Washington Football Team 2020: A Redux of the 2001 Season
Each coach’s comments on QB
When Schottenheimer accepted the job, according to one of his coaching friends, he “[was] not completely sold on George.” During training camp, the team brought in Tony Banks, who had been cut by the Dallas Cowboys to serve as a backup quarterback.
At that time, Schottenheimer gave all the correct answers to the media, which is similar to what Rivera did before benching Haskins (per Mark Maske of The Washington Post).
"“Jeff is our starting quarterback. I would think less of [Banks] if he didn’t think of himself as a starter. . . . My philosophy is to have no quarterback controversies. . . . The quarterback is the quarterback. He’s the leader of the team. He cannot perform if every time he throws a bad pass, he’s looking over his shoulder to see who’s warming up on the sideline. I am not going to do that to my quarterback.”"
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When Rivera was introduced as head coach, he “refused to anoint Dwayne Haskins as the starting quarterback”, per Les Carpenter and Scott Allen of The Washington Post, and mentioned having good veteran quarterbacks that would have an opportunity.
He also offered up a challenge to Haskins going into the season.
"“I think first of all he’s going to have to step up and become a leader. All the great ones become leaders. They become leaders whether they are rookies or 10- or 12-year veterans, but you got to step up and you got to be where you need to be. You got to do some things that you are supposed to do.”"
A little over two months later, Rivera traded for Kyle Allen, who played under both him and Turner with the Carolina Panthers. In a similar vein to the addition of Tony Banks in 2001, this made for an interesting storyline during the season, in spite of Haskins eventually being named the starter.
The beginning of the season is where the similarities between the 2001 and 2020 season diverge a bit, but stay with me, and we’ll get back to the thick of things.