Scott Turner can tell Haskins is putting in extra work

Chris Lingebach
May 29, 2020 - 1:40 pm

Redskins offensive coordinator Scott Turner says Dwayne Haskins is putting in the work that's necessary to make a leap in his second NFL season.

"Obviously we can't see him doing it on the field with just the virtual meetings," Turner told reporters Wednesday. "But we're putting a lot of work in, obviously abiding by the rules that the NFL has set forth – four days a week and two hours a day – we're just kind of throwing a lot at him."

"At the beginning of every meeting," he said, "we do some quizzes, tests, and just kind of just test the retention, and when we're talking to him, is he speaking the language? It's pretty easy to tell if they get it or not and Dwayne's doing a great job. You can tell he's putting work in away from the meeting time and he's working at it and doing as much as he can."

This should help to reverse a narrative that followed Haskins out of his rookie season, the knock on him being that he has all the talent in the world, but is he going to put in the time it takes to graduate to the next level? It's a point Turner himself stressed when he was hired in January.

"You've got to be the most committed guy in the building," Turner said at the time. "Your teammates have to see that, the coaches have to see that because that is how you develop trust and that is how you develop leadership."

A cruel twist of circumstances ramped up speculation about Haskins' future. Once the pandemic hit and it became clear the Redskins wouldn't be facing a normal offseason schedule, which naturally led to questions about whether Haskins will have the time to learn a new offense in time for the 2020 season.

When Ron Rivera traded for Kyle Allen – a quarterback who started 10 games for him just last season in Carolina, and then another two once he was gone – it wasn't clear whether the head coach's intentions were geared more towards securing a competent backup he could trust, or bringing in someone to compete with Haskins for the starting job.

The move provoked DeAngelo Hall to openly opine on the radio that he could see "the writing on the wall" for Haskins. Debates were fierce. The future was in doubt. And all the while, we've learned, Haskins was quietly working on his craft.

"And then the physical side of it, I know he's doing a lot on his own," Turner continued. "You guys I'm sure have all seen the pictures – he looks like he's in great shape. And then the time he's putting in with the receivers, you know Terry and Kelvin, you know they all have been throwing together for some time now. So that's all positive."

"Obviously as a coach and with me coming here and putting in this new offense, I'd love to have more time with him," he did allow. "But it is what it is and I think that we're doing a great job of making the most of the situation."

The Sports Junkies weighed in with their reactions Friday morning.

"I think Redskins fans should be somewhat encouraged from what you're hearing from Scott Turner, from Dwayne Haskins," said John-Paul Flaim. "Look, it's all really gonna be about Dwayne this season. Don't you think? Isn't the whole season gonna be about Dwayne Haskins?"

"Of course," Jason Bishop replied. "And what else do you expect Scott to say in an interview like that? Yeah, we're really unhappy with Dwayne. He's not working hard. He's not paying attention in the Zoom meetings. Of course he's gonna talk him up. I'm not saying he's lying, I'm just saying he's gonna be positive."

:But he doesn't necessarily have to offer that," said Flaim.

"Early on, you didn't hear such glowing reviews," Eric Bickel offered.

"Wasn't that one of the biggest criticisms, is that Dwayne's not understanding all the concepts of the playbook?" their producer chimed in. "And wasn't familiar with terminology and stuff like that."

"Yeah. He wasn't putting in the work off the field," Bishop said.

"Not necessarily putting in the work, but just was confused by it," said the producer. 

"Well, it was because he wasn't putting in the work. That's why he was confused," Bishop corrected. "I'm just telling you, that's what I was hearing. But that's probably changed. You've got nothing else to do in a pandemic!"

"Yeah, I think it has. I'm expecting to see modest improvements," Bickel said. "Maybe you start out a little slow at first. I think a lot of people will, because of the lack of all the minicamps and all that stuff. It could be sloppy. But I think once they hit about Week 3 or 4, I think he should hit his stride."

With Haskins quietly proving his doubters wrong this offseason, one can only imagine the optimism that awaits this fall.

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