Ron Rivera benched Dwayne Haskins believing Kyle Allen and Alex Smith give the Washington Football Team a better chance to win and potentially compete in the woeful NFC East.
Despite the overt critique of the second-year quarterback, Rivera insists he still has faith that Haskins can be molded into a franchise QB.
“Again, as I said, I have not quit on the kid as far as his development,” Rivera told reporters Wednesday, via NBC Sports Washington. “This is an opportunity for him to continue to learn and grow and develop.”
Allen’s mobility was the only boost the Washington offense saw last week in the loss to the Los Angeles Rams before he exited with a shoulder injury. Smith was obliterated behind the Washington offensive line — taking six sacks — and barely got a pass off downfield in the sloppy, wet conditions.
The Week 6 tilt against the New York Giants will provide the litmus test whether Rivera’s QB-switch to compete for the division was a prudent move. Lose, and he banished the second-year quarterback — potentially wrecking his confidence — for no good reason.
Haskins has not practiced due to a non-COVID-19 illness that caused him not to attend last week’s game.
Despite benching Haskins for a QB who lost his last seven starts, and another who is coming off a career-threatening injury, Rivera declined to speculate whether he’s interested in trading the former first-round pick.
“I’m not going to talk about football business,” Rivera said.
Multiple reports indicate Washington hasn’t sought out trade options for Haskins, even if his reps would like the big-armed QB to move on.
Rivera insists that Haskins could return better having more time to learn the system from the bench.
“Dwayne’s a young man that’s learning and growing. He hasn’t been in the system,” Rivera said. “He hasn’t had the benefit of a full offseason. He hasn’t had the benefit of a true training camp. Based on what I saw, I made the decision to make the switch.”
Rookies like Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert didn’t have a full offseason, and they’re performing splendidly — even if the wins aren’t there to show it. In Washington, Haskins struggled out of the gate, and Rivera had no interest in letting the young QB work through the issues when the pitiful NFC East was up for grabs.
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