threw for 1,365 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 16. Despite showing flashes, Haskins completed just 58.6 percent of his passes over eight starts and two relief appearances.
“The best way to evaluate a quarterback is on the field,” Gibbs told Sheehan. “Is he getting it done? So I think that’s part of the picture, I think that coaching staff and everybody is going to be looking at everything that took place the last part of the season when Haskins was playing.”
Rivera will also be expecting Haskins to set the tone off the field as well.
“I want to see him start taking the leadership mantle,” Rivera said last week on The Team 980’s Doc and Galdi. “The starting quarterback has to be apart of that leadership core.”
Beyond Haskins, Rivera’s options are thin at quarterback with veterans Case Keenum and Colt McCoy unlikely to return. Rivera hasn’t ruled out Alex Smith, who hasn’t taken a game snap since suffering a career-threatening leg injury in Week 8 of the 2018 season.
“I also don’t want to forget Alex Smith,” Rivera told Doc and Galdi last week. “Here’s a guy that’s doing everything he can to come back, and if Alex can come back and be the player that he was we have a good situation, we have competition at that position.”
If Rivera isn’t satisfied, the Redskins could test the free agency waters for a veteran quarterback, though it seems highly unlikely they would land any of the bigger fish like Tom Brady or Philip Rivers. And of course the Redskins hold plenty of cards with the number two pick in April’s NFL Draft. While it would be shocking for the Redskins to draft a quarterback in the first round two years in a row, it’s not out of the question, especially with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa almost certain to be available.
So it almost seems as though Haskins will be auditioning with Rivera this offseason without any guarantees.
“I think that’s going to be the key,” Gibbs said in closing to Sheehan. “Do they believe he’s the guy? If he’s the guy, then we’re off and running. OK, if not, we all know you’re not going to the playoffs, you’re not going to go to a Super Bowl unless you have a quarterback that’s playing at a high level.”
Joe Gibbs: Redskins Must Be Right About Dwayne Haskins was originally published on theteam980.com