ASHBURN, Va. -- New Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Scott Turner knows what he likes about his quarterback, Dwayne Haskins Jr. It's the same as what the previous staff liked: his talent. Turner also knows what he wants to see from his quarterback, whether it's Haskins or anyone else, if they want to achieve anything in the NFL. That, too, is the same: commitment.
"You've got to be the most committed guy in the building," said Turner, who spent the past two seasons as Carolina's quarterbacks coach. "Your teammates have to see that, the coaches have to see that because that is how you develop trust and that is how you develop leadership."
And more from Turner on a conference call with Redskins reporters:
"I was a really big fan of [Haskins'] coming out of Ohio State, had him rated pretty high," Turner said. "All of the physical tools are there. He needs to keep getting experience and will be a really good player."
Redskins coach Ron Rivera did not want to commit to Haskins as his 2020 starter without seeing how he developed this offseason. Like Turner, he praised Haskins' talent during his introductory news conference. But Rivera wants to wait before declaring anything about his starter.
For now, what these coaches know is what they've seen on film or in person. Haskins, after all, helped the Redskins win at Carolina on Dec. 1; Rivera was fired two days later.
But Turner knows it will take more than talent for Haskins to succeed. There were concerns with the previous staff about Haskins' commitment, starting in the spring and summer when multiple sources said he struggled to pick up the offense in part because coaches felt he wasn't doing enough away from the building.
However, coaches and players privately said he improved in that area as the season unfolded, particularly once he became the starter. One coach said Haskins started to see the extra work he did during the week pay off in games. They felt he had started to mature. There is more excitement from teammates surrounding Haskins after a strong finish -- he threw for a combined 394 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions over his final six quarters.
Rivera said he wanted Haskins to develop into more of a leader this offseason. Turner said players won't follow a quarterback if he's not putting in the work.
"If you're the last guy in, the first guy to leave, you don't have a mastery of the offense as a quarterback," Turner said, "and you try to tell somebody else what to do or try to step into a leadership-type role, it is not going to work and no one is going to listen to you."
He said he wanted his quarterback to know the offense like a coach. For Haskins, it will mean having to master a second NFL scheme in two years.
"He has to be able to present that on the field and present that confidence when he is running the show, and that takes work," Turner said. "Guys see when it is there and guys see when it is not. ... We had Cam Newton obviously as a rookie, I wasn't the quarterback coach, but I was part of that process. Then Teddy Bridgewater when we drafted him in Minnesota, he came in and owned the system. ... We will challenge [Haskins] to do that."
They'll also challenge him to attack down the field. The past two seasons, the Panthers ranked third in play-action pass attempts; the Redskins ranked 30th, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Carolina was second this past season; Washington ranked 29th.
Haskins completed 16-of-30 play-action passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. In his last two games, he completed 6-of-9 for 163 yards and two scores. Coaches on the previous staff also felt they should run more of their quick passing game with him; Turner sees all of the possibilities.
"You obviously see the big, strong guy who can stand in the pocket and really push the ball down the field," Turner said. "We're going to want to use a lot of play-action pass, and then something also he's done a good job of in his past and in college, too, is just being able to get the ball out quickly and kind of distribute the football to the playmakers and let them make the plays for him."