Redskins: Five bold predictions for the 2019 regular season
By Ian Cummings
No. 2 – Dwayne Haskins takes starting job after Patriots game
Jay Gruden said in a press conference, after Case Keenum was named the Redskins starting quarterback, that as long as Keenum produced, he’d be fine.
The statement was rather vague, and it begged the question: What is adequate production, in this context? We can reasonably assume that, with Jay Gruden coaching for his job, if the Redskins fall behind in the standings early, then Keenum won’t have produced enough.
In an offense with plenty of proven talent and no leaks, Keenum can produce just fine. That’s the situation he found himself in during the 2017 season, when the Vikings went 13-3 with a stifling defense and an efficient offense.
But Keenum isn’t with the 2017 Vikings anymore. He wasn’t with them last year, when he provided pedestrian quarterback play for the Broncos and limped to a 6-10 record. And he’s not with them now. The 2019 Redskins have an unproven receiving core, an unbalanced offensive line, and a coaching staff set on playing a losing strategy.
If the defense were to peak early, and if the inside linebackers were to compete the puzzle, bringing the defense up from top fifteen to top ten, perhaps Keenum would have a chance to stick around as the starter. But in their first five games, the Redskins play the Eagles, Cowboys, Bears, Giants, and Patriots. It’s hard to see Keenum bringing them out of that stretch any better than 1-4. And if this probability comes to pass, then Keenum’s production won’t be good enough.
Dwayne Haskins will mount his NFL debut against the talent-deficient Miami Dolphins. With five weeks of watching from the side lines and mentorship from Alex Smith under his belt, he’ll be able to set out on the right foot, and he’ll use the rest of the season as a learning experience, using live reps to catalyze his own growth, and using occasional flashes to incite hope into a disillusioned fan base.