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Interview: Quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr.

via Redskins

June 10, 2020

On what led to his decision to head to Washington D.C. and join the protests: “The whole decision to go to D.C. was just, I feel like everybody in this day and age likes to just talk and I wanted to be about action, I wanted to go down there and be a part of the difference. It was my first protest ever, I never thought I’d ever be able to actually go to a protest especially in this day and age, so it was just crazy to be there. I talked to [Senior Vice President of Player Development] Doug [Williams], I talked to [Senior Director of Player Development Malcolm Blacken] about trying to get in touch with someone that was down there and go walk up to people. I went down there and it was just a great experience. Just the energy and the atmosphere when you walk around people and how much you’re supporting the cause. And just being a normal person felt great.” On what Coach Rivera talked to him about in terms of growing this offseason and leading the team: “I’ll keep that conversation close to the chest, but just the whole idea of being the guy and taking this team and being a leader, and that’s something that he’s preached to me from day one. That’s what has to happen in order to win games and I’ve stepped up to the plate and I’ve done those things that he asked me to do as far as showing leadership and being ready for the season.” On what his opinion has been of how Coach Rivera and the organization has handled the situation around the murder of George Floyd: “[Head] Coach [Ron] Rivera called a couple meetings just to get our perspective on what’s going on and how we wanted to address it as a team and as an organization. I really applaud him for that and his confidence being able to stand with us. He definitely wants to make a change as well, he wants to continue to work on being a united team and trying to be a difference in our community having played for the Washington Redskins and being in D.C. So, he definitely took that as something that was very important to address and we’re working on trying to be a difference in the community.” On if he feels like he can show more of who is as a leader through this entire situation: “Most definitely. I was trying to figure out a way – people were asking me to say something, to address it or make a statement, things of that nature – and I was just trying to think of a way that was more close to heart and more genuine. Instead of me just making a tweet or doing a video, I wanted to go to an actual protest and be a part of the people and talk to the people that were there, be in that atmosphere to understand and hear the hearts that are crying out for help. It felt great to just be a normal person. I want to be the face of the franchise and I’m working to do that. Just being able to do those things and Coach Rivera supporting me meant a lot.” On what he felt like he had to work on the most during this offseason: “I won’t necessarily say it’s just about football, it’s with everything in life. I just wanted to be a man about my business and that’s on and off the field. Not that I wasn’t prior too, but now turning 23, still being young and growing, whenever there were questions about immaturity or lack of whatever it was, I was going to change that whether it was true or not just for myself because I needed to do that for me. I applied pressure with everything I did this offseason with my body and how I studied and it’s making a big difference.” On working with the receivers this offseason and the challenges of not having an offseason program in-person: “Not having minicamp and OTA’s, it was hard to get those workouts in and the ability to connect with my teammates. I got the guys that I was really close with last year, [WR] Terry [McLaurin], [WR] Kelvin [Harmon] and [WR] Steve [Sims Jr.], and worked out pretty hard just trying to simulate having practice or having spring training so that we would be ready for training camp. Now that we’re getting close to training camp, we’re going to get the rest of the receivers, the rest of the tight ends, the rest of the quarterbacks and we’re going to do that work we were trying to do before minicamp happened with the coronavirus so that we’ll be ready to go for training camp.” On if he plans on taking a knee for the National Anthem: “I haven’t made a decision yet on what I wanted to do as far as that, but I support all my teammates and the decisions they make. I think what he’s doing is a good cause, so I support him.” On how he figures out how some of the new players can fit into the offense without getting actual field work in with them: “Offensive line is tough, but having great leaders like [G Brandon] Scherff and [C] Chase [Roullier] and [T] Morgan [Moses] we’ll definitely be able to fix whatever we have to figure out offensively on the offensive line. Of course, having the guys that I played with last year and then hearing about the new playmakers we’ve added on the roster, I think having this new workout before training camp will be good to be able to assess where guys are at before we get going. I’ll tell you first, [WR] Terry [McLaurin] and [WR] Kelvin [Harmon] and [WR] Steve [Sims Jr.] look great. It’s the best I’ve seen Terry and I’ve known Terry since I was a freshman in college. So, everybody’s putting in that work and it’s showing.” On where he feels his level of understanding is with the offense: “Still learning, but I feel very comfortable just because having learned an NFL offense last year it’s easier to translate into different terminology. The concepts are the same, the reads are the same, just told differently. Having it being a numbered system and in a system where it’s more concepts, it’s more one-word plays or tempo and things of that nature, it’s easier to regurgitate and be able to play faster because the offense we were in last year was West Coast and it was a lot of tags and a lot of longer play calls in the huddle. This year, it feels a lot easier getting used to what we’re doing.” On what he is hoping to do in dropping weight this offseason: “I want to be the best player I can be for my team, and that was me working it, and it just fell off. It wasn’t intended to lose that much weight, I guess, but it just happens. I think I’ll be more of a dynamic football player this year, and I’m looking forward to making some plays.” On if there are things he is curious about learning about the Black Lives Matters movement: “Just having conversations with the leaders on the team, talking to [Head] Coach [Ron] Rivera, having close family and friends. I try to stay off the whole social media learning because there is a lot of different unfiltered and filtered things that aren’t always true. The biggest thing with me was, I wanted to go be there with the protest because, like I said, I feel like everybody just talks. It’s easy for me to preach how bad it is and the injustice and everything of that nature. I want to go see the people protest, I listen to the people talk, I listen to people on the blow horns talking about their life experiences. Just try to get to know the next man and try to be a better person. That’s something I always want to work on. With the Black Lives Matter cause and just being caught up on history and learning and stuff, I just want to be as up to date of all the information that I can be.” On what has been the biggest challenge of the virtual offseason program: “I’ll say the biggest challenge of this being virtual , you don’t get to be as intimate as you would be if you were in person as far as, you know, asking questions or pulling a coach aside to talk for an extra 15 minutes after a meeting. Things like that. It’s FaceTime, it’s Zoom, it’s phone calls, things of that nature. I definitely feel like with this offseason, it’s been able to work out for me because I’ve been able to do my own type of routine to get ready for the season. It’s not always on the time that we’re doing because, we do things as a team and I need things differently for myself, so, this virtual offseason I feel actually has helped me tremendously.” On the conversations he had with people at the protest and on any conversations he has had with his teammates about social injustice: “I don’t think there was one thing that probably stood out but just to hear the people talking about the racism they went through or the police injustice. I get pulled over sometimes and I’m scared, because I get questioned and I get asked crazy things when I get pulled over. I’ve made it, but, just listening to that and meeting with my other teammates who aren’t lack. To have white coaches, to have other quarterbacks in the room who aren’t my skin color. I’m friends with all of those people. It’s not necessarily because they’re a different color than me, they understand that, but it’s some people who don’t understand the injustice. My teammates and the white people on my football team, we all understand it, and all appreciate the unity that we need to be able to do as far as overcoming this whole tragedy. They’ve been very open to any conversations that we try to have and they’ve been willing to help so that’s all you can ask for.” On if he can elaborate on any situations where he has been pulled over: “I mean, it’s crazy. You get pulled over and they ask, are you selling drugs, do you’ve got something in the car I need to worry about? I play quarterback for a football team in the NFL you would think that you wouldn’t get asked those type of questions but, this is the world we live in. There’s bad cops and good cops. I’ve always been taught from a young age to do what a cop asks you to do, don’t ever go back and forth on what he asks to say, just get in and get it out, just because you don’t want anything to happen to you. Anything is evident every day with the body cameras and the killings of people, you never know when it’s going to be your last breath so you always have to be prepared for everything.” On some people saying that this is a make or break season for him: “I’m going to deliver, it’s never a question about that. I don’t even care about that stuff, honestly. Biggest thing for me is to be prepared mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and what I’m doing. I’m looking forward to being a great leader for this football team this year.” On the growth he has seen from the teammates he has had a chance to work out with and if he learned anything from working out with WR Antonio Brown: “I mean, going through the young guys, [WR] Kelvin [Harmon] is in great shape, he’s running like I’ve never seen him before. [WR] Steven [Sims Jr.] looks great. I really don’t even worry about them being in shape it’s more so just the communication. On this route I need to get the ball here, on this coverage I need to work this leverage. It’s just the small talks that you don’t necessarily get all the time in a Zoom meeting that you get on the field, with the shadow corner, or skeleton seven-on-seven, or three-on-three. Just working the different looks that you can get in the game or in training camp because we don’t have that right now because of this Coronavirus. So, being able to apply those situations to a workout, helps tremendously. Even with [Antonio Brown] AB, [Buffalo Bills WR Stefon] Diggs, [Former WR] Chad [Johnson], a whole bunch of other NFL players, [Miami Dolphins WR] DeVante Parker, I work out with a lot of receivers, they like to run routes with me. The biggest thing with those guys is just, trying to be around the best, learning from the best, find ways to get better. I mean, Chad Johnson put me on game to a lot of stuff that I knew, but just to hear it from his perspective, somebody that’s played, played with [Former QB] Carson Palmer, had success in the NFL. We try to learn from those guys. Whenever I have the opportunity to be around those type of NFL players, who have produced, who are great guys on and off the field, I feel like it’s a good opportunity for me. Especially as a guy that’s trying to learn.” On if his diet has changed: “I just cut off a lot of toxic stuff in my life. I feel really good right now, I’ve lost a lot of weight. I’m 218 [pounds] right now, I started training this year at like, 227, 228. Before I even came to the Redskins, I was like almost 235, 237, so I’ve just been dropping weight.” On how important the Black Lives Matter movement really is: “I mean it’s very important. I feel like a lot of things in life, we talk about it for a minute then we let it go a couple of minutes later. Personally, for me, it has been Black Lives Matter my whole life, my whole parents lives and their parents lives. We just can’t because, the protests right now and it stops in two weeks, just stop talking about it. We need to get a plan of action and bring unity to this country. That’s all I want. I just want to be able to feel as though we all care. Now I feel like everybody does. It shouldn’t have to be somebody being killed in order to stop racism. That’s just my perspective on that. One of the biggest things is just trying to stay united, especially with all of this chaos going on.” Attachments area

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