“We talked about challenging the way he handles himself on the field and how he handles himself off the field,” Ron Rivera told SkySports. “We didn’t have any preseason games where we could judge him and his growth. We kept him with the 1s throughout the entire training camp to it really see where he was.”

By Michael Bennett

That’s WFT coach Ron Rivera explaining how quarterback Dwayne Haskins has responded to the challenge of being named starter for the opener against the Eagles on Sept. 13.

“He’s taken advantage of that opportunity and really did a nice job. I’m really pleased with his growth,” he added.

On Wednesday, Rivera officially named Haskins as the starting QB for the team’s Week 1 matchup with the NFC East division rival Philadelphia Eagles.

Washington has motivated Haskins with increased competition at his position, too. The team traded for Kyle Allen—who played for Rivera with the Carolina Panthers—and veteran Alex Smith was cleared to resume football activities as he returns from the life-threatening leg injury he suffered in Nov. 2018.

Haskins, the former first-round pick out of Ohio State, had an up-and-down rookie year in 2019. He threw for 1,365 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in nine appearances. Washington went 2-5 in his seven starts.

Rivera said he reviewed Haskins’ tape from last season and saw “him do some really good things, I was really pleased with that. As we went forward and kept looking at those things there were areas of the game we felt we had to challenge and improve. He’s done that.”

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