Finlay: 'Twilight zone' offseason hindering Haskins

The Sports Junkies
March 30, 2020 - 1:25 pm

The sports world has come to a standstill due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has changed the country as we know it for the time being.

While the NFL's new league year began on schedule, restrictions enforced by the league and state governments have shifted the offseason plan for every team. OTAs aren't happening, players can't be at team facilities, pre-draft workouts must be done digitally, and changes in daily life have made this offseason one of the oddest on record.

The Redskins are one of the many teams working to circumvent the ongoing crisis while planning for the upcoming season. Dwayne Haskins has a lot on his plate in year two, and he will face a different learning curve than anyone had previously thought due to all of the changes in Ashburn, combined with the mandated social distancing until the pandemic subsides.

Just how greatly have these new measurements limited Haskins?

"Combine the development with the new coaching staff, just the face time and kind of the relationship building," JP Finlay told The Sports Junkies Monday. "You know what I mean? I mean that stuff is important, between a coach and and offensive coordinator, and a new quarterbacks coach, and new receivers – all of those things.

"Ron had said I think in Indy at the combine that Dwayne was gonna get the receivers together down in Florida. They were gonna do basically those workouts that get people so excited on social media, and you can argue how much they actually matter, but like you can't do any of that stuff now."

"The entire NFL is in the same circumstances where they're limited in what they can do, beyond just working out on their own, and so that's going to impact the whole league," he said. "But Dwayne, a second-year quarterback that looks like the presumptive starter, that has to learn a new offense and learn new coaching, it's a huge hindrance and there's nothing you can do about it."

"This isn't like he had to have offseason elbow surgery and it's his fault or it's even his bad luck," he added. "This is just the twilight zone."

The Redskins' offense has added a few contributors since free agency began. The team added Cody Latimer to the receiving corps and depth at running back position, signing Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic. They pursued big-name options early on but eventually struck out.

"We know they wanted to add weapons," Finlay said. "I had a Skins decision-maker in Indy say 'we have to get more playmakers' and they understand that. They took a big swing on Amari Cooper. They didn't land him; he wanted to stay in Dallas. He took less money to stay in Dallas."

The Redskins keyed in on Austin Hooper, the top tight end available at the start of free agency, and while they were in the running to land him, he opted to sign with the Cleveland Browns.

"Austin Hooper said the Redskins were probably the other team besides Cleveland to make a run at him," Finlay said. "I've kind of heard that they might not have offered nearly the same money Cleveland did, but it doesn't matter now because he's in Cleveland regardless."

Finlay commended the Redskins front office for being smart with their cap space and not spending money unnecessarily, but even with a smart approach, they still have holes to fill.

"I think, on one hand, it's good they were measured and disciplined in their approach to not just pay 'the next guy' because they didn't get the top guy they wanted," he said. "But at the same time, you're really about to roll out the same offense that came in, the bottom of the league in yards and points. Maybe it'll look better with a new scheme and a little bit more health.

"If you can get Derrius Guice on the field for… 10 games, he's shown that he makes big impacts when he's out there."

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