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Interview: Washington Football QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.

LANDOVER, MD — August 31, 2020, Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. met with the media following the teams practice at FedEx Field.

On how different he felt in the stadium compared to last year:

“I haven’t thought about it. Just going back on the field, I felt a little different sense of urgency, excitement being out there with the guys. Being out there with [DE] Chase [Young] was something that we always talked about and dreamed of. It felt surreal. I’m looking forward to doing it for the first time in a couple weeks.”

On what Head Coach Ron Rivera has done the most for him:

“I just think that Ron has done a great job with me just with attention to detail and self-awareness. I’m just trying to be a leader on this football team and he’s done a great job of just being very hands-on in my development. I appreciate him a lot for that.”

On evaluating his training camp:

“Well, looking back on the start of camp I just wanted to come in and show how much work I put in this offseason. I’m just trying to do my best and master the offense as much as I can on a daily basis. A presence in the locker room that’s trustworthy and be accountable to these coaches and these guys out there on the field with me—I’m just trying to do that every day. I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job so far. I’m hoping that it pays off.”

On if he has developed more chemistry with any receivers:

“Definitely with [WR] Dontrelle [Inman]. The guy has played with a lot of veteran quarterbacks before in the past. He’s come in and done a great job of being a veteran in that receiving room. Of course, [WR] Terry [McLaurin] and WR Steven [Sims]—those are my guys. I think [WR] Cam Sims came on strong a lot in the last couple of days in training camp. Hopefully, we’ll see those in the roster decisions. But, those guys have made a lot of great connections with me so far.”

On if he is comfortable if there were to be communications mishaps with the booth:

“Yeah, definitely. I think more so just the process today was just realizing that the headset went out. I went to a play that we usually call in the two-minute drill. Just being aware of the situation. A mic could go out, or if something happens where you can’t get the play in as fast as you want to, having a go-to or a few plays that you know the offense knows and getting to a good spot. I’m just trying to play those game-like situations and today it came up.”

On if he can show he is a franchise quarterback:

“Yeah, when I got drafted, I wanted to show that I was a franchise quarterback here. Things happened and they made some changes around here. This new coaching staff, I just wanted to show them how much I love the game, the leader that I want to be and how I can be reliable in situations, make the right plays and potentially get some wins. I’m just trying to keep proving that and get into a game-like situation where I can showcase that. I’m looking forward to doing that and keep proving over and over again and be a guy in this area—like I said, being from here—that has a lot of pride for me. I’m just exciting to keep working and getting this thing rolling.”

On adjustments he made this offseason:

“I would just say that just growing up and being more mature. Being two years removed from college, you kind of know what works for you and what doesn’t. Just trying to figure a workout regimen that works for me and a plan for me to take place to show that I’m ready to go. I did that this year, and I think it’s showing on the field. I’m looking forward to doing that in game action.”

On where the confidence in his game has grown:

“Probably just trusting my drop, getting to a certain part of the read where I know it’s there. Last year where the window’s too tight, move on or where I don’t like it and I’ve got to move off the read faster. Now I feel like I’m more confident, more patient. I have a better understanding of the concepts and what defenses are showing me so I’m able to attack them most effectively. So, that’s one thing I feel like I’m showing, and I’ve gotten more comfortable with in the last couple weeks.”

On learning from his interception in practice:

“If I could just say about that pass, it was a Cover-2 look. Ron gave me a nice slow press and release and, on the outside, I left the ball a little bit underthrown, not thinking that he could get there. I haven’t thrown that throw in camp yet. So, that was my first time with that rep. I’m just trying to throw that throw out there so I can get to the seven cut a little higher, a little further, so that he can undercut that ball. Just as far as being more confident, it’s just having trust in the guys around you, being more confident in myself and what I can do and my abilities and where I can and cannot throw the ball and trust in my God-given talent. That’s something I feel like the more I play ball, the more effective I will be in making those wild plays and being able to make those check downs and smart plays.”

On if there was a point in camp where he started to feel more confident:

“I felt more comfortable during training in the offseason. From the first day we started practicing, I just wanted to show this new sense of confidence that I had and just being able to get guys to rally behind me. That’s just something I’ve been working on, trying to show that I can get guys to play at a high level and I can get guys to compete and win games.”

On where he has grown in his decision making:

“I’ve always felt like I’m a good decision maker. I just think that the biggest thing with decision making is knowing that the defense is making you check the ball down or knowing that the defense is baiting you to do something you’re not supposed to be doing, but making it look good so that you can try it. That’s something you’ve just got to get a feel for the game of. Just knowing not to bypass the reads for bigger throws or to try to find more time in the pocket to make bigger plays. There’s time over the course of the game not thinking about every time you catch a ball in the center that it’s a touchdown or a big play. Just playing the game, practicing is something that I’ve learned a lot from playing experience but also from QB Alex [Smith] as well. I feel just that I have a more sense of awareness.”

On the ambient crowd noise:

“It was weird. I just felt like it was practice back at the Horseshoe back in college when we had crowd noises and the fight song and stuff and there was no fans there. But, it was loud. I think the biggest thing is just trying to make the game a game-like atmosphere with no fans in the stadium. I feel like we kind of did that today just with the excitement and having that feeling of just being in the stadium. So, it was a great experience just to be here for the first time without crowd noise. Having the headset and the mic, having to talk a lot in the huddle and just being more aggressive and more demanding out there without the noise out there.”

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