Redskins: Four position battles to watch in preseason opener vs. Browns
The quarterback position is the one you will want to watch every preseason and regular-season game this year. The quarterback is the most important position on the field, yet no one has a clue who the Redskins starting quarterback will be. And that includes the players and coaching staff. What we do know is that the starter will be one of these three: Colt McCoy, Case Keenum, and Dwayne Haskins.
Over the weekend Gruden was forced to release his first depth chart of the season and to him, all he thought on that was “Words on a piece of paper, names on a piece of paper and an order that means nothing at this point.” It’s safe to say Gruden isn’t a fan of Week 1 preseason depth charts, but looking at it you can get an idea of where things are for the Redskins at quarterback.
McCoy was listed as the starter mainly because he understands the offense the best. McCoy has been playing in Gruden’s offense since 2014 so he knows where guys should be and knows the playbook the best. Unfortunately, that hasn’t led to much success for McCoy as he’s been pretty much a lifetime backup with a career record of 7-20 as a starter.
More from Riggo's Rag
- What will Emmanuel Forbes bring to the Washington Commanders?
- Highlighting the best Commanders 2023 NFL Draft betting props
- 3 late Commanders rumors drawing buzz ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft
- 4 bold predictions for the Commanders 2023 NFL Draft
- Commanders News: Chase Young trade, draft day, CB riser and Sam Howell
McCoy is a decent backup but is coming off a season-ending leg fracture. So, staying healthy needs to be the main concern for McCoy in his first game action since the injury. (UPDATE: Turns out that McCoy is actually sitting out the preseason opener to give himself more time to recover from that leg injury. That opens the door for the other quarterbacks to pull ahead of him moving forward.)
Next up on the depth chart is Keenum who has bounced around the league and is now with his seventh team. Keenum was brought in this offseason as insurance. After last season’s quarterback carousel, the Redskins needed someone to at least be able to put on the field. Keenum has mostly been a quality backup in the NFL with decent starting experience though he is just two years removed from starting in the NFC Championship game.
Keenum is not the long-term solution in Washington but he can help this team win ball games. Keenum doesn’t have to wow anyone to win games here. Last year, the Redskins were first in the division at 6-3 prior to Alex Smith getting hurt, the Redskins were winning because they had a stout defense, good running game and didn’t turn the ball over. The thing I like about Keenum is he can force the ball down the field more than Alex Smith and if Keenum can manage the offense along with playing turnover-free football, he can win in Washington.
Last but certainly not least is Dwayne Haskins, the 15th overall pick in this year’s NFL draft has a lot of hype and expectations as he starts his career. Haskins played at Ohio State and in his only season as the starter, he put up ridiculous numbers including nearly 5,000 passing yards and 50 touchdowns. He is a big, smart, strong-armed quarterback, but he is also just a rookie and has a lot to prove.
Going into his first NFL action there are a couple of things to watch from Haskins. One is his pocket presence. Can he feel the pocket around him and not panic when guys are in his face? Second is accuracy. Haskins must show that he can put the ball in the right place for receivers whether that’s in stride or in tight windows. If Haskins can show these abilities, it won’t be long before he earns the trust of everyone in being the starting quarterback.