Rivera on Haskins: ‘We didn’t see the growth’

In 2019, the Washington Football Team selected Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick in that year’s draft. Haskins came to Washington with a lot of promise after throwing 50 touchdown passes in his only season at Ohio State. 

Last season, Haskins started seven games for Washington. In those seven games, Haskins was 2-5 as a starter and threw for 1365 yards and seven touchdowns with seven interceptions. Coming into the 2020 season, Haskins was named the starter and was not awful for Washington. In four games, Haskins threw for 939 yards and four touchdowns, but three interceptions. More importantly, Washington was 1-3. 

After the slow start for Haskins, Washington head coach Ron Rivera decided to make a change. Against the Rams, QB Kyle Allen started but left after an injury, and Alex Smith would finish the game for the team. 

As Washington prepares for Daniel Jones, who went sixth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, and the New York Giants, Rivera explained why he decided to replace Haskins with Allen.

“Well, you sit there and look at what we did with Dwayne(Haskins) – we didn’t have the offseason you would’ve liked to have had in terms of his chance to develop,” Rivera said. “So, we went into training camp, and we gave him every rep with the 1’s for several weeks, and then we gave him a chance to play, and he played four straight games, and every rep he’s taken has been with the 1’s. Just in the evaluation process, we weren’t seeing what we needed to see. We didn’t see the growth that we thought you needed.

“Plus, looking at where the schedule was taking us – you know we have four games, and you could honestly say six games which are all conference games, or five of those six are conference games, and three of those are divisional, and there’s an opportunity to make some hay in our division. So, I felt like I wanted to put the ball in a couple of guys’ hands that know the system: [Washington QB] Kyle Allen, who’s been with me for three seasons, who knows our system; [Washington QB] Alex Smith, who’s a guy that’s made a tremendous comeback who knows the system. So, I felt that our chances in these next six games would be increased by doing that and so that’s what I did.”

Obviously, we don’t get to see what happens during practice, but it’s clear, Haskins is not Rivera’s guy. When Washington drafted Haskins, Rivera was in Carolina. 

Is it the right move? I guess Allen would give Washington a better chance of winning since he knows and played in this offensive system in Carolina. However, I think we’ve seen enough of Allen to realize he does not have the goods. You could argue Washington has a shot to win the lousy NFC East, but if you watch this team play, it’s pretty apparent that they are not very good, which means Washington should let Haskins play and see what happens.

 

Eagles’ Pederson: ‘I’m still going to maintain the aggressiveness’

Eagles QB Carson Wentz started fast against Washington and had Philadelphia up 17-0 in the second quarter. However, near the end of the first half, he threw an interception that set up Washington’s first touchdown. In the third quarter, with the Eagles up 17-7, Wentz threw his second pick, which set up another Washington touchdown. 

Wentz(24-42, 270 yards, 2 TDs, 2 ints) and the Eagles would not score another point and would fall to Washington 27-17  at FedEx Field on Sunday. On Monday, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talked Wentz’s interception before the half.

“After looking at the tape, it’s kind of how I felt and what I saw, live and in-person yesterday in the game,” Pederson said. “We just missed. We missed on a throw. The throw was — came out of his hand after watching the tape kind of slowing things down. Looked like it came out of his hand, ball could have slipped a little bit coming out of his hand. It was left inside. So it happens. Those are things that are going to happen. Especially when it’s warm, and it just is part of the game. It’s just going to take place.”

Many felt the Eagles were too aggressive against Washington, especially right before halftime when Wentz’s pick helped Washington score their first points of the game, but according to Pederson, Philadelphia will continue to stay aggressive.

“As far as the aggressiveness goes, I’m still going to maintain the aggressiveness,” Pederson said. “Look, as I said this morning, a 17-0 lead or a 27-10 lead, in any football game in this league is not enough, and you have to continue to maintain aggressiveness. You have to — especially when you have momentum, right, and it’s kind of on your side. You’ve got to use that to your advantage, and my thinking at that time, too, was to try to get points before half with the ball to start the third quarter. We’ve done that many times here where we’ve scored and then come out and scored touchdowns to start the third quarter. That’s a lot of my mindset in these games.”

Another issue in Philadelphia’s 27-17 loss to Washington was the offensive line, which surrendered eight sacks. At times, Wentz did not have a lot of time, and sometimes, Wentz held the ball too long, which Pederson addressed.

“We still have to continue to address him(Wentz) and to address those issues,” he said. “It’s part of the football game. We just have to keep talking that it’s okay to throw the ball away. It’s okay to dirt the ball on a screen pass or something of that nature and look; it’s something that we’ve just got to continue working through. There is a fine line, obviously, as we know, between the aggressiveness, but at the same time, we want to be smart.”

The Eagles’ offensive line has to play better. Hopefully, they can get RT Lane Johnson back next week against the Rams, and Wentz has to get the ball out quicker if he wants to last for the whole season. If those things don’t happen, it could be a long season for the Eagles.

 

 

Like father, like son? Lonzo Ball: ‘Markelle’s a great player, but I feel I’m better than him’

I guess Lonzo Ball is a chip off the old block.  We know his dad LaVar likes to talk, but now Lonzo doing the talking.  Ball told ESPN 710 LA that he is better than Washington’s Markelle Fultz:

“Markelle’s a great player, but I feel I’m better than him.” I think I can lead a team better than him,” Ball added. “Obviously he’s a great scorer — he’s a great player, so I’m not taking that away from him.”

I like the kid’s confidence. He should think he is better, but he probably should show a little bit of humility.