The NFL and sports world are facing uncertain times. For that reason, it’s good that the Washington Redskins were able to get Kyle Allen, who knows Ron Rivera and Scott Turner’s offense well.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL is facing a lot of uncertainty. While they were lucky to be the one league that didn’t have to deal with any games being postponed as a result of the outbreak, their offseason program could potentially be in danger of being shortened or postponed.
The truth is that nobody will know what the NFL season and offseason might look like until they know. The draft has gone virtual but after that, there may be a lot of waiting for the green light to get things started.
That uncertainty is why having Kyle Allen in the fold for the Redskins is great news. Allen was acquired from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick. He’s familiar with Ron Rivera’s offense and as Rivera detailed in a recent press conference, per Sports Illustrated’s Jenny Vrentas, Rivera would feel comfortable if Allen had to start if a shortened offseason prevents Dwayne Haskins from getting up to speed with on-field reps.
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“If we were told, hey, you’ve got two weeks to go, I would feel very comfortable with Kyle,” Rivera said, “because here’s a guy that knows the system, has been in the system and could handle it for us for a period of time, and we’ll see how that goes. That’s kind of the thought process behind it for us.”
In 2011, Newton was a rookie, and Rivera said their post-lockout approach was to skew the reps toward the No. 1 overall pick once to make sure he was ready for opening day. But Rivera, who did not draft Haskins, clearly sees this situation differently. Rivera described Allen as “a guy that can be very competitive for us; that’s gonna come in and compete and push Dwayne. And whether he wins the job or he ends up as the backup, I know who Kyle Allen is.”
That indicates that the quarterback job may be up for grabs. Haskins should still be viewed as the prohibitive favorite because of the draft capital the franchise invested in him.
But ultimately, it will be Rivera’s decision. And amid all the uncertainty, it certainly is nice to have Allen available. He had solid flashes at times last season, though he regressed down the stretch, and could operate the offense effectively enough early in the season if Haskins needs extra time to get up to speed on the system.
We saw what happened last season when Haskins was forced into action when he wasn’t necessarily ready to play. It wasn’t pretty. If the Redskins want to give him the best chance to succeed, they’ll ensure he’s familiar enough with the offense before marching him onto the field in what looks like a rebuilding year in Washington.
Of course, it’s well within the realm of possibility that Haskins will be completely up to speed on the playbook and get plenty of reps before the season starts. It’s just not a sure thing. If training camp can start on time, Haskins should be in fine shape and should be able to stave off any competition for the starting job.
Everything with the NFL’s offseason program is in flux right now, but hopefully, teams will have an answer soon.
Either way, it looks like Haskins and Allen are going to be the two quarterbacks for the Redskins this season. And both should play vital roles for the team. Here’s hoping that the offseason programs aren’t too badly affected by the coronavirus crisis and that Haskins gets a chance to build on the positive momentum he generated at the end of last season.