By Lewis Gould
The Redskins traded for Carolina quarterback, but new coach Ron Rivera felt compelled to point out on WFNZ in Charlotte that Dwayne Haskins is the starter for now.
“We’re going into camp believing [Haskins is the starting quarterback], but they’re going to be competing,” Rivera said, via The Team 980, Redskins Radio. “At the end of the day, nobody knows what’s going to happen, so we just have to get ourselves ready. Really like what we have in terms of our young quarterbacks. Kyle is also a young guy, has a long arm, understands the game, understands how we do things, so I’m excited about what the potential could be.”
Haskins started seven games for the Redskins as a rookie, completing 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,365 yards, with seven TDs and seven INTs, while taking 29 sacks. The young quarterback showed flashes of a big arm, but struggled reading defenses and with his footwork, and took far too many sacks.
With a new staff in Washington, it wasn’t a given that Haskins would exit the offseason as the starter.
Rivera made it clear that the trade for Allen was about bringing in a quarterback the team knows and who understands the offense, particularly with offseason programs potentially being in jeopardy.
“The biggest thing more than anything else is that Kyle fits what we do,” Rivera said. “He understands our system. Scotty Turner is our offensive coordinator. We’re using the system we’ve basically had him use for 9 seasons, and Kyle is a young quarterback. He’s had some success. He’s good in the locker room. He understands what I’m looking for. He understands what Scotty is looking for, so hopefully we can take that and use it to our advantage with our new team.”
After the Redskins elected to bring in Allen over a more experienced quarterback, it puts Haskins in the clear driver’s seat for the starting job.
Cam Newton, who was cut by Carolina this week, had been one name linked to Washington, due to his connection with Rivera. The coach said, however, at this point, the team doesn’t plan to bring in a veteran like Newton.
“No. At the end of the day, we have a young football team with a young quarterback in position,” Rivera said when asked if there was interest in bringing Newton to D.C. “We have the chance to set and establish a thing, so that’s the way we’re looking at it. Going forward, you never know what’s going to happen, but where we are right now, and we made a commitment to a young guy to find out who we have as a football team.”