After a 0-4 start to the 2019 NFL season, multiple reports have pointed to a chaotic state of affairs within the Washington Redskins. Aside from the persistent rumors surrounding head coach Jay Gruden’s job security, the Redskins haven’t had much luck at the quarterback position, with journeyman Case Keenum struggling in recent games and highly-touted rookie Dwayne Haskins performing even worse during his NFL debut Sunday against the New York Giants, where Washington lost, 24-3, to their divisional rivals.
In three quarters on the field, Haskins threw three interceptions and connected on just nine of his 17 passes for 107 yards as the Redskins were trounced by the Giants and their own rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones. As Redskins legend Joe Theismann sees it, that poor performance is a good enough reason for Washington to start someone else for Sunday’s game against the undefeated New England Patriots.
“You cannot start him against the New England Patriots. You can’t start Dwayne Haskins against the New England Patriots,” Theismann said in an interview with TMZ Sports, as quoted by NJ.com. “I mean, it can’t happen. It wouldn’t be good for him, it wouldn’t be good for the franchise, it wouldn’t be good for football for crying out loud.”
As a former Redskins quarterback who led the team to victory at Super Bowl XVII in 1982, Theismann was likely speaking from experience when he made the above comments about Haskins. He did, however, suggest that the Redskins first-rounder has a chance of having a good – or even excellent – NFL career, as Peyton Manning got off to a rocky start for the Indianapolis Colts after being picked first overall in the 1998 NFL Draft.
“Peyton Manning’s rookie season, he threw 29 interceptions. And, you just have to be committed to somebody and realize that it takes time to be able to play this position.”
Additionally, Theismann criticized the Redskins for committing several penalties during the Giants game, stressing that it “isn’t just the quarterback position” that needs to be addressed in order for the team to find their form this season.
More from Gruden on #Redskins QB situation:— Adam Winkler (@AdamWinkSports) September 30, 2019
Says he needs to see all three quarterbacks perform in practice. Case Keenum (foot) was in a walking boot after Sunday's loss. #HTTR #NEvsWAS @WTKR3 https://t.co/bcg345ppnk pic.twitter.com/Y47pY3v75l
As of this writing, it’s still unclear who the Redskins will be starting against the Patriots, who have gone 4-0 with the best scoring defense in the NFL and six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady still playing at a high level at the age of 42. Keenum was spotted in a walking boot after Washington’s loss to the Giants, while veteran backup Colt McCoy is in the “final stages” of recovery from the leg injury that forced him to miss most of the 2018 season, per NJ.com.
Meanwhile, Gruden told reporters on Monday that he will evaluate all three of his quarterbacks in practice before making a decision on who to start versus New England.