A clip of Dwayne Haskins speaking with his Redskins offensive line went viral on Sunday afternoon. Ask two people why it did, and you’ll likely get two different answers.
Either Dwayne Haskins is a budding leader, or he’s a selfish bust. There seems to be no middle ground. The Washington Redskins haven’t done well managing the expectations around Dwayne Haskins, and as a result, confusion and conjecture has spread quickly, like wildfire.
Haskins made his second NFL start yesterday against the New York Jets, and he showed more tangible growth. In spite of the undesirable offensive circumstances, Haskins improved from his last outing, and he showcased a number of his positive traits.
That should have been the main story. That Haskins showed growth. But instead, the clip went viral, and now, clashing character judgements have sullied Haskins’ Sunday afternoon.
“What do I have to do to help you?”
– Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins to his offensive line 😳
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 18, 2019
People will see what they want to see in the clip of Haskins. Those in favor of Haskins will see a leader trying to do what he can to win. Those with predetermined negative dispositions toward Haskins will see a convoluted signal caller attempting to deflect blame onto his linemen. Apologists will see a growing star. Negative biases will see a hopeless bust.
The truth, as it usually turns out, is somewhere in the middle, and the absolute truth is also unreachable based on this clip. The clip is a thirty-second snippet of Haskins’ time on the sideline. The other hours on the bench, in the tunnel, in the locker room, and in the film room, are all lost to us on the outside. Follow-ups, clarifications, reconciliations, coaches’ meetings, and other reparatory measures that might have occurred after the clip, can not be seen.
Using circumstances, however, we can reason why this interaction may have occurred without making conclusive statements about Haskins. Haskins is a young quarterback, still trying to find his way in the NFL. He’s spoken at length about trying to grow into the role of a leader, which quarterbacks naturally inherit in the NFL, and his situation with the Redskins hasn’t been kind to him, in terms of clearly setting the stage for his growth.
Haskins’ interchange with his linemen could have been Haskins attempting to take charge and expedite a solution to a problem. It could have been Haskins information gathering and attempting to learn how he can help his team mates by using different protection calls. It could have been Haskins unknowingly stepping out of his lane and questioning his linemen on their perceivably poor play.
Want your voice heard? Join the Riggo's Rag team!Write for us!
Frankly, it doesn’t matter what it was. Because it’s one thirty-second segment of a quarterback’s life, out of context. If it’s a mistake, Haskins can learn from it. If the offensive line was truly apathetic and not receptive to legitimate inquiry, then perhaps more work needs to be done to put Haskins in the right situation.
The narrative has gotten out of control, but in the wake of this clip, nothing has truly changed. Haskins is a young rookie who is still learning, not just about the NFL and on-field operation, but about his own roles and abilities in a team setting, from a mental standpoint. This sometimes leads to confusion. In emotionally charged environments, it sometimes leads to discourse such as that seen in the clip. This is natural. It’s up to the older players to help him through that confusion, as opposed to escalating tensions. And it’s up to the coaches to mitigate negative consequences.
The clip may mean something for people who want it to mean something. But more likely than not, it means nothing more than what we already know, and it provides too little contextual information to change that. Haskins is still in transit to an unknown conclusion. It’s no one’s place to act like he’s arrived, either as a leader or as a toxin.