Washington’s football team (probably) locked up the second pick overall by losing in overtime to the New York Giants yesterday, but as is usual in DC, they can’t even lose without it being a huge story.
One of the quietly encouraging parts of Washington’s very, very bad season has been the continued growth of first round quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Haskins was very bad (as is the style with most rookies) in his first few starts, but in the month of December, Haskins has complete 63.1% of his passes with 5 touchdowns and 1 interception for a passer rating of 99.1. Those numbers aren’t too shabby, and mostly came about when someone took playcalling duties away from Bill “I Didn’t Change My Calls In The Super Bowl Against The Guy Who Built My Offense” Callahan and gave them to first year coordinator Kevin O’Connell.
Haskins has also been playing through a nagging ankle injury, which makes it all the more impressive that he’s managed to play so well. That same ankle took Haskins out of the game on what was shaping up to be his finest day as a pro. Haskins was carted off, but was later seen on the sidelines standing and cheering his teammates on. Haskins dodged a bullet on the field, but off the field…not so much.
You can look at this in one of two ways; either Dan Snyder has been thoroughly spooked by the Ghost of Griffin’s Past and (rightly) wanted to protect his young quarterback from himself, because players always want to play…or you can see this as another indication of Snyder overreaching his boundaries, as it’s somewhat unusual for an owner to leave the box to tend to a player.
There have been clarifications made by all parties since Haskins’ gaffe, but the pearls have been clutched, and on the surface it only adds more fuel to the “Snyder is too involved in the football operations fire”. But on the other, and I can’t believe I’m giving Snyder any amount of credit here…but at the very least, at least this time when he overreached, he did so to protect a player rather than letting him play on half a leg in a playoff game. It’s still a bad look, but it’s a better look.
At any rate, we can now stop talking about the fact that Haskins has been playing pretty good football and start talking about how he’s doomed because Snyder prevented him from dying like his last first round quarterback. Maybe Dan just shouldn’t go to the stadium for games. No one would miss him.