Redskins must decide: Keenum or Haskins?

Ben Krimmel
May 09, 2019 - 12:44 pm

Much may change between now and then, but there really is only one question that matters: Should Dwayne Haskins start Week 1?

The Washington Redskins have a quarterback dilemma on their hands. Again. 

While Haskins is clearly the future for the Redskins, will Jay Gruden and the Skins brain trust turn to Haskins immediately? Or will 31-year-old journeyman quarterback Case Keenum get the nod? 

What are the odds Haskins trots out for the Redskins first series in Philadelphia?

"I think that's very realistic," Eric Edholm told 106.7 The Fan in April. "Is it nice to have Case Keenum on board? Sure, but unless there's some sort of setback or you feel like, OK, there just isn't enough common ground between what he learned at Ohio State and what he's learning here ... I think it's Week 1, I really do."

Of course, the jump to the NFL is difficult. Everything becomes much more complicated at the pro level, from protections to scheme to the speed of the players on defense. But some of the best ways to learn is through doing.

"If I was running the show, I would start him because I want to just give him as much experience as possible," J.P. Flaim of The Sports Junkies said Thursday. "I get Jay Gruden's point of view, that Jay Gruden wants to win as many games early, but I just don't see the season going anywhere whether it is Case Keenum or Dwayne Haskins."

"So get Dwayne Haskins more starts because all of that overwhelming thing, will simplify as he plays," Flaim said.

Eric Bickel disagrees with Flaim.

"He's just gotta have a solid understanding of everything. If he does, then go ahead," Bickel said. "But do not put him out there too soon because I think you can really slow down the development."

"Hopefully, he's gonna be your guy for the next seven to 10 years in a perfect world, right? Maybe even longer. Don't rush him. Give him every tool to succeed so that once he's out there he can hit the ground running and try to minimize all the mistakes he's going to make," Bickel said.

John Auville pointed out in the NFL now the idea of "grooming" a quarterback of the future with a season riding the pine is largely a thing of the past.

A season ago, No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield was foolishly forced to sit a few games before Hue Jackson finally relented at started him. No. 3 pick Sam Darnold started immediately for the Jets. The Bills, for reasons passing understanding, had No. 7 pick Josh Allen watch Nathan Peterman flame out in Week 1 before throwing the run-first QB under center. Josh Rosen became the starter in Week 4 after being drafted No. 10 by the Arizona Cardinals. And the Ravens had No. 32 overall pick Lamar Jackson supplant Joe Flacco after half a season.

Keenum, on the other hand, has no great claim to the job based on his disappointing 2018 when he threw 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions for a 6-10 Denver Broncos club. 

Of course, Flaim realizes all of this is conditional on what happens during the next few months.

"I would not start Dwayne Haskins if he's really far behind," he said. "But if it's semi-close... I'm starting Dwayne Haskins."

"Learn on the field," Flaim said. 

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