Washington's second-year quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, took the stage on Tuesday morning to field questions from local reporters. As usual, Dwayne’s comments were fairly concise, without many wasted words, which gave him the opportunity to cover a lot of ground. He opened up talking generally about the training camp experience, and discussed the need to learn the details of the offense and understand the playcaller’s goals right now.
Dwayne was asked early in the session about Alex Smith, and the young QB offered praise for Alex’s work ethic and support. Dwayne said that he sees Smith as a “mentor in the room”. He also talked very positively about a number of other teammates, including a number of defensive players, stressing the value of strong competition, but adding that the team has “a lot to prove”.
It was interesting to hear Haskins talk about his goals for the coming season, which he framed primarily in terms of proving himself as a leader, at one point saying that he hopes to earn the right to be an offensive captain. He talked about implementing the good advice he gets from Ron Rivera and other coaches, and even spent some time discussing the value of having spent much of the off-season working out with talented veteran players from across the league. He added that he’ll probably try to do the same thing next year.
He was asked specifically about the opportunity he had to speak with Cam Newton this off-season, and Dwayne said that it was a valuable opportunity that he will remember for the rest of his life.
He talked about the sacrifices that were part of his life this off-season as he tried to prepare himself physically and mentally to rise to a new level. In answer to a specific question about his running ability, Haskins described himself as a “pass first quarterback”, but added that he felt like he could add to his game, using his legs to extend plays or convert 3rd downs.
One of the best phrases he used was saying that he hoped to be “a bright spot in DC”; it seemed to encapsulate everything he talked about during this Q&A session.
When he talked about the new coaches and offensive system, he discussed the challenges, but said that he felt very comfortable, and that he is further along now than he was at the same time last year, stressing the similarities from one year to the next. He talked about the system for playcalling in college and what he experienced as a rookie, saying that Scott Turner’s system is one he is learning and that he looks forward to playing in. He added that having a year of experience with many of the offensive players will help him this season since they will be able to build on what they did together a year ago.
He was asked if he had reached out to Derrius Guice to provide support, and replied that he is giving Guice some personal space but plans to make contact in a few days.
Haskins closed the media session talking about the potential loss of the college football season and how that would affect his friends and former teammates at Ohio State. Dwayne talked about how hard college athletes work to prepare for the season, and that he feels for them in the current uncertain situation.
All in all, Dwayne Haskins presented himself as being confident and prepared for the challenges of training camp and a season played under the unusual conditions that the pandemic has brought. He seems to be in tune with his coaches and teammates and hoping to earn a larger leadership role day by day.
Training Camp Press Conference - Dwayne Haskins Jr. https://t.co/0sTU39ZaM1— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) August 11, 2020
Dwayne Haskins says the thing he's focusing are the details, knowing where the guard might pull on a given play, knowing what the offensive coordinator wants him to do, the little things.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) August 11, 2020
Haskins says he's carrying himself like the starting quarterback, even if he's not named yet. He's trying to replicate that "same edge" that someone like a Tom Brady and Drew Brees.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 11, 2020
QB Competition with Alex Smith
Haskins says he's rooting for Alex Smith to get 100% healthy. He says he welcomes that competition if it happens.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 11, 2020
Dwayne Haskins says if Alex Smith does get cleared, he wants to make sure he's making him better and Smith is pushing him to be better.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) August 11, 2020
Haskins on Alex Smith. Said he's excited for him with the recovery. Didn't really engage about a possible competition. Do not, do not read into this. He just didn't say much. All I'm noting. Carry on.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) August 11, 2020
Haskins on the QB room. Sounds like it remains virtual. He really likes the people mix. Zampese keeps it fresh, and Dwayne can tap into the other QBs including Kyle Allen for playbook insight.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) August 11, 2020
Strength of defense
When asked if he feels like if he can succeed against this defensive front will it make it easier against other fronts, he said yes. They play at such a fast speed that it's helping him playing faster, too.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) August 11, 2020
Dwayne Haskins said one of the things he's excited about is the competition and he specifically mentioned members of the defensive line like Montez Sweat and Chase Young.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) August 11, 2020
Leading the offense and personal development
Dwayne Haskins is addressing the media right now. Haskins said he wants to be a pass first quarterback, but him being in better shape allows him to extend plays with his legs.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) August 11, 2020
Haskins said that the offense needs someone to take ownership and lead and he asks why it can't be him. Said carrying himself as the starting QB comes down to his mentality, presence, confidence and "handling your business on and off the field."— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) August 11, 2020
Haskins worked with several A-list players this offseason. He hopes he can do again next offseason because it makes him and the players around him better.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) August 11, 2020
Goals for 2020
Haskins says he wants to be a captain this year.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 11, 2020
Dwayne Haskins says he wants to be a great leader and he'd like to earn a captain tag. He doesn't want to hurt the offense and wants to make the right plays.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) August 11, 2020
Haskins says his focus isn't on stats this fall, it's on being a leader for the team that Ron Rivera wants him to be— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) August 11, 2020
Haskins' expectations for 2020:— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) August 11, 2020
-- Great leader (wants to be a captain if possible)
-- Make the best decisions possible on the field
-- Lead the locker room
-- Be a bright spot in DC
Dwayne Haskins says that he wants to see the work he put in this offseason reflected in his play. Doesn't have specific awards in mind, but being a good leader for his teammates and coach Ron Rivera.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) August 11, 2020
Meeting Cam Newton
Haskins on meeting with Cam Newton: "That was a great conversation that I'll probably hold for the rest of my life."— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 11, 2020
Dwayne Haskins said one of the pieces of advice Cam Newton gave him was, "Be yourself." Said that helped him in Carolina and his career.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) August 11, 2020
Dwayne Haskins said having a lot of the same players back, WR, OL and AP have helped his confidence even though he is learning a new playbook.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) August 11, 2020
New coaches and system
Dwayne Haskins says he loves the attention to detail with this coaching staff as it relates to what they want him to do. He loves the opening communication and dialogue.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) August 11, 2020
The Derrius Guice situation
Haskins says he has not reached out to Guice. Giving him a couple days to clear his head. Says he’s been focused more on football, but hoping for the best for everybody involved. @NBC12— Marc Davis (@marcdavissports) August 11, 2020
The college football season
Dwayne Haskins feels for college football players that might not get to play this fall. "I feel for them because I know they worked really hard and I hope the season happens for them."— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) August 11, 2020