With more fans of the Washington Football Team calling for Dwayne Haskins' benching after a string of bad performances, Mike Jones of USA TODAY says it's only fair to give the kid more time to develop.
During a Tuesday appearance with The Sports Junkies, Jones noted Ron Rivera’s dramatic tonal change, from his post-game comments on Sunday to Monday morning, when the head coach went from viewing Haskins as being in an extended rookie season, to remarking the next morning there are limits to his goodwill, implying Haskins must step up and play better to keep the starting job.
“So he looked at film and saw some of the same mistakes he’s been seeing, some of the same things he’s been harping on, and I think maybe he was hoping to light a fire under Haskins,” Jones said on 106.7 The Fan. “And I know Haskins has been working, but I guess they feel like they need more out of him.”
“But my question is this: What did you put around this kid to make him better?” he said. “That offensive line is trash. The wide receiver corps are pretty much – outside of (Terry) McLaurin – trash. Your defense, you’ve got a great front there. But I mean your tight end, you’ve got a former quarterback playing tight end. You don’t have a go-to weapon.”
“There’s nobody that can take the pressure off of Haskins,” he continued. “So if you switch to Kyle Allen, you’re gonna have some of the same stuff. Maybe he won’t throw three interceptions in one game, but Kyle Allen I think was like 2-14 or something like that with the Panthers and he had Christian McCaffrey as his go-to guy.”
Allen went 5-7 as a starter in Carolina in 2019 and is 6-9 overall — since 2018 — in games in which he’s thrown a pass.
“So I just don’t think that this team is really… he said that the roster, the locker room is in win-now mode, but this team isn’t in win-now mode,” Jones said of Rivera. “You guys didn’t build the team the way you needed to to be in win-now mode. You didn’t do anything in free agency.”
“So you can’t expect that Haskins is going to go out there and elevate this team right now,” he said. “He’s still trying to figure out what day of the week it is and what all the coverages and everything are, and I think that Scott Turner also is trying to learn, because until Sunday, he didn’t do a good job of putting them into an early rhythm either.
“It’s like he just kind of throws stuff out there, and he’s a first-year playcaller as well. So this is all a learning experience here, so you’ve got to give this kid time, because you haven’t done everything you can to fortify this team because it’s a process. We know this team isn’t ready to win now. It’s a multi-year process.”
Junkies host Eric Bickel jumped in to predict Washington will lose its next two games, against the Ravens and Rams, respectively, at which point Haskins will be fighting for his job against the Giants in Week 6.
“And then if he can’t find a way to lead them to a victory over the Giants, it’s over. He’s gonna take a rest,” Bickel said. “You watch. It’ll be that quick.”
“It’s gonna be interesting to see,” Jones said. “I still think you gotta go a little further than that because of what he’s working with. But again, I can’t say that you’re wrong because I can totally see it, because I just know how stuff works here and how it’s been for years. Is it fair to Haskins? Um, maybe, maybe not.”