Dwayne Haskins will start the final preseason game for the Washington Redskins. But don’t get too excited.
Ladies and gentleman, Dwayne Haskins is getting his first chance to start an NFL game on Thursday.
Wait, what’s that? Oh, it’s a preseason game? Oh. Okay. That’s fi– Wait. It’s the fourth preseason game?
Alright. You know what? That’s still cool.
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Haskins is going to start and get extensive action in the preseason finale for the Redskins. Of course, it’s important not to read into this decision at all. Teams almost always play their backups and depth options exclusively in the fourth preseason game. Haskins currently looks like the Redskins’ No. 2 quarterback pending the health of Colt McCoy. Case Keenum won the job with a solid offseason while Haskins proved that he still needed time to develop.
The fourth preseason game will actually be a good chance for Haskins to get some reps. Sure, he won’t be going against world-beaters. In fact, he’s more likely to be going up against future practice squad options than anything else. But still, the important thing is that he is going to be getting some reps. And that will be an opportunity for him to learn.
Haskins has shown growth through three preseason games so far. His debut was below-average at best. In his second outing, he had a beautiful touchdown throw to Robert Davis, and that pass was the best of the team’s preseason. And in the third contest, he avoided turnovers and sacks while showing better accuracy and downfield tools. Now, he will look to build on that performance in more significant action.
The big thing to watch in this contest will be Haskins’ pocket presence and poise. He looked shaky in that area in his first start but has gotten more comfortable as the preseason has gone along. If he can continue to show well in that area and prove to be more mobile than people initially thought, he will do a lot to showcase his upside and show the coaching staff that he will eventually have a chance to be the starter.
The fourth preseason game isn’t often exciting, but getting an extended look at Haskins should be interesting. If he can elevate the play of those around him, that will be a good sign for his future. And if he struggles, it will confirm that he still needs plenty of time to develop, which the Redskins are giving him.
Once Haskins is finished playing, Jalan McClendon, a former Baylor and NC State product, will finish the preseason as the team’s quarterback. He is likely fighting for a practice squad spot, so it will be interesting to see if he can show anything that makes the ‘Skins want to keep him longer term.