Theismann: It is 'unthinkable' Haskins missed final play

Ben Krimmel
November 25, 2019 - 1:10 pm

Joe Theismann criticized Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins for taking a selfie with a fan before the game was over, calling it a sign of immaturity, but added it may be a "blessing in disguise" for the young QB in an interview with 106.7 The Fan on Monday.

Theismann said the selfie, which came after the Redskins intercepted Lions QB Jeff Driskel for the third time to seal a 19-16 win but before the Redskins final offensive snap, was shocking and something he's never seen before.

"So I was absolutely shocked. In all my years of being around football, which encompasses 50, 60 years, I've never seen a situation like that," he told Grant & Danny Monday.

"I know it will never happen again," Theismann said on 106.7 The Fan. "It's unthinkable. I mean it really is, it's unthinkable that you are in a situation where you have a chance to have quarterbacked your first victory in professional football and you don't get a chance to share that moment with your teammates. And that's the thing that got me. And he's a young man who's still growing up. And still learning how to grow in our business." 

For Theismann, who played 12 years in the NFL with the Redskins and won 77 games, taking a knee to close a game is a special moment. 

"It was something that was immature," Theismann told The Fan. "I think it's a matter that is over and done with, but that moment, let me tell you, from a football standpoint, you play 60 minutes of football, and that was a hard-hitting football game and you're getting the crap beat out of you as a quarterback, the offensive lineman are fighting their guts out, the running backs are running hard, the receivers are getting pummeled making unbelievable catches.

"When you get a chance to get into that victory formation and you step in the huddle and you go, 'Victory formation on one.' And you take that last snap, that's a very sacred moment to me, it always has been in football. I remember the one in the Super Bowl vividly. And that's a moment you share with your teammates. People don't understand that. That's part of the camaraderie of this game. That's part of the fellowship that you share as brothers in-kind in this business. Everybody fighting their guts out and all of the sudden, you get to that moment where you celebrate. And by the way, there haven't been many of 'em for us lately," he told Grant & Danny.

Theismann added for Haskins "to miss that moment, I felt bad for Dwayne, but he brought it upon himself."

"You don't leave the bench area with your teammates until everything is over," Theismann continued. "You see that maybe in college, I don't know. You just don't leave that bench area, you don't leave your team. I would be standing there on the sidelines watching my defense play their hearts out and come up with the interception and celebrate with them."

"But, what are you doing back there? I guess that's the thing that I scratch my head about. What about all of your brothers in-kind out there that have busted their rear ends for 60 minutes?" Theismann told The Fan. "And you're back there? Hey, spend as much time as you want with the fans. Go into the locker room, let the coach say what he wants to say, get dressed, come out, stay there all night. That's fine. But not when there's time left on the clock."

The concern for some NFL observers is whether this slip-up is a sign of larger issues for the rookie quarterback.

While acknowledging "Selfie-gate" is not something to bash Haskins about, 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen added he has "heard from a lot of people (around Redskins Park), they have a lot of questions about his maturity, they have a lot of questions about some of the work behind the scenes, and the decisions just as a quarterback running the outfit, as a CEO, I think this is part of that... but I think it all kind of adds up."

Theismann concurred: "I think it's a sign of his immaturity. He's a very young man, he's young in this business, he was young in the college business. He's played 15 football games. This is a profession, this is a job and you have to take this job seriously whether you are the starter, whether you're the first-string quarterback, the second-string quarterback, the third-string quarterback, the fifth-string wide receiver, it doesn't matter."

The former Redskins quarterback says the current Redskins quarterback is continuing to get better, grow and mature, but Theismann is still miffed: "How can you be taking pictures with fans when the game isn't over?"

And this incident could hurt Haskins as a leader of the offense.

"You wanna stand up in front of a group of men and lead them," Theismann told Grant & Danny. "It's more your actions than your words: How you conduct yourself, the little things you do, the study habits you have, the way you communicate with your teammates, the way you walk off the field. I remember Eli Manning when he threw an interception early in his career his shoulders would slouch over and his body language would speak volumes. All those things are looked at and observed by the guys on the team."

In this instance, Theismann adds, this is going to be a great learning tool for the No. 15 overall pick from the 2019 draft.

"And Dwayne is really sort of the guy that I think everybody's looking at to say, 'OK, you need to be the guy. We're gonna follow you, we're gonna follow you,'" Theismann said. "When do we start to see the signs of the growth the other way? And I think you'll see that going forward. I really do. This may be a blessing in disguise and a lesson that will be well learned and we'll move on from it."

Follow @BenKrimmel and @1067theFan on Twitter.

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