Mark Tenally/Associated Press
Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera has opened up about the decision to release Dwayne Haskins during the 2020 regular season.
During an appearance on Colin Cowherd’s podcast (h/t Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post), Rivera talked about Haskins’ lack of focus and inconsistent work ethic as the biggest problems for the second-year quarterback:
“You know what? I tried to come to terms with him. He’s a very talented player. He’s got an NFL arm, a legit arm, and there’s a part of him that he wants to, but something keeps getting in the way. I’m not sure what it was, and that was the hard part because he puts in the time, and then he doesn’t. And you’re wondering, ‘Where is he? What’s he doing?’ You see him over there and you go, ‘OK,’ and then you don’t see him. So I think the thing he needs to do is just prioritize. The kid, as I said, he’s talented, and if he ever does get it, he’s going to make an impact.”
Haskins was benched in the third quarter of Washington’s 20-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 27. The team announced the following day that it had released the 23-year-old, less than two years after he was the No. 15 pick in the 2019 NFL draft.
“I take full responsibility for not meeting the standards of a NFL QB & will become a better man & player because of this experience,” Haskins wrote in a tweet after his release (h/t ESPN’s John Keim).
Haskins is getting a second chance to prove himself in the NFL. He agreed to a one-year, $850,000 contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers in January. The Ohio State alum will likely be competing with Mason Rudolph to be Ben Roethlisberger‘s backup in 2021.
During his two-season run in Washington, Haskins threw for 2,804 yards, 12 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and completed 60.1 percent of his passes. He had a 3-10 record in 13 starts for the Football Team.